Speaking at a reception for senior Vietnamese and British business representatives in Hanoi Lord Puttnam, British Trade Envoy to Vietnam said:
The UK is open for business and the British Government is working to ensure we have the right services to encourage growth and support those who we want to attract to the UK. This includes our visa service and today I am very pleased to announce the introduction of a priority visa service for business travellers from Vietnam.
The priority visa service, which starts on October 1, is a fast track processing service which aims to return visa decisions within 3 to 5 working days compared to the standard 15 working day service.
The new priority visa service and other recent enhancements to the UK visa operation in Vietnam, including the opening of a new visa application centre in Ho Chi Minh City this year, provide a more convenient and efficient service for customers and cater for the growing interest from Vietnamese in the UK as a destination for business, investment, work and study.
13,700 UK visa applications were received from Vietnamese customers in the 12 months to June 2013 and in the 2 years to June 2013, demand for UK visas increased 15%.
In addition to the new services, a number of UK visa policy changes will come into effect from October 1 to give greater flexibility to business and tourist visitors and to UK businesses that employ international migrants and include:
allowing tourists and business visitors to undertake some study where it is not the main purpose of their visit
expanding the activities a business visitor can undertake in the UK
removing the English language requirement for intra-company transferees
making it easier for graduate entrepreneurs to switch into the skilled worker category
waiving share ownership restrictions for senior staff earning £152,100 or more
allowing some students to stay in the UK after their studies to undertake a corporate internship
Lord Puttnam said:
These changes will ensure that the UK continues to attract the very best global talent to work for British businesses.
Further information on the new priority visa service and policy changes is on our website: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/vietnam