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UK Revamps Tourist Visa Regime to Attract Visitors

February 2015, 13
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UK overhauls tourist visa
With the introduction of the new fast-tracked system devised for business travelers and tourists, the UK visitor visa routes will be merged from 15 to 4, providing a greater flexibility for travelers. 

The new visitor visas will come with redesigned user-friendly manual to ease the process of visiting Britain. The latest amendments will affect all those including tourists, business visitors, entertainers and sportspeople willing to visit the UK from April. 

The home secretary of UK, Theresa May stated that the Britain is open for business and the economy is developing and they are witnessing great number of visitors flocking to the UK to experience vibrant and amazing culture. However, to stay ahead of the race they are working to attract the business and other visitors who will contribute for the growth of the economy, May said. And, she added the new amendments to the immigration system form a part of their work to prove that Britain is open to visitors. 

Sources stated that the entry and police criteria will remain the same and rules and guidance will be relaxed. Merging routes from 15 to 4 will assist people to lodge an application for the right visa and travelers can indulge in more number of activities. For instance, a single visa will be sufficient for a person to enter the country for business or leisure purpose. 

Reportedly, the four new visa routes will be Visitor (to hold civil partnership or marriage), Visitors transiting the UK, Visitor undertaking allowed paid engagements and Visitor (standard). And, the revised immigration visitor norms are written in simple English to assist non-experts understand them and the immigration norms have cut down by 50 percent and guidance by 80 percent. 

Additionally, the government is revamping the student visitor route into a new short-term study route that is for students wish to enroll in short term courses in the UK. Moreover, visitors will be permitted to take part in a 30-day incidental study, which is currently restricted to tourists and business visitors.

Notably, 2.1 million visitor visa applications were received in the year ending September 2014, with around two million visas granted, increased by one percent when compared to the previous year.        

Apparently, the new rules will come into effect beginning April. 

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