UK government will launch VIP visa services for top business executives, Home Office has announced.
The GREAT Club, an invitation only service will provide top business executives with bespoke support from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
The Club will start in the New Year as a 12 month pilot aimed at around 100 global business leaders who use the visa service and have strong links to the UK.
Members of the Club will be provided with an account manager to ensure their journey through the visa and immigration service is swift and smooth.
The account manager will also be able to arrange visa services tailored to each individual’s needs at no extra cost during the pilot.
The government has also announced further improvements to the visa system to be implemented over the next 12 months “to attract the brightest and best to work, do business and invest in the UK.”
The priority (three to five day) visa service will be extended from 67 countries to over 90 countries by spring 2014.
The same-day visa service, which is currently available in India and soon to be available in China, will be expanded to several further key locations by the end of 2014.
The government will also introduce a VIP mobile visa service to India and pilot the passport pass back service in southern India with a view to expanding countrywide if successful.
“I created UK Visas and Immigration in March to provide a focus on delivering excellent customer service,” Home Secretary Theresa May said. “These changes will allow us 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.”
Ms. May 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.”
Last summer the UKVI introduced the Business Helpdesk giving business travellers access to high-quality information direct from UKVI staff.
Home Office said they were setting up a Business and Growth Network identifying priority businesses that use their visa system and giving them access to a quick, responsive service.