UK : long-term visas for Indians

UK : long-term visas for Indians
 

NEW DELHI: After introducing bio-metric visas last December, Britain has decided to re-introduce long-term visas of up to 10 years for Indians intending to visit that country.

“It is entirely in our interest to give you 10-year visas,” the UK High Commissioner Charles Richard Vernon Stagg told industrialists at a luncheon meeting organised by the PHD Chambers of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) in New Delhi on Thursday.

The UK High Commission introduced bio-metric visas, which carry the information and photograph of the person in the digital form, in December last year in view of security concerns.

“We are now re-introducing 5-10 years visa,” Stagg said. The High Commission had stopped issuing long-term visas briefly in view of security concerns.

The main problem at the moment, he said, is that the turnaround time has increased from 24 hours to four days, primarily because “we cannot transmit data across the internet according to the Indian rules”.

It takes four days to receive the data and get it processed from London, the High Commissioner said, adding that he had taken up the matter with Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon.

“I spoke about it to every government official that I meet,” the High Commissioner added.

extracts from TOI

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