PRESS RELEASE The Council of Somali Organisations response to the Social Media Rumours Relating to Additional Travel Requirements to Somalia for Families & Children
The Council of Somali Organisations has been contacted by many of our members about rumours circulating on Social Media about additional requirements for a letter from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Somalia in the Court of St James (London). Prima facies, it seems the complaint is in relation to travelling with children born in the UK.
The Council of Somali Organisations is clear that there are no such legal requirements preventing travelling with your children born in the UK other than unless there is a child related Court Order from the Family Court in the UK (in cases of separated parents).
We have contacted Ethiopian, Qatar and Emirates Airlines and they have each confirmed that there are no such requirements above. The only requirement is that the passport must be valid for 6 months. We would like to also point out the Foreign Office’s Travel advice makes a reference to an invitation letter but this is only for people who are not of Somali Origin and this is corroborated by Emirates Airlines:
“You will need a visa for all travel to Somalia, including Somaliland. If you arrive at Mogadishu International Airport, you can get a single entry visa, valid for one month, for US$60 in cash. You may also be required to provide a letter of invitation on arrival in Somalia outlining the purpose of your travel. You can usually get this from your place of work (a hotel booking may also suffice). Without this letter, you could be denied entry.”
Director of CSO, Kahiye Alim said: “In the light of the upcoming Summer holidays and with many families planning to visit the country, We call on the Somali Embassy to issue clear clarification quashing the rumours. ”
The Council of Somali organisations remain committed to supporting all our communities and working to create partnership and a better society between all.
1. For more information on the Council of Somali Organisations: www.councilofsomaliorgs.com
2. For Media Contact, Kahiye Alim, Director of the Council of Somali Organisations 02080640161