The United Kingdom has announced a first-ever easier visa regime for Indian businessmen that will aid swifter passage to them through British airports and access to EU.This annoucement comes in light with UK forseeing India as a key trade partner post its exiting from the European Union.
India had in past also sought easier visa regime for its nationals and Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked his counterpart Theresa May to provide "greater mobility" for its students and researchers.
Speaking at the India-UK Tech Summit, May said: "So we will offer, for the first time to any country that needs visas to enter Britain, what we called 'Registered Traveller Scheme'.
"That means the Indian nationals who frequently come tothe UK and to fuel growth in both our countries, the entryprocess will become significantly easier," she said at theevent organised by CII that was also attended by Modi.
She said the businesses will have to fill fewer forms,and they would get access to the EU-EEA (European EconomicArea) passport control and swifter passage through British airports.
"In short, more opportunities for Britain and India and aclear message that Britain is very much open for business,"she added. May said it is not just the legal framework that areessential for effective trade and investment, it is about people too.
"It is crucial that those who do need to travel between our countries for business can do so, that is the reason whywhen I was Home Secretary, I made visa process for Indians much easier," May said.
She further said India now has one of the best UK visa services in the world with more application points than anyother country and is the only place where it is possible toget a same day visa.
"...that happened because we listened to our businesses.And we are still listening. Listening to the fact that thereare many people from India who are to bring their skill,ideas, businesses to Britain for the good of your economy andours," May added.
Talking about removing trade and investment barriers, theUK Prime Minister said Britain is working side by side with India to make it easier to do business here.
"We can break down barriers and make it easier to do business...That is why the UK is working side by side with Prime Minister Modi to make it easier to do business in India,for example by strengthening intellectual property rights, andpaving the way for world's leading services sector to operatein Indian market benefiting India and UK alike, But I am determined that we will go further," she said.