The government has announced its intention to launch an invitation only service to provide top business executives with bespoke support from UK Visas and Immigration. This initiative is called the “GREAT Club” and will begin early 2014 as a 12 month pilot. The pilot will be aimed at around 100 global business leaders who use the visa service and have strong links to the UK. Invitees will be provided with an account manager to assist with the process and to ensure that the service runs swiftly and smoothly. The service will be at no extra cost during the pilot scheme.
The Home Office has also announced that new commercial contracts will enable UK visa application centres to provide business travellers with more premium services than before. These include:
- Expanding the priority (three to five day) visa service from 67 countries to over 90 countries by spring 2014.
- Expanding the same day visa service, currently available in India and soon to be available in China, to several further key location by the end of 2014.
- Introducing a VIP mobile visa service to India and piloting the passport pass back service in southern India with a view to expanding if successful.
Theresa May, The Home Secretary, said that the changes would allow the UK “to maintain a world-class, competitive visa system that can innovate in order to serve the ever-changing needs of business and ensure Britain succeeds in the Global race”. She added: “We will continue to listen and respond to the needs of high-value and high-priority businesses so that we can provide them with a service that supports economic growth, while at the same time maintains the security of our borders.”
Link to the Government news: