13th November 2014
Downing Street has today unveiled plans to extend its 24-hour visa service in a bid to attract more investment in the UK.
As the Prime Minister David Cameron arrives in Australia for the annual G20 summit, Downing Street has announced plans to extend its 24-hour visa service to more business leaders, investors and wealthy tourists in order to support British businesses and the economy.
The Super Priority Visa Service, which is already on offer in China and India ensures a decision on a visa application within 24 hours, removing what No 10 describes as “lengthy bureaucratic hurdles which many businesses fear put off possible business travellers, investors and rich tourists and pushes them towards countries with a simpler service”.
The expansion will be rolled out by April 2015 to more countries – with G20 members Turkey and South Africa topping the list of seven which also includes the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, the Philippines and visa processing centres in New York and Paris.
The additional cities have been picked due to high demand from businesses and high value travellers.
The Prime Minister said: “As part of our long-term economic plan, we are determined to do everything we can to back business, support investment and create jobs.
“We are already taking action on that front including cutting corporation tax to the lowest rate in the G7 but we’ve got to keep listening to business about what more we can do to support them. And this new 24 hour service is another way we can help – it will persuade more business travellers, investors and tourists to visit Britain, to trade with Britain and to expand in Britain.
“This is good news for British business and tourism, helping us to build a more resilient economy and secure a brighter future for Britain.”
Each visa application will cost £600 above normal charges, the same fee charged in India and China where demand has been averaging 50-60 applications per month and over 100 per month respectively.