Britain is encouraging Indians who want to travel to the country to apply early for their UK visas.
The British High Commission said that applicants would receive a decision more quickly if they applied during the quieter months of January and February, when centres were less crowded and there were more available appointments.
Under the new campaign, Indian travellers can ask for their visas to be post-dated by up to three months to start on the intended date of travel. The scheme was launched at the Destination Britain India trade fair in Pune, organised by VisitBritain.
British High Commissioner to India, Sir Dominic Asquith, said: “We are delighted that more and more Indians are choosing to come to the UK either on holiday or for business.
“The latest visa statistics show that visitor visas issued have increased by 6 per cent in the year ending September 2016 and last year we issued more Indian visit visas than ever before.”
This is the latest attempt by the British High Commission to make it easier for Indian visitors to apply for UK visas. A ‘quicker and more intuitive’ online application form was launched last year for Indian visitors, which is available in four Indian languages.
In addition, people who have travelled to the UK from India before are still able to use the five-day Priority Visa and Super Priority Visa schemes, which have been extended.
And India will also be the first country able to use the UK’s new Registered Traveller Service. The programme is aimed at people who have had advanced security checks to allow them faster entry into the UK.
VisitBritain Director for Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Sumathi Ramanathan said: “We want the UK to be a ‘must-go-now’ destination for visitors from India, making it easy to travel here is an important part of our tourism offer.”