Following the annual increase norm, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) would be increasing the visitor, work and study visa fees by 2% starting from April. On the other hand, James Brokenshire, Immigration Minister, UK announced a number of eased visa measures. “Improvements to the service include expanding the same day, super-priority visa services to first time visitors and work visas. The 3 to 5 day priority visa service will also be expanded to visit, study and work routes allowing more customers in India, the opportunity to get a visa decision faster,” he informed.
From February end, Indian visit visa applicants will be able to benefit from a new quicker and easier online application form, initially in English but soon in Hindi, Tamil and Gujarati as well. Once the form has been filled out, customers will be able to download an auto-completed Schengen application form to print and apply with, he added.
As per the new MICE scheme, a dedicated person would be appointed at UKVI centre to discuss the needs of the groups and assist them as per the requirements. Around 50 preferred agents will also be appointed pan India to certify applicants on behalf of UKVI.
The Minister also revealed the launch of its 16th new visa application centre (VAC) in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh later this year.
360,000 business visas were issued from January to September 2015, recording a 17% increase year on year. (Source-Travel Biz Monitor)