Home Office may be reviewing visa obstaclesDecember 11, 2012
According to tonight’s London Evening Standard the Home Secretary is poised to announce plans for a less demanding regime for tourists and students, providing it does not compromise national security.
This is the news that the tourism sector has been waiting to hear. Tourists bring revenue to many parts of the economy, including our hotels, leisure sector and retailers – and the Chinese are particularly high spenders – so these moves to make it easier for them to visit the UK would be very welcome.
Similarly, in education, government recognition of the value that international students bring to the UK, London in particular, would be welcomed. But real action to make sure that those students choose to study here, rather than in Australia or North America, for example, is needed to tackle the negative perception that is prevalent in many emerging economies.
The business sector is keen to work in partnership with the border authorities; whether it’s to ease the visa process, make migration rules more business-friendly or help ensure we don’t have long queues at points of entry – vital components that can help send the message that the UK is open for business.