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UK Finally Launches Same-day Visas For Indians

15 May 2013


Immigration News

Britain on Tuesday rolled out a same-day visa facility for Indians. The first-of-of-its-kind service to be launched by the UK anywhere in the world, it comes at a fat price: £600 (nearly Rs 50,000) in addition to the price of the visa.

To begin with, those in Delhi and Mumbai will be able to apply for the service. The UK home ministry said there were plans to expand the scheme to Chennai in the next few weeks.

The service was announced by British Prime Minister David Cameron during his recent visit to India.

"This government is committed to encouraging international business to invest in Britain," immigration minister Mark Harper said. "India and Britain have a long history of trade and we run our largest visa operation in the world there. We are delighted to be able to launch our first same-day visa service in Delhi and Mumbai, and make our world-class visa service even better."

The UK home office said the service would be available to those who were applying for a six-month or two-year multiple-entry visitor visa (excluding student visit visas) and had travelled without difficulty in the last five years to one of the following: the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or a Schengen country. Employees of companies that are members of the Business Express Programme (managed by the UK Trade and Investment department in India) and who are travelling as official business visitors will also be able to apply.

"We strongly recommend that customers with any form of adverse immigration history do not use this service," the home office said. "Using the super priority visa service does not imply or guarantee in any way that your visa application will be successful. All applicants must meet the requirements of the UK's Immigration Rules."

Hugo Swire, UK's minister of state at the foreign and commonwealth office in-charge of India, told TOI: "Our signal to India is clear: we are open for business. We want India to invest more in the UK. There is huge opportunity for investment as billions will be required for the renewal of Britain's public infrastructure."

The single-day visa service will later be made available in China, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa.

Over the past five years, 70,000 business visas have been issued per year to Indians on an average. India remains the UK's biggest visa operation around the world, processing around 400,000 applications each year.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/UK-finally-launches-same-day-visas-for-Indians/articleshow/20059962.cms


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