SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – The United Kingdom said on Wednesday it had imposed a visa requirement on Salvadorans wishing to enter the country after authorities reported an increase in asylum applications.
The UK Home Office said in a memorandum that there had been a “sustained and significant” increase in the number of Salvadorans making asylum claims on arrival over the past five years.
In recent decades, many Salvadorans have been driven to immigrate in search of opportunity or to flee gang violence in their home country.
In 2021, the UK received 703 applications from Salvadorans, the highest for a country whose citizens could visit without a visa, he said, compared to less than 40 a year received before 2017.
“The changes announced today put El Salvador among many other countries that require visas and with which the UK has a strong and friendly relationship. Visas provide access to the UK, while helping to protect its borders,” British Ambassador to El Salvador David Lelliott said. in a report.
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The visa requirement will apply to all Salvadorans and will take effect immediately, the ministry said.
The Salvadoran government did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
(Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Writing by Kylie Madry)
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