Politics

New UK Visa Center Opens in Bengaluru

India has always been an important partner for us, British Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said while inaugurating the center.
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British Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis inaugurated a new Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Bengaluru on Nov. 7. This is the 18th VAC to be opened in India.

The new center opened at Brigade IRV Centre in Nallurhalli, Whitefield, making it easier for highly-skilled Indian workers to travel to the United Kingdom.

In 2017, Indians received two-third of all of United Kingdom’s visas — 60,000 in total. The new center will be beneficial for some of the biggest IT firms in India, including Infosys and Tata Corporate Services that are based in Bengaluru, a city visited by British Prime Minister Theresa May in December 2016.

“The opening of this visa application center is yet another example of how the government is making it easier for businesses across the world to work with the UK,” Lewis 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.”

He added: “The UK is open for business and this center 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 benefiting from the sharing of ideas, expertise and technology.”

India is the fourth largest investor in the United Kingdom.

While the United Kingdom has been trying to reduce its net immigration, which includes students, it also made a few reforms to make it easier for Indian applicants to apply for visas. While the same day, 3-5 Priority Visa and Super-Priority Visa was earlier available only to visitors, it has now been made available for first time visitors, students and those applying for some work visas.

A total of 17 other Visa Application Centers are already functional in India, including those in the metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, and one at Langford Town in central Bengaluru.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had said in October 2017 that the United Kingdom gives Indian students and workers the most number of visas.

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