16 July 2013

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to improve the issuing of business visas.

Mr Harper:We have a target of processing 90% of business visas within 15 working days and we have exceeded that in the last three years; and many were decided in considerably less time. We continue to review our processes to identify ways to simplify the process for visa customers. We are piloting a Super Priority—same day—service in India, and continue to extend the availability of the Priority service (3-5 day turnaround). During periods of high demand, we have extended opening hours at our key Visa Application Centres, allowing us to offer primetime (evening and weekend) appointments. We continue to build relationships with key UK and foreign businesses and groups to better understand their needs, and deliver against them.