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UK to grant 24-hour visa option to Filipinos

Camille Diola - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos will soon be able to secure visas to the United Kingdom within 24 hours after submitting their application.

Downing Street unveiled the plan Thursday to roll out the 24 hour visa service in the Philippines, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Turkey and South Africa as well as visa processing centers in New York and Paris by April 2015.

The scheme, earlier offered in China and India, removes "bureaucratic hurdles" for "business travelers, investors and rich tourists."

"The additional cities have been picked due to high demand from businesses and high value travellers," the statement noted.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who is currently in Australia for the annual G20 summit, said the cities were picked due to high demand from business and high value travelers.

"This new 24 hour service is another way we can help – it will persuade more business travelers, investors and tourists to visit Britain, to trade with Britain and to expand in Britain," he said.

The scheme is part of the British government's efforts to secure long-term economic recovery.

"This is good news for British business and tourism, helping us to build a more resilient economy and secure a brighter future for Britain," he added.

The service, however, comes with a hefty fee at £600 (about P42,500) above normal charges.

The same is charged in India and China where demand has been averaging 50 to 60 and more than 100 per month, respectively, Downing Street said.

Applicants will also have to meet "strict" requirements of immigration rules and visa application to enter the UK.

"The 24 hour service does not in any way guarantee a visa application will be successful," it said.

vuukle comment

BRITAIN

CHINA AND INDIA

DOWNING STREET

INDIA AND CHINA

NEW YORK AND PARIS

PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON

TURKEY AND SOUTH AFRICA

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

UNITED KINGDOM

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