UK visa and immigration team to answer all queries from India
Posted on July 22, 2015
Britain has decided to answer queries directly from potential students and visitors from India over new visa rules that are expected to come into effect from next year.
UK has already recorded a 25% dip in Indian students visiting its universities over new visa rules.
On Monday, it announced that it will ban overseas students from outside the European Union to work while they study in the country from next month.
Home secretary Theresa May said she wants to stop immigrants using colleges as a “back door to a British visa”.
Aware of rising doubt around Britain’s visa regimen, the UK Visas and Immigration team has decided to come out and answer all queries from Indians to allay their fears.
The team will answer all questions related to UK student Visas and UK visas in general from Indians on July 17 over Facebook and Twitter.
UK has always maintained that India is one of its priority countries as far as issuing visas are concerned.
India was the first country where the new single day visa was rolled out.
Over the past five years, on an average, 70,000 business visas have been issued per year to Indians.
Officials say the issue rate has been high with “almost all Indians who apply for a UK business visa get one.”
In 2012 for instance, 67,400 business visas were issued of the 69,600 applications received – an approval rate of 97%.
India remains the UK’s biggest visa operation in the world, processing around 400,000 applications each year.
The Home Office says the vast majority of applications – over 97% of UK business visit visas and 86% per cent of visit visas – are approved and UKBA processes 95% of applications within 15 working days.
British High Commissioner to India Sir James Bevan recently said over 300,000 Indians come to the UK each year.
Tourism is a major contributor to the UK economy (9% of UK GDP and employment) which in 2012 attracted just over 31 million visitors, our best year since 2008.
Sir James Bevan said “By 2020 we aim to attract 40 million visitors a year. Indian tourists are central to that ambition. As India’s prosperity grows and its middle class expands, more and more Indians are looking to travel abroad. When they get on that aircraft, we are very clear where we want them to come: to the UK. But we never forget that everyone has a choice. There are 193 countries in the world: all of them have something to recommend them.”
A new immigration policy announced recently intends to send back 7,000 overseas nurses by 2020. Under new rules, up to 3,365 nurses currently working in the UK may have to leave the country from 2017 as a direct result of the 2012 immigration changes.
If levels of recruitment stay the same, by 2020, 6,620 nurses will be impacted, majority of which will be from India according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).
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