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STF, UKInbound and ABTA call for new digital youth visa

School Travel Forum, UKInbound and ABTA have written to the Prime Minister to draw attention to the disruption faced by school and youth group travel operators as a result of recent UK border policy changes.

The decision to end the acceptance of EU ID cards for entry to the UK, the UK’s exit from the Listed Travellers Scheme, and the decision to no longer accept collective passports are making it increasingly challenging for student groups to travel from the UK into Europe and from the EU into the UK.

In a letter sent to the Prime Minister, the three organisations highlight how these policy decisions have presented considerable barriers to group travel and have increased time taken to process groups at the border.

The UK travel and tourism industry has called for the establishment of a new youth-group visa application process that is fully digitalised, works in collaboration with ETAs and supports the 2025 UK Border Strategy. This would allow students under the age of 18 that have an ID Card, and therefore the right to live in the EU, and third country nationals that have settled in the EU to travel to the UK as part of an educational or cultural group if accompanied by a teacher of supervisor over 18 years old that is travelling on a passport. The group supports similar measures for young British nationals to facilitate outbound trips.

You can read a full copy of the letter here:

Youth and school travel_ March 2023 - ABTA, School Travel Forum and UKinbound joint letter
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