11 April 2013

Airlines chief reiterates UK visa criticism

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British Airways head Willie Walsh has once again criticised the Government for failing to update the 'bureaucratic' UK visa scheme which is preventing tourists from visiting Britain.

UK visa

BA chief Willie Walsh says Britain stands to suffer if UK visa issues aren't addressed.

In September last year, Mr Walsh said UK visa policy was preventing Britain from capitalising on the success of the London Olympic Games and has reiterated his criticism this week.

"I still get a lot of criticisms and complaints from business people when I travel around the world, particularly in growth economies like China, India and Brazil," said the BA chief.

"You talk about investing or doing business in the Up and they all point to the difficulties, the bureaucracy and the cost associated with getting visas to travel to the UK."

Mr Walsh once again said the UK was suffering from travellers opting for the simpler Schengen Visa instead of a UK visa and said British citizens travelling to other countries would soon begin to suffer.

"[Complainants] highlight the advantage of the Schengen Agreement where they can get access to 26 European countries at the cost of less than the price of a UK visa and less hassle.

"Countries which have traditionally made it easy for British people to get access to are now getting fed up and saying if you are going to make it difficult for our citizens to get into your country we are going to start doing the same."

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.

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