MP criticises high visa charges for Chinese and Indian business people

11 Oct 2016 | Posted by Carl Thomas
 A Conservative MP says that the UK is losing Indian and Chinese business people to other countries because of high UK visa charges.
Culture, Media and Sport Committee member Nigel Huddleston spoke to PoliticsHome about the situation, which he believes needs reform.
"We make it quite difficult for certain travellers to come here and we really screw them over in terms of the visa charges,” he said.
“There is a security dimension to this which we wouldn't question. But once somebody has passed through that, why we bang them again and again and again for the same amount of fees is ridiculous.”
The MP said that multiple entry had been provided for Chinese visitors and that needed to now be extended to people coming to the UK from India.
He said: “Indian business people say it's a real pain to do business here - because of the visa situation, we have got to get those things sorted out.
"There is a way to do this without compromising security. Look at the cost and ease in the US and no wonder people would rather do business in the States than in the UK."
Because of the visa difficulties faced, Mr Huddleston said that twice as many planes from China now go to Germany and France as the UK.
Earlier in the year, figures showed a 10 per cent fall in the number of Indian students opting to study in the UK. The dramatic drop was put down to concerns in India about the toughening of the UK’s stance on immigration and the fact they can no longer remain in the UK to seek employment after they finish their studies.

Figures showing the situation since the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, in which immigration played a major role, have let to be collated.