Call For Cheaper Two Year UK Visa by UK and Campaign for Visa Extension for Indian
More than fifty Indian and UK business leaders have backed a recent campaign for visa extension to extend the current visitor visa for Indian nationals. The UK has a pilot visa scheme for Chinese nationals whereby a two-year visa, which allows for multiple visits, costs £87. At the moment a £87 visa for Indian nationals only lasts for 6 months, with a two-year visa costing £330.
During the last ten years, the amount of tourists to the UK from India has even halved which is in spite of the fact that the Indian market has grown by 10% each year. This amounts to some 800,000 visitors annually, which would create UK jobs and boost the British economy by around half a billion.
A recent report by the Royal Commonwealth Society found that many business leaders from aviation, industry, and tourism groups were advocating for Indian’s to have the same cheap two-year campaign for visa extension as Chinese nationals. As 2017 has been designated as the UK-India Year of Culture, this would be a sensible move for promoting links between the two nations.
At the moment France is the most popular European country for Indian visitors, with around 500,000 visitors a year. If the two-year campaign for visa extension pricing was more favorable to Indians then the UK could go back to its previous status as a most visited country.
India and the UK have previously had very strong ties, and there are a large number of Indian immigrants living within the UK, so it has always been a popular destination for people visiting family members as well as for business purposes.
With the world watching the UK after the Brexit vote, it is now more important than ever that Britain promotes strong links with other countries and shows India that it is indeed open for business.