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British government new visa system

Islamabad, June 27, 2008: The British government on Thursday announced its plans to modernise the short-term visa system. A statement issued by the British High Commission said that only British citizens and those with indefinite leave to remain would be able to sponsor family visit visas, but that they would have to become licensed sponsors before doing so. The statement added that sponsors would have to ensure that their visitors abide by visa terms and return to their home countries before the expiry of visa. It also warned that sponsors defying new arrangements would be barred from bringing anyone into the UK and could face fines of up to 5,000 or imprisonment in severe cases.

The statement said the new rules do not change the definition of a family member, which includes spouses, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, aunts, uncles and first cousins. It said that those who were not UK citizens or did not have an indefinite leave to remain but had a family member in the UK would be able to visit the country by applying for a normal six-month visit visa. The high commission also announced a new type of business visa which would offer a maximum stay of six months. It also announced British government's plans for new arrangements for sportsmen and women and entertainers. The statement said the new arrangements would ensure speedy processing of 'genuine applications'. Daily Times

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