UK - Update on Visa Services for Bulgarians and Romanians

As we reportedlast week, all visa services in Bulgaria and Romania were temporarily suspended on 30 March, following allegations of improper handling of applications from those seeking to enter the UK under the provisions of the European Community Association Agreements (ECAA).

From Tuesday 13 April 2004, the Home Office and Foreign Commonwealth Office have decided to lift the suspension of certain categories of visa applications from Bulgaria and Romania. The categories that will be reinstated are those that are "not in question" and "do not put at risk the integrity of the immigration control."

The visa categories that will remain suspended are those intended for managed migration employment schemes, including self-employed visas, European Community Association Agreement (ECAA) visas, Work Permits,SBS and SAWS scheme as well as HSMP.The suspension will remain until an outcome of the inquiry has been reached by Ken Sutton. The suspension also applies to applications that have already been lodged and that have not been decided.

Applications for all other categories (including visitors, business visitors, students, au pairs and settlement) will start to be considered again from Tuesday, 13 April 2004.