India puts visas on agenda for May visit

26 Oct 2016 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The issue of UK visas will be on the agenda when Prime Minister Theresa May makes her first visit to India in her new capacity.

India will be pushing for the creation of short-term UK visas for businesspeople, students and academics who want to visit Britain. 

Acting High Commissioner to the UK Dinesh Patnaikis is calling for the introduction of the same UK visa concessions for India as the UK has granted to China. Chinese nationals can now apply for UK visas lasting from six months to two years at a cost of £87. He also called for students, academics and businesspeople to be removed from the UK’s migration figures.
 
Mr Patnaikis said: “I hope we will have a deal on Britain facilitating short-term visas for students, academicians, businessmen from India and these categories should not be in the migration list.
 
“What we want is ease of doing business - access to the UK, both for students, academicians and businessmen.” 

The Acting High Commissioner said that many companies in the UK are now moving jobs to India and he expected around 2,000 posts to be shifted from Britain in the next few months.
 
Mr Patnaikis stressed that Mrs May’s forthcoming visit will be very important both for her and for the future of the UK’s trading arrangements following the vote to leave the European Union.
 
He said: “This is her first bilateral visit and India is her first trip outside the continent. UK-India, we have a very, very long umbilical relationship.
 
“It is an official visit and she will be heading a high-level 160-strong delegation. The trade delegation also assumes importance because of the Brexit scenario. Post-Brexit, they will need it and they want to increase trade outside EU. The discussion will focus on framework of post-Brexit trade deal.”