The British government has opened a new Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Bengaluru, with the aim of making it simpler for skilled Indian workers to reach the UK.
By locating the new facility in the middle of the city’s business district, the government is specifically targeting trained and experienced workers based in India’s IT capital. It also hopes the VAC will benefit some of the country’s biggest computing firms, including Infosys and Tata Corporate Services, by ensuring their best talent has easy access to the UK.
Recent rule changes have also helped to simplify and speed up the visa application process. Qualifying criteria for same day, 3-5 day priority visa and super priority services, has been expanded, allowing first time visitors, students and those applying for most work visas to access these services.
The new centre was opened earlier today by Britain’s immigration minister Brandon Lewis. He took the opportunity to once again underline the UK government’s desire to strengthen relations between the two countries.
“The opening of this visa application centre is yet another example of how the government is making it easier for businesses across the world to work with the UK,” he said. “India has always been an important partner for us and we are committed to building on this relationship and positioning ourselves as a truly global Britain.”
Mr Lewis added: “The UK is open for business and this centre will make it easier than ever before for the brightest and best Indian workers in the important IT industry to come to the UK. We want to ensure that both countries are benefitting from the sharing of ideas, expertise and technology.”
A total of 17 other VACs are already up and running throughout India, many based in key cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. British government data shows India is the fourth largest investor in the UK. Last year, UK businesses benefited from almost 60,000 work visas granted to Indian nationals, nearly two-thirds of all UK work visas issued globally.
Main image: The UK Border at Heathrow Airport by dannyman / CC BY 2.0