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British High Commissioner says UK on track to process visa applications within standard of 15 days
New Delhi: British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis on Tuesday said that they are on track to get back to processing India to UK visa applications within our standard of 15 days.
"We are on track to get back to processing India to Great Britain #visa applications within our standard of 15 days," tweeted Ellis. He said that Indian student numbers are up by 89 per cent since last year and skilled workers' visas bring processed faster with a focus on improving visitor visa processing times.
"The good news is we are now getting back on track. We have dealt with an unprecedented surge in demand for student visas, 89 per cent up last year. We are turning right off skilled worker visas very fast. And now we are focussing on visitor visas to get them back within 15 days," said the British High Commissioner.
Notably, the combination of an unprecedented surge in demand for travel from India to the UK, combined with the effects of COVID-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, meant that UK visa processing got well outside of a 15-day working standard.
"We are doing that through a collective effort of our teams in Delhi, in the UK and all over the world. I am glad to say, I think we are now on track," said Ellis.
He also said that the UK had good availability in visa application centres and urged applicants to apply for visas earlier.
"Don't forget, we have got good availability in our visa application centres as well. You can help by applying early. You can apply three months in advance. You can use the different services, including the priority visa service and the super priority visa service if you have a particular urgency," said Ellis.
He also advised the applicants to provide the information as requested.
"Make sure you provide the information requested, not just the information which you want to give. And together, I think we can get right down to the 15-day work service standard by the end of this year. That's my aim. So, good news, we are on track and I think we can get well on track over the next few weeks," added the British High Commissioner.
It is pertinent to note that India has now overtaken China as the largest nationality being issued sponsored study visas in the UK.
The latest UK Immigration Statistics published today (25 August) show that nearly 118,000 Indian students received a Student visa in the year ending June 2022 - an 89 per cent increase from the previous year. India has now overtaken China as the largest nationality being issued sponsored study visas in the UK.
The UK continues to be a popular destination for Indian holidaymakers too. Indian nationals accounted for the highest proportion (28per cent) of Visitor visas granted. More than 258,000 Indian nationals received visit visas in the year ending June 2022 - a 630 per cent increase compared to the previous year (when travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic were still in place).
In the year ending June 2022, Indian nationals also received nearly 103,000 Work visas (which includes skilled and seasonal workers) - a 148 per cent increase over the previous year. Indian nationals continue to be the top nationality granted Skilled Worker visas, accounting for 46 per cent of all skilled work visas granted globally. (ANI)