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New rules for under-18 visitors to UK

The United Kingdom has changed immigration rules to safeguard children below 18 who wish to travel to the UK.

Now, all applicants below the age of 18 must show that they had a parent or guardian who was responsible for their care in the UK and in their home country and that this person consented to their travel. Also, they should prove that they had suitable travel, that someone will meet them at the airport and that they have a place to stay in the UK.

In addition, the children must travel in the company of the adult identified on their visa. The parents could be named on the child's visa along with their passport numbers.

If the child had an 'accompanied visa' but intended to travel with an adult not named on the visa, or alone, the child must obtain a new visa before travel. If the child was not travelling with one or both of the named adult(s) on his/her visa, the airline might refuse to carry him/her and they would be denied entry into the UK, the release added.

The visa would only be valid for the holder if she/he was travelling within the dates specified and with the adults named on the visa. Any visa issued before this change would be valid until it expired, the release said.