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The New Arab

Boris Johnson's girlfriend Carrie Symonds ‘barred from US’ for visiting this Muslim country

Boris Johnson cannot intervene because the two are not married [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 August, 2019

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Carrie Symonds, the girlfriend of Boris Johnson, applied for a visa to visit the US but was denied the request due to her previous travels.
The girlfriend of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been barred from entering the US due to a previous visit to the territory of Somaliland, British press reported on Wednesday.

Carrie Symonds, who is not married to Boris Johnson, applied for a visa to visit the US but was denied the request due to her previous travels.

There are no diplomatic relations between the US and Somaliland, although the UK has formed ties since the East African country split with Somalia in 1991, a move which has not been recognised by the international community.

Symonds visited Somaliland in 2018 where she met with President Muse Bihi Abdi to discuss women's issues and sea pollution, according to reports in the British press.

Despite being the partner of the UK's prime minister, Downing Street is unlikely to intervene as the couple are not legally married.

Travellers intending to visit the US must apply for an Esta visitor visa, although those that have visited a number of Muslim-majority countries on or after 1 March 2011 are highly likely to be rejected.

The travel ban, which affects citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Sudan, was first introduced in 2017. Despite several attempts to block the executive order in courts across the country, the ban was finally upheld by the Supreme Court last year.

The ban allows for waivers to be granted on an individual basis so long as it does not threaten national security.

But advocates point to the fact there is no formal system to apply, and few waivers have been issued - just six percent of applicants have been granted permission to travel to the US, according to Reuters.

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