By M K Anwar
Bruneians who wish to stay in the United Kingdom for more than six months will have to obtain entry clearance from the British High Commission.
The British Minister of State at the Home Office, Tony McNulty MP, announced this yesterday.
From November 13, 2005, all nationals from non-European Economic Area including Bruneians who wish to come to the UK for more than six months will need to obtain entry clearance from a British diplomatic mission before travelling, a press release from the British High Commission in Brunei stated.
The new regulation is aimed at countering fraudulent documents, which the EU has been working on for eight years.
A one-off cost of B$272 will enable travellers, once entry clearance has been obtained, to stay for the full period without having to apply for residence permits unless they wish to change or extend their stay.
The new entry clearance arrangements have been introduced in stages over a two-year period. The first stage came into force on November 13, 2003 involving 10 nationalities.
Similar to the first stage, a two-month grace period will be provided until January 13, 2006 during which time any passengers from the non-EEA countries arriving in the UK will still be admitted. After the grace period, those coming to the UK and planning to stay for more than six months will be refused entry.
The entry clearance would be in the form of a sticker containing photograph and other details, which will be attached to the passport. It has a security feature which allows it to be easily recognised by carriers and control authorities.
British nationals (overseas) and other categories of British nationals without the right of abode in the UK will still be able to travel to the UK without entry clearance and apply on arrival.
Information on the new entry clearance can be obtained on the web at http://www.britishhighcommission.gov.uk/brunei or from the British High Commission at 2222231/2226001.
Courtesy of: Borneo Bulletin