It has come to the Association’s attention that in several instances in 2018 Egyptian colleagues have been prevented from visiting the UK to participate in academic events or to undertake scholarly research because they were unsuccessful in applying for the necessary entry visa. In all cases the applicants had been invited to the UK by reputable academic institutions, professional bodies and/or registered charities to participate in activities permitted under the current visa regulations. In all cases the sponsor institutions took care to ensure that the candidates and all other aspects of the visits planned met the relevant eligibility criteria. Their inability to visit the UK is much to the detriment of the individuals and wider Egyptological communities in the UK, Egypt and internationally.
The Association is concerned that these instances are representative of a wider trend, and that colleagues from Egypt and other countries may in future find it increasingly difficult to secure the necessary entry visas to collaborate with colleagues in the UK. Any such development might adversely affect the ability of UK institutions, including universities, museums, and charities, to maintain international research standards in the field of Egyptology, and might deter international organisations from hosting conferences and other events in the UK.
The Association expresses its regret that our colleagues were not able to visit the UK on the occasions in question, and its hope that no further such situations arise in future.