UK tourist visa to be made easier following Olympics

27 August 2012

The success of the Olympics could see the government implement changes to policies for those seeking to visit the UK on a tourist visa.

With the success of the Olympics in the UK, the government are looking into proposals to simply the UK visa process for tourists meaning it made be easier and quicker to obtain a UK tourist visa. The changes could broadly echo the Schengen Agreement, which already makes it possible to visit many European countries using a single visa. The changes are hoped to attract attention from visitors who spend a large amount on their visits to the UK โ€“ especially from those coming from China and Russia. Currently Germany enjoys nine times as many tourists from China whilst France enjoys six times as many as the UK equivalent.

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This is the first significant step, which may see Britain changes its approach towards people โ€“ particularly tourists.

Visa processing at speed

Amongst the changes that would take place may include sharing of visa application processing with other EU countries throughout Europe, this would mean processing times may be cut down drastically. Other changes may also see multi-lingual forms which could mean that applicants are able to submit their applications more easily and receive a response.

6 month stay

The UK tourist visa generally allows stays of up to six months in the UK. It is suitable for those coming to the UK as tourists, visiting friends and for business trips. Other special visitor visas are also available for medical treatment as well as performing artists and academic visitors.

Reports publish by VISA (the credit card company), show that people spent ยฃ450m during the first week of the Olympics โ€“ up by some 8% on the previous year. However this does not reflect the whole picture as it does not take into account cash transactions nor money tendered on other cards such as American Express and MasterCard. From a purely financial view however, making the UK tourist visa easier and quicker to obtain does have many benefits.