MP Keith Vaz: Indian visa centre to open in Leicester

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Media captionKeith Vaz MP said the new centre would speed up visa processing

An Indian visa centre is being set up in Leicester after a 20-year campaign, Leicester East MP Keith Vaz said.

The Indian government currently runs visa centres in Birmingham and London, as well as Edinburgh and Cardiff.

"It's taken more than two decades of campaigning to get this facility. Now it could be opened within a matter of weeks," Mr Vaz said.

Leicester has more people of Indian origin than any other city outside India, he added.

Jaffer Kapasi, who runs an accountancy firm in Leicester, said the new centre was "very welcome news for the business community… it will save time and money".

Martin Traynor, of the Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, said the move would be more convenient for anyone in the East Midlands who has to "go backwards and forwards" to Birmingham for a visa.

"This is a big win for Leicester and also a big win for the East Midlands," Mr Vaz added.

"We have a lot of people who are not of Indian origin who want to travel to India and they will be able to get their visas processed and dealt with in Leicester.

"This is a dream come true. I cannot believe that after so many people campaigning over the last few decades that it has finally happened."

Virander Paul, Indian Deputy High Commissioner in the UK, will formally announce the opening of the centre on Thursday.

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