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New UK visa program for companies

February 20, 2008 14:41 IST
In the wake of growing business ties between India and the UK, the British Deputy High Commission in Chennai announced the country's decision to introduce the new Business Express Program (BEP).

The Business Express Programme will offer a streamlined visa application process for those companies that send their employees to the UK on a frequent basis.

Any company that has sent more than 30 employees to the UK over a six-month period and all the well-known and established companies from the UK who are setting up in India can be BEP members.

There are advantages to being a BEP member, according the BEP entry clearance officer, British Deputy High Commission in Chennai.

"They will get priority handling for all BEP applications, a dedicated contact point at Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) offices, advance appointment arrangements for biometrics at our VFS offices, advance notification (where possible) of procedural changes, visa fee changes and a dedicated team to deal with enquiries and BEP related matters."

It will take five working days in Chennai for the application process.  A new Points-Based System (PBS) will soon become applicable to all the visa categories and work permit applications also will eventually come under this new system.

A final date has not yet been fixed but it is likely to roll out in the last quarter of 2008. 

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