The decision by the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam to stop offering United Kingdom visas from Tanzania has neither inflated the travel document processing fee nor caused inconveniences to the applicants, the government clarified yesterday.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, East Africa, Regional and International Cooperation, the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr William Ole Nasha, said in the National Assembly here that Tanzanians should not be worried by the visa issuance rearrangement.
He said that Tanzanians wishing to travel to the UK can now submit visa application documents in Dar es Salaam without having to travel to the Kenyan capital Nairobi or Pretoria in South Africa. The UK government reached the decision in March 2014 as part of a cost-reducing overhaul of visa-issuing procedures worldwide.
Mr Nasha was responding to Ms Margaret Sitta (Urambo – CCM), who demanded to know why the government was comfortable with the UK visas issuance rearrangement, which, she complained is inconveniencing those wishing to fly to the North-Western European nation.
Mr Ole Nasha affirmed that Tanzanians applying for UK visas can now submit applications to an agency at Viva Towers on Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road in Dar es Salaam. “An applicant does not have to travel to South Africa to get the services,’’ he told the House, adding that everything will be handled in Dar es Salaam as the centre is the one responsible for sending the documents to South Africa and eventually bring them back,” he said.
He noted that British High Commission in Nairobi will handle some applications from government leaders and other officials with diplomatic passports especially during an emergency.
“In that situation, the applicant is obliged to channel his or her request directly to the Nairobi-based British High Commission or through the Tanzanian High Commission in Kenya,” the deputy minister clarified. He said that Tanzania could not interfere or challenge the decision reached by the UK as every sovereign state has its own system of handling its issues.