Visas, Permits and Immigration


UK super priority visa service to be extended to more countries

by Ray Clancy on November 14, 2014

The UK government has unveiled plans to extend the popular 24 hour visa service to more business leaders, investors and wealthy tourists aimed at attracting more investment into the country.

The Super Priority Visa Service, already on offer in China and India, ensures a decision on a visa application within 24 hours, removing lengthy bureaucratic hurdles which many businesses fear put off possible business travellers, investors and rich tourists and pushes them towards countries with a simpler service.

UK expat travel

The visa expansion program will be rolled out by April 2015

The expansion will be rolled out by April 2015 to more countries, with G20 members Turkey and South Africa topping the list of seven, which also includes the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, the Philippines and visa processing centres in New York and Paris.

The additional cities have been picked due to high demand from businesses and high value travellers.

As part of our long term economic plan, we are determined to do everything we can to back business, support investment and create jobs, said Prime Minister David Cameron.

“We are already taking action on that front including cutting corporation tax to the lowest rate in the G7 but we’ve got to keep listening to business about what more we can do to support them. And this new 24 hour service is another way we can help. It will persuade more business travellers, investors and tourists to visit Britain, to trade with Britain and to expand in Britain,” he explained.

“This is good news for British business and tourism, helping us to build a more resilient economy and secure a brighter future for Britain,” he added.

Each visa application will cost £600 above the normal charge, the same fee charged in India and China, where demand has been averaging 50 to 60 applications per month and over 100 per month, respectively.

All applicants must meet the strict requirements of the UK’s immigration rules. Applying for a visa to enter the UK through the 24 hour service does not in any way guarantee a visa application will be successful.

The UK already offers customers an excellent visa processing service and these changes will help to ensure the service remains competitive.

Other recent improvements include expanding the priority visa three-to-five-day services to over 100 countries, improving visa application centres and offering them in more locations across the world and extending opening hours at visa application centres and adding premium lounges.

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