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UNITED KINGDOM: Home Office Targets Business Travelers with New Premium Visa Services

On November 6, 2013, the British government announced the launch of the GREAT Club, an invitation-only service providing top business executives with bespoke support from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). The Club will begin a 12-month pilot program in 2014 that will target approximately 100 global business leaders who have established connections to the UK. Participants will be provided with an account manager to ensure that their visa and immigration service is "swift and smooth." The account manager will also be able to arrange visas "tailored to each individual's needs at no extra cost." The British government announced that over the next 12 months, additional improvements will include:

  • Expanding the priority (three- to five-day) visa service from 67 countries to over 90 countries by spring 2014
  • Expanding the same-day visa service, currently available in India and soon to be available in China, to several further key locations by the end of 2014
  • Introducing a VIP mobile visa service to India and piloting Passport Pass-Back service in southern India with a view to expanding it countrywide if successful.

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