- Luke Pollard MP joins over 100 MPs calling for visa fees to be abolished for Commonwealth personnel
- MPs from all parties write to Home Secretary complaining at high costs
- Charges are a barrier to applications from service personnel
Today in Parliament Luke Pollard MP signed a cross-party letter calling on the Home Secretary to end visa fees for Commonwealth servicemen and women. MPs criticised the high charges, calling on the Government to recognise the sacrifices made by Commonwealth personnel.
“I signed a cross-party letter along asking Home Secretary Sajid Javid to support ending visa fees for Commonwealth servicemen and women in our Armed Forces. Commonwealth personnel are a vital and important part of our armed forces. There is a long history of soldiers from the Commonwealth fighting for our country including in both world wars.
The way the Government is treating Commonwealth servicemen and women in respect of visas is disgraceful. Commonwealth personnel are exempt from immigration controls throughout their service, but once they are discharged this exemption is removed. High visa charges for Commonwealth personnel are a new barrier, and I fear the system has been deliberately designed to put off applications.
Commonwealth servicemen and women are prepared to sacrifice their lives for our country. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their service and that is why I have signed this cross-party letter calling for the visa fees to be abolished.”