HC Deb 15 January 1998 vol 304 c277W
Mr. Coaker

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the entry requirements for holders of travel documents issued by the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. [23790]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

Under the Immigration Rules, holders of travel documents which are not issued by a recognised national authority are required to obtain a visa if they wish to come to the United Kingdom. Despite this, while not recognising the authorities of the so-called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC) we have in the past accepted TRNC travel documents as proof of identity. This has meant that holders of TRNC documents were up till now not required to obtain a visa if visiting the United Kingdom for a short period. This operated under a concession.

We are today bringing the arrangements concerning holders of these documents into line with our standard practice by withdrawing this concession. There have been significant numbers of asylum claims by passengers travelling with this document which, when determined, have all been unfounded. With effect from midnight tonight, holders of documents issued by the authorities of the so-called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" will be required to obtain visas to the United Kingdom, regardless of the purpose of their journey.

We have also today laid an amendment to the Immigration (Transit Visa) Order 1993, requiring holders of such documents to obtain a visa when in transit through the United Kingdom. This requirement will apply from 5 February.

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