December 11, 2023

Business Visa

The Business Visa Is Mightier Than Sword

How UK’s 15-day visa process is reshaping the future for Indian investors and businesses

The United Kingdom has always been a favourite immigration destination for Indians be it for work or study as the records show. If you look at the immigration statistics for the year ended June 2022, over 118000 Indians received a Student visa which is 89% over the last year. In the same year, over 103000 work visas were also issued in total to Indians which was a staggering 148% over the previous year. Over 46% of the total skilled work visas issued by the UK in the year ended June 2022 were bagged by Indians.

India has always shared good business ties with the United Kingdom. In fact, India is the second largest FDI contributor in the UK. it is interesting to note that over 900 Indian companies have operations in the United Kingdom. They have generated over USD 68.04 billion in revenue and created employment for 141005 people in 2022.

The transition to the 15-day visa process makes it convenient for Indian nationals to apply for and receive their visa swiftly. The speedy processing of the visa will help Indian investors make their decisions faster. This should help them migrate to the United Kingdom and set up business there.

The United Kingdom has been a preferred destination for Indian students, entrepreneurs and professionals for a very long time. The UK Government is keen on simplifying the visa process to make it easier for eligible individuals to move to the UK easily. High net-worth individuals from India are keen to move to the United Kingdom to set up their businesses or expand existing operations as the UK provides them with a wider reach.

The trend of rich Indians moving to the UK and buying homes has been growing for a few years now. Indians find it appealing to migrate to the United Kingdom because of the familiarity with the language, good infrastructure, pollution-free atmosphere, proximity to capital markets, ease of doing business, ideal time zone to deal with multiple countries and so on. This has encouraged many wealthy Indians to focus on moving to the United Kingdom and setting up a business there. Good education and medical facilities encourage high net-worth Indians to migrate as a family to the UK.

There is another visa category that is becoming popular with Indian investors – as the sole representative of an overseas business. This visa allows global businesses to set up a branch office or a subsidiary company in the UK and appoint one immigrant who is not the major shareholder in overseas operations to run the business. The sole representative is allowed to take his family comprising his spouse and minor children. The initial visa is for 5 years at the end of which the visa holder can apply for indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence. This is an avenue that is being used in various diverse fields by Indians to move to the UK. It covers various industries like technology, fast food, construction etc.

Investing in property in the United Kingdom has also found flavour with high net-worth Indians with most of them seeking to buy a second home in the UK. This gives them the scope of capital appreciation and a chance to move permanently in the future.

The speeding up of the visa process for the United Kingdom is bound to find a favourable response from Indian investors as the attraction for greener pastures remains. This will give them a great opportunity to explore investments in property or set up a business in the United Kingdom to take advantage of a favourable business climate and the easing of procedures. This is giving Indian businessmen a chance to expand their operations globally by setting up a branch in the UK which will give them access to the European market. It is expected that the movement which had slowed down during the pandemic due to the slowdown in visa processing will pick up speed once again with the expedited visa process. In times to come, we are bound to see more applications coming in from investors and entrepreneurs as they seek a better quality of life along with career and wealth-creating opportunities in the United Kingdom.



Views expressed above are the author’s own.