UK announces visa changes to attract big business

by Ray Clancy on November 8, 2013

Changes to the visa system aimed at attracting the brightest and best to work, do business and invest in the country have been announced by the UK government.

The changes include the launch of the GREAT Club, an invitation only service providing top business executives with bespoke support from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI.)

The Club will start in the New Year as a 12-month pilot aimed at around 100 global business leaders who use the visa service and have strong links to the UK.


The 12-month pilot is aimed at around 100 global business leaders who will use the visa service and have strong links to the UK

An account manager will be provided to ensure their journey through the visa and immigration service is swift and smooth. The account manager will also be able to arrange visa services tailored to each individual’s needs at no extra cost during the pilot.

Home Secretary Theresa May said that the government has already been working to build an immigration system that works in the national interest, creating growth, investment and jobs in the UK that will benefit hard working people, while still deterring those who have no right to be here.

‘I created UK Visas and Immigration in March to provide a focus on delivering excellent customer service. These changes will allow us to maintain a world class, competitive visa system that can innovate in order to serve the ever changing needs of business and ensure Britain succeeds in the global race,’ said May.

The changes over the next 12 months will include expanding the priority visa service where applications are dealt with in three to five days, from 67 countries to over 90 countries by spring 2014.

The same day visa service, currently available in India and soon to be available in China, will be expanded further to other key locations by the end of 2014.

A VIP mobile visa service to India will be introduced and there will be a pilot passport pass back service in southern India with a view to expanding countrywide if it is successful.

‘We will continue to listen and respond to the needs of high value and high priority businesses so that we can provide them with a service that supports economic growth, while at the same time maintains the security of our borders,’ concluded May.


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