It’s ‘U.K. chalo!’ for World Cup as 3,500 visa requests made daily

ICC World Cup 2019 kicks off on May 30.

ICC World Cup 2019 kicks off on May 30.   | Photo Credit: PAUL CHILDS

Over 1,32,000 applications submitted in March and April

World Cup fever has gripped cricket-crazy India and not everyone is settling for a date with the much-anticipated tournament on their television screen.

The United Kingdom (U.K.) is reportedly receiving as many as 3,500 visa applications a day from Indians, which is higher than the usual numbers, and much of it is being attributed to the ICC World Cup 2019 that kicks off on May 30. The U.K. is the host country for the mega event that takes place once in four years.

The British High Commission is expecting 80,000 Indians to travel to the U.K. this summer over and above the usual traffic to the country based on previous India-U.K. travel trends, and the number of Indians travelling for previous tournaments. The High Commission said it is “extremely likely” that India will have the highest number of people travelling for the World Cup given the “size of the market, passion for the sport in India, and the flight connections between India and the U.K”.

A British High Commission (BHC) spokesperson said there is a seasonal increase in travel during summer, but it is “even higher due to the cricket this year”. The peak season travel from April to July is said to be 100% to 150% higher than during the off-peak season, which is November to January.

Our visa services partner (VFS Global) processed over 200,000 visa applications in India during January to April 2019. In March and April of 2019 alone, over 1,32,000 visa applications were submitted at VFS Global, which accounted for around 65% of the overall U.K. visa application count from January to April 2019,” the spokesperson said.

Campaigns targeted at attracting more Indians to travel to the U.K. for the World Cup matches have been running since February. The second leg will target the people who book late and encourage them to use the ‘priority visa’ option through which applicants will learn about the application status in five days instead of 15.

Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer, VFS Global, said other options had been introduced specifically for the U.K., such as a ‘self-upload option’ for digitally uploading documents and a ‘Keep my passport when applying’ option, which allows applicants to retain their passport while U.K. Visas and Immigration considers their application.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 1:18:10 AM |

Next Story