9

I saw a BBC article this morning (7 Nov 2016 10:00) where the Prime Minister was cited...

A small group of high net worth individuals and their families will be offered access to the GREAT Club - a bespoke visa and immigration service - to make visa applications smoother.

Source: Theresa May rejects calls to raise Indian visa quota

This sounds great, but the link points to a three year old article published by the previous government which discusses stuff everybody already knows about. It describes the "GREAT Club" as an invitation-only arrangement undergoing a one year pilot in New York starting in 2013. Surely that has finished by now.

How does an Indian national get an invitation to join the "GREAT Club"?

Does the club offer the Standard Visitor visa, or some other type of visitor visa that nobody knows about?

  • 3
    @pnuts I don't know the answer. I had forgotten all about this until today's BBC shot. – Gayot Fow Nov 7 '16 at 10:45
  • Dude - I'm pretty sure that (fairly ridiculous) idea is from a couple yrs ago and nothing came of it? (Your first linked article is years old right?) It only concerned a handful of the world's richest people, I believe. – Fattie Nov 7 '16 at 11:44
  • The BBC shot is dated 10:00 this morning. – Gayot Fow Nov 7 '16 at 11:47
  • 2
    If you have to ask, you won't get it. ;) – Calchas Nov 7 '16 at 15:04
10

Surely that has finished by now.

You can find a little more from what seems to be an FOI request of 28 June 2016

The GREAT Club pilot remains in operation whilst longer term options are considered. It currently has 83 members.


a three year old article published by the previous government which discusses stuff everybody already knows about.

Indeed! Some of the information in the FOI response is simply repeated from the initial pilot announcement.

The GREAT Club pilot - an invitation-only service to provide top business executives with bespoke support from UK Visas and Immigration

The GREAT Club offers a personalised service for a small number of the very highest-value customers who use the visa service and have strong links to the UK.

Members are provided with an account manager to ensure their journey through the visa and immigration service is swift and smooth. The account manager is also able to arrange visa services tailored to each individual’s needs at no extra cost during the pilot.

The operating costs of the GREAT Club are as set out below:

2014: £5,029.31 
2015: £9,511.66 
2016: £1,439.66 (as at 31 March 2016) 

How does an Indian national get an invitation to join the "Great Club"?

It isn't explained who issues the invitations or what process is used to identify individuals to receive invitations. The specific FOI request didn't seem to have asked about that.

Since the club has a cap of 100 people worldwide and there are 83 members, It would seem there are only 17 vacancies worldwide.

I would suspect that if you, as an individual, are not a billionaire with vast investments in the UK and do not already have good contacts in the UK government or Foreign Office, you probably are unlikely to receive an invitation or be able to solicit one. I imagine you need to be as well connected as I expect Ratan Tata to be - but this is only an uneducated opinion from someone with no experience of such things.


Does the club offer the Standard Visitor Visa? Or some other type of visitor visa that nobody knows about?

From what I have read, there is no new type of visa, just a bit of inexpensive hand-holding to guide a few top business leaders through the expedited process.

  • 2
    With 83 members currently, it is pretty much not just a "1 in a million" longshot, but almost literally a "1 in 100 million". To put another way, you probably need to be amongst the top .0000001% of the world. – Jörg W Mittag Nov 7 '16 at 14:50
  • 2
    @JörgWMittag Consider that the top .000001% can't really be bothered with figuring out how this club works, and already pay someone to sort out their visa requirements anyway. – Peter Nov 7 '16 at 16:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.