News Archive - November 2013

Ministers to create 'high-value' UK visa system

06 Nov 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Ministers and the Home Office have discussed launching a new UK visa system designed to cater for “high-value” individuals from overseas.

The system is being designed to ensure that global business leaders are still made to feel welcome in Britain following concerns about the government's excessive restrictions on the UK visa and work permit regulations.

Dubbed the 'GREAT Club', the service will initially be offered to around 100 wealthy foreigners who will be able to join the “bespoke” visa service through the Home Office. They will receive a personal account manager from the UK Visas and Immigration service to help out with their travel plans, while extra services will also be managed to ensure and “tailored to each individual's needs at no extra cost”.

At the moment, officials have not released any information about who will be eligible for the elite system, other than to say that it will be offered to people who are in a position to make a “significant contribution” to the economy.

Home secretary Theresa May announced the GREAT Club (named after the 'Great' in Great Britain) this week. She also confirmed the news that the Home Office is to start expanding its three-day and same-day priority visa services.

She commented on the updated services: "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.

“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.”