UK visa system 'awkward'

30 Jun 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The UK visa system has been criticised as being "awkward" for honest visitors.

Writing in Russia Beyond the Headlines, Stephen Dalziel observed that Russian businessmen keen to come to Britain face a prolonged and bureaucratic procedure when attempting to obtain a UK visa.

He noted that even the basic six-month access UK visa requires a Russian to apply to the consular section at least 15 working days in advance of requirement, while application for a two or five-year visa can, in real terms, take as much as long as six weeks.

Mr Dalziel remarked: "If this procedure meant that fortress UK was protected against an influx of undesirables, I would agree that, awkward though it is for honest visitors, it was worth doing.

"But in practice, the UK visa system serves more as a hindrance to people wanting to do business than it does as a deterrent to the undesirables."

Contacting a UK immigration lawyer could help individuals avoid some of the hassle involved in visa applications.

The coalition government's recent changes to the UK immigration system have borne a substantial amount of criticism suggesting they make discourage business.

A recent survey from Harvey Nash and the Confederation of British Industry found that employers are becoming increasingly concerned about their ability to bring talent into the UK from outside of the European Union.

Indeed, the latest survey found that 13 per cent of firms hold this opinion and predicted that this will rise to 26 per cent within five years.