UK: MPs demand fast-track visa services for Indians
February 12 , 2017
As a reminiscent to the historic contribution by India along with other Commonwealth countries, 45 ruling Conservative MPs in United Kingdom have asked for fast-track visa services to their citizens. This move comes in as Britain seeks newer trade relationships outside Europe after Brexit.
In a letter, the MPs have urged Home secretary Amber Rudd to extend a hand of friendship to the Commonwealth partners. The letter read that the Commonwealth nations stood beside Britain as they faced threats from abroad.
The letter that was published in The Sunday Telegraph, does not ask for easier visa terms, however asked easier conditions for Indian and Commonwealth citizens after they land at Heathrow airport and other ports of entry.
The letter mentioned a situation faced by many Indians, who had to wait in long queues at immigration.
The MPs, including Indian-origin Shailesh Vara, noted that Australia, Canada and India are consistently found among the top five non-EEA nationalities travelling to UK for both business and pleasure.
The MPs have also called for extension of the Registered Traveller Scheme (RTS). This facility allows some foreign nationals (meeting specific requirements) to register and use the UK/EU lanes and e-passport gates, thus reducing the time spent waiting queue.
Prime Minister Theresa May announced during her November visit to New Delhi that India would be the first commonwealth nation to be offered the RTS for business travellers.