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24 Hour Visa Service to be Extended

A 24 hour visa service that aims to attract more investment in Britain is to be extended, the Government has announced.

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 lengthy bureaucratic hurdles that 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.

Each visa application will cost £600 above normal charges, the same fee charged in India and China, where demand has apparently been averaging 50-60 applications per month and over 100 per month respectively.

The Government says that all applicants must meet the strict requirements of UK immigration rules, and applying for a visa to enter the UK through the 24 hour service does not in any way guarantee a visa application will be successful.

The announcement follows other recent changes to the visa processing service, including:

  • Expanding the priority visa (3-5 day) services to over 100 countries.
  • Improving visa application centres and offering them in more locations across the world.
  • Extending opening hours at visa application centres and adding premium lounges.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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