India introduces new visa process in UK

The Indian High Commission in the UK has introduced a new visa processing facility. Mainly this facility is being introduced in Central London. The main purpose of this move is to support group tours. These measures were initiated from November 1.

High Commissioner Vikram Duraiswami said in a video message on Friday that thanks to our partners in VFS, the number of appointments we have been able to make has increased to around 40,000 per month which comes in the category of excellent growth. To increase access, we have set up a visa processing facility in central London, he said.

Along with this, a new process is being introduced for the tourists traveling in groups who are using the same flight taken by the same destination. Among the benefits related to the visa, this time tourists will also be provided with the option of getting the visa at their doorstep, in which no fee will be included.

These steps have been taken following complaints of delay in visas, resulting in cancellation of travel. British citizens are finding it difficult to secure visa appointments with some centers with slots booked until mid-November 2022, according to local media reports. However, complaints have also been received regarding the change in the rule of presence of visa applicants at the Visa Application Center and the services of other agents. In which the Higher Commission has denied any change in the rule.

The UK is an important source of the Indian tourism market but its citizens are not eligible for e-Visa. Around 160,000 British citizens visited India in 2021, which is 10.75% of the overall tourist arrivals. Britain was India’s third largest source market after the US and Bangladesh.

In October 2022, the Indian Associate of Tour Operators wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to improve the e-Visa facility for British and Canadian citizens. The IATO said that the absence of e-tourist visas from the UK, Canada and other source markets is causing significant business losses for both the parties. Due to this problem, tourists are choosing other countries, whose effect is being seen on the business.

Due to this problem regarding visa, there can be a lot of differences between countries in the future, which will be possible to solve only by taking quick decisions. At the same time, this strategy of promoting group tours seems to be proving to be very beneficial. Now it remains to be seen how much time will be involved for the improvement of statistics and the effect of new process introductions to be visible.

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