Autumn 2017 Heritage Visits
In November 2016, the UK Government announced an expanded programme of visits to the British Indian Ocean Territory as part of the support package for Chagossians worth approximately £40 million over ten years. Heritage visits, organised by the FCO, have taken place in the past. The commitment to funding an expanded programme of visits will ensure that Chagossians and their descendants can maintain a connection to the islands. The priority is to give places on the visits to those born on the islands of the Territory, although they are open to all Chagossian descendants.
A full programme of events will be in place for each visit. The programme will be centred on Diego Garcia but will include a trip to the outlying atolls of Peros Banhos and Salomon for those born on the outer islands. We have consulted and listened to ideas from Chagossians who have been on previous visits to put in place a programme that is sensitive to their culture and the history of the Islands.
For Prospective Applicants: A request for expressions of interest in participating in the heritage visits in 2017 went out in April and we received around 150 responses. If you did not respond at that time, or if you did respond but did not provide the requested documentary evidence to show your connection to the Chagos Islands, then please do send an email to BIOTFCO@fco.gov.uk with your details and we will retain these on file for reference for future visits.
We will look to enable family members to travel together where possible, although you should note that all travellers must be over the age of 18.