Same day UK visa service to launch

18 Feb 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Prime minister David Cameron has announced a UK visa service that allows certain individuals to apply for and receive a visa on the same day.

The service will be the first of its kind in the world and is designed to open up Britain to greater economic and trade possibilities within the global marketplace.

At the moment, the same day UK visa option will only be available in India, where the UK has 12 visa centres, compared to 11 US centres and just five German centres. Mr Cameron announced the development during a visit to Mumbai. He said: "This is a fast-growing economy, it is going to be one of the stars of the future.

"We are introducing today a same-day visa service for business people who want to come to Britain."

It is thought likely that the service will be expanded to other countries if it proves to be successful in India. But there are no official plans in place at the moment. To begin with, only chief executives and finance directors for large Indian companies will be able to access the immigration service. Furthermore, they will be required to pay a significant fee, which is yet to be set by the government.

In addition to announcing the new same-day service, the prime minister called for the development of a "special relationship" between Britain and India that would not only allow Indians to access education and business opportunities within the UK, but that would also allow British citizens to play a strong role in the development of India's economy.

"This is going to be the third largest economy in the world by 2030," said Mr Cameron. "I want to make sure it is British firms that are helping to build those hospitals, construct those roads, provide those universities, and we want a real exchange between our countries."