India will become the first visa country to be offered the Registered Traveller Scheme…reports Anasudhin Azeez
Prime Minister Theresa May says Britain will offer a new visa scheme for Indian investors. The British leaders arrived in New Delhi yesterday with a high level delegation which includes International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox and Greg Hands, Minister for Trade and Investment.
“India will become the first visa country to be offered the Registered Traveller Scheme, offering business travellers expedited clearance at the UK border including through access to the e-Passport gates for those with biometric passports and no requirement to complete a landing card,” Mrs May told reporters.
Only nine other countries currently benefit from the scheme. The new visa services are intended to improve business travel for Indian visitors to the UK.
“Britain is open for business and investment,” said Mrs May.
The British government will also offer a select group of high net worth Indians access to a bespoke visa and immigration service. The Indian Government will become the first government in the world to be invited to nominate top business executives to the Great Club, who will then be provided with a personal account manager to ensure that their journey through the visa and immigration service is swift and smooth and who can provide assistance for immediate family members.
These changes mean that India will have one of the best UK visa services of any country in the world, with more application points than anywhere else and the only place where you can get a same day visa, reflecting the Government’s commitment to continuing to attract inward investment and business from India, already the UK’s third largest inward investor with more Indian companies invested in the UK than the rest of the EU combined. In 2015-2016, Indian investment created 7,105 new jobs in the UK.
The Registered Traveller Scheme is currently available for nationals from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, USA.
The new scheme reflects the British Government’s commitment to strengthen trading ties with all corners of the globe as the UK leaves the EU and the benefits of foreign investment for regions up and down the country.
Speaking ahead of meeting Prime Minister Modi in Delhi today, the Prime Minster said: “As we leave the EU, we want to ensure that the United Kingdom remains one of the most attractive countries in the world to do business and invest.
“Over 800 Indian businesses are already invested in Britain, making India the second-largest creator of jobs here and the third largest inward investor. We want to attract more Indian businesses to the UK, which is why it’s right to offer Indian business executives a world-class visa service tailored to their needs.
“The UK and India are natural partners and I want to achieve more together, recognising the untapped potential of this relationship and building a partnership that works for our shared security and shared prosperity.”
The Registered Travellers Scheme will initially be offered to Indians travelling on a work visa, with the possibility of rolling it out to other routes in the future. It is estimated that up to 10,000 Indians could benefit from it within the first 2 years. All members of the scheme are required to undergo advance security checks as part of the application process.
The UK issues more work related visas to Indian nationals than the number issued to China, Australia and the US combined. More than a third of all work visas to the UK are issued to Indian nationals. Nine out of 10 of Indians who applied for a UK visa in the year ending June 2016 were successful.
The Great Club is a bespoke visa and immigration service offered to high net worth individuals. Members of the Great Club have a dedicated Account Manager to advise on the appropriate visa route, premium services available and to respond to any queries that emerge during the application process as well as receiving an expedited service through UK border control.