Category: Government

New AIG E-visa system. Questions & Answers


Why the change?

The new system is more efficient and more secure than the previous paper-based system. It is intuitive and user-friendly and will offer a better service to those wishing to travel to Ascension.

How does this E-visa system differ from the previous system?

This new system is online, you will need to register your email and a password at the start of the application, which is then completed electronically. The online system will take you through the questions step-by-step without need to access a printer.

Will I need to submit a photograph at the time of application?

Yes, a photo attachment clearly showing your face will be required – this adds a level of security to the system which was previously lacking. The photo will not need to be a passport photo.

What if I don’t have the relevant information to hand during the application process?

Once you’ve registered your email and a password you can return to your application at a later date to continue and finish.

Which types of visa can be applied for online?

All seven types of Ascension Island visa can be applied for online

–          Tourist –          Contractor (A, B, C)
–          Single/Double Transit –          Employment
–          Business (Short Term/Long Term) –          Employment – Dependent & accomp family
–          Scientific/Research



Can payment be made on arrival at Ascension?

Payment must be made in advance at the time of application or soon after. No visa application will be assessed without confirmation of payment.

Why can’t payment be made on arrival?

The E-visa system is designed to be easy to use for the applicant and to take the visa payment so that the whole process is completed in one place – this is now in line with all pre-assessed visa regimes around the world.

What are the methods of payment?

There are two ways to pay for your visa:

Using a bank or credit card via the secure Sagepay service at the end of the application process.

Or. via bank transfer to AIG’s Bank of Saint Helena account, or UK Lloyd’s bank account – payment references and date need to be added, the transfer will must be made soon after – the visa will not be processed until payment is confirmed by AIG.

Have the visa prices changed?

The prices remain the same.

Are visas issued via the previous system still valid for use?

Yes, previously issued visas can still be used if still valid.

Are there any new visa requirements, or have any visa requirements changed?

Ascension Island’s Entry Control guidelines, rules and requirements have not changed, only the method by which a visa is applied for.

Is there a list of FAQs on the E-visa system?

For more information visit

What are the contact details for further information?

Via the website:



AIG ‘s new E-visa system

New Ascension Island E-Visa system

AIG are pleased to announce that a new and improved process for applying for a visa to travel to Ascension Island is now in place. Therefore if you wish to visit Ascension Island you will need to apply for an E-Visa online at our dedicated E-visa website,

The E-Visa system will allow you to apply online for all types of Ascension Island visas:

–          Tourist –          Contractor (A, B, C)
–          Single/Double Transit –          Employment
–          Business (Short Term/Long Term) –          Employment – Dependent
–          Scientific/Research



Upfront payment at the point of application will be required. This can be done by bank card or by bank transfer payable to AIG’s Bank of St Helena account or UK Lloyd’s Bank account.

This new system will enable AIG to offer a faster and more effective visa service to all those wanting to travel to Ascension.

The prices for visas will remain unchanged.

For more information visit

Q&As notice will follow.

Website Update

The Ascension Island Government website is currently being refreshed and updated.  Some parts of the website may not be accessible, however, we are working hard to minimise any disruption.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause

Shark Incident at English Bay, 24 July 2017

At approximately 5.30 pm on Monday 24 July there was a serious shark attack at English Bay on Ascension Island involving one person.

Entering the sea is to be avoided until further notice.

Emergency Services and the Ascension Island Government are working closely together to ensure all necessary actions for the victim and public safety are being undertaken.

Further updates will be provided as soon as possible.

Announcement of Air Service between Ascension Island and Saint Helena

Announcement of Air Service between Ascension Island and St Helena

Ascension Island Government (AIG) is pleased to announce that they have signed an agreement with St Helena Government (SHG), for the provision of a monthly air charter service between Ascension and St Helena. This follows today’s announcement from SHG, regarding the signing of the air service contract with SA Airlink with a weekly service between Johannesburg, Windhoek and St Helena.

The key elements of the upcoming service between Ascension and St Helena will be as follows;

  • The service will be operated by SA Airlink using an Embraer E190.
  • The service will operate on the second Saturday every month, arriving Saturday afternoon from St Helena and will depart Ascension the next morning. The flight time to and from Ascension is expected to be two hours.
  • The Ascension service will start soon after the commencement of the flight between St Helena and Johannesburg.
  • Tickets will only be available for the Ascension service via your employer, or through the Ascension Island Travel Agency.

The press announcement and FAQ from SHG regarding the signing of the agreement with SA Airlink can be found at

AIG will release further details in due course.

 Ascension Island Government

Administrator’s Office


21st July 2017

Travel to/from Ascension Island – Update

This information note sets out the current status of travel routes to/from Ascension Island. For further information about visiting Ascension Island (including entry permits), go to the ‘Visiting the Island’ page on the Ascension Island Government’s website;

Travel by Air:

As of 14th April 2017, the MOD decided to reroute the South Atlantic Airbridge via an alternative location. This decision was based on the MOD-assessed risk of continued use of the Airbus A330 Voyager aircraft, on the condition of the Wideawake runway. Therefore the South Atlantic Airbridge will no longer call at Ascension Island en route to the Falkland Islands, until the on-going full runway placement programme is completed on Ascension.

Please note this decision only effect the Airbus A330 Voyager aircraft, all other regular aircraft services continue as normal. This includes any emergency medical evacuation flights.

The MOD, United States Airforce (USAF), the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are working with the Ascension Island Government, to determine the feasibility of any interim options to enable the movement of people to and from Ascension by air.

If you are currently working on Ascension or are due to start a posting and you are concerned about the impact on your travel arrangements please contact your employer directly.

Tourists should be aware that the Ascension Island Travel Agency have cancelled all passenger flights to or from Ascension Island on the Voyager, until further notice. Ascension Island Travel Agency are liaising with all passengers with live bookings to advise them of this decision. However we would also suggest passengers make contact with their travel insurance provider. For further information or clarification about your booking, please contact However please note that the Ascension Island Travel Agency are unable to comment on when regular flights to and from Ascension may resume, or when any interim arrangement may be put into place and what it may consist of.

Travel by Sea:

The RMS St Helena continues to provide the main access route to Ascension Island by sea. After recently coming out of dry dock for urgent repairs, the ship will continue its route from South Africa (Cape Town) to St Helena and then on to Ascension Island. This service is currently scheduled until February 2018, or until the St Helena air service (via its airport) is in place. For further schedule information please see

If you are wishing to undertake a tourist visit to Ascension via the RMS St Helena, bookings can be made via the agents listed on the RMS website;

If you are planning to visit Ascension Island using your own vessel or yacht, please obtain further information on the Ascension Island Government’s website; This will provide you with the necessary requirements prior to your travel.

For those who are currently working on Ascension Island with upcoming travel, you will now need to travel via the RMS St Helena. Please contact your employer to work through re-routing onto this service and approach your travel insurer.

It is envisaged that there will be a short-term increase in demand for RMS bookings, driven by the higher numbers of passengers needing to travel to and from Ascension by sea. Both Ascension Island Government and St Helena Government are aware of this and are working with the various stakeholders, in order to manage the demand levels.

Updated 16 May 2017

Ascension Island Government



Important announcement regarding travel to and from Ascension Island

TRAVEL BY AIR: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is re-routing the South Atlantic Airbridge via an alternative location.  This is because the Airbus A330 Voyager aircraft used on the route between RAF Brize Norton, Ascension Island and the Falkland Islands is too heavy to land at Ascension Island.  The decision to re-route means the South Atlantic Airbridge will no longer call at Ascension Island en route to the Falkland Islands for the foreseeable future.
The MOD and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are working with the Ascension Island Government to determine the feasibility of interim options to enable the movement of passengers to and from Ascension.  This work will take some time to complete.  At this stage, it is likely that any interim measure that may be put in place would allow for the transportation of essential personnel and goods only.
Ascension Island Travel Agency are unable to say when regular flights to and from Ascension Island may resume, or when any interim arrangement may be put in place.   We do not expect South Atlantic Airbridge flights (operating with the Voyager aircraft) to recommence before 2019/20. Unfortunately, in light of this, we have no choice but to inform passengers that all RAF flights to or from Ascension Island on the Voyager are cancelled until further notice.
Ascension Island Travel Agency are liaising with all passengers with live bookings to advise them about this decision and to process refunds where applicable.  For further information or clarification, please contact in the first instance.
TRAVEL BY SEA: Travellers wishing to visit Ascension Island are advised that the only regular service to and from Ascension Island is via the Royal Mail Ship St Helena.  Further information about the RMS St Helena schedule and fares are can be found at: or from the Travel & Shipping Office at the Pierhead, in person or on +(247) 66244.
AITA acknowledge and apologise for the disruption and inconvenience that this will likely cause for travellers planning to visit Ascension Island in the coming months.  You are advised to talk to your travel insurance provider at the earliest opportunity should you have bookings for connecting flights or accommodation.
Ascension Island Travel Agency 28 April 2017

Ascension takes part in Safer Internet Day 2017

On Tuesday 7th February Ascension Island took part in the UK and Overseas Territory wide ‘Safer Internet Day’.

Two Boats School took part in activities that encouraged pupils to think about the power of images on the internet. This is important in this age of instant information sharing, when ‘selfies’ and other photos can circulate round the world instantly.

Assemblies and activities were tailored to encompass the different age groups in the school. Alongside some fun activities the children learnt the serious message about how to stay safe online and what to do if something worries you.

It wasn’t only the children who got involved either, as a group of parents attended an information session giving them similar information as the children and opening their perspective to the ease of information sharing and how this information can be used by others.

Ascension Island Government, 16 February 2017

Deputy Director of Overseas Territories visits Ascension Island

The last time the FCO’s Ben Merrick was on island was in October 2015 when Ascension was celebrating the Bicentenary since the British Garrison arrived.

Last week, on his way back to the UK from St Helena, Ben stopped over on Ascension for three days, catching up with former and new contacts and being briefed on current issues. On his first day, Ben was able to attend a meeting of the Ascension Safeguarding Board, following which members of the AIG team gave him a tour of the island’s infrastructure which will be the subject of a FCO review in the coming months.

Day 2 started early with discussions with the Island’s major Employers and a tour of the runway. Later in the day Ben (who was joined by Shahbaz Baloch, FCO) attended an informal meeting of the Island Council, where the Employment Law revision and diesel fuel supply for cars were discussed. As the HMS Portland and RFA Gold Rover were in port, Ben joined the Administrator in welcoming Captain Stroude and officers from both ships, along with visitors and locals, to afternoon tea at the Residency.

The delay in the airbridge gave both Ben and Shahbaz a further opportunity to explore Ascension and they were able to enjoy a walk around the recently-restored Elliots path as well as seeing turtles laying on Long Beach.Ben also assisted in ‘rescuing’ a stranded turtle at Deadman’s Beach!

Ben has been the Deputy Director for the Overseas Territories since July 2015 and has direct oversight of the Southern Oceans Department (encompassing British Indian Ocean Territory, Falklands, St Helena, Ascension, Tristan da Cunha and Pitcairn) and the Child Safeguarding Unit.

Ascension Island Government
6 February 2017

Refuge buoy for English Bay


Following the tragic drowning of Private Fenton Matthew earlier this year, a decision was made to enhance the safety of all users at English Bay by installing a large tailor-made life-saving buoy in the waters, which would serve as a point of refuge should anyone experience any difficulties while swimming.  Thus, through the combined effort and generous donations from several island organizations and individuals, a custom made buoy was devised, ordered and delivered to Ascension.   

The buoy is three meters in diameter, weighs in at 800kg and has a guaranteed lifespan of 10–15+ years.  The core is made from closed cell polyethylene foam core and is surrounded by a yellow 12mm thick polyurethane nylon reinforced elastomer skin – three hull step cutouts were incorporated into the design to allow for easy access.  The   AIG Marine team completed the ensemble with the addition of grab ropes and a mast complete with LED warning lamp.

On Tuesday 15 November, a small gathering was held at the pier head, where the Administrator Marc Holland outlined the reasoning behind the purpose of the buoy and what is hoped it will achieve in the future.  Thanks were extended to Wg Cdr Andy Pittock (RAF), the MOD, Paul Mildon (Babcock), Duncan Smith (CSO), Ray Ellick (Sure) and Major Daniel Schempp (USAF) for their company/individual contributions towards the overall cost, with special thanks also being extended to Wg Cdr Pittock for arranging free passage for the buoy on the FIRS – a huge cost saving.  Recognition was also given to the AIG Marine team for all the hard work that had gone into adding the final touches, as to Carl Thomas and Richard Joshua for arranging the overall design.   The ceremony was then concluded with a blessing given by Father Jack Horner, a few photos and the chance for folk to examine the buoys features.. 

The buoy is now in place in the waters at English Bay, where it is hoped that it will prove a useful means of providing additional safety to all users of this area. 

Just a small reminder…the main function of this buoy is to provide refuge for swimmers in distress, it is not a mooring buoy and therefore  boat owners should refrain from tying up to it at any point in time.  Your co-operation in this is greatly appreciated.