British High Commissioner for India, Sir James Bevan, formally opened the UK and Ireland’s new visa application centre (VAC) in New Delhi’s Connaught Place area.
The new VAC brings a number of benefits to customers in the national capital. As well as a more central location, the new VAC is situated in the same premises as the Schengen VAC, allowing customers planning a European holiday or business trip the convenience of applying for both visas at the same time.
Customers can simply apply for their UK visa, purchase the passport passback service in order to keep their passport while their UK application is processed, and then go across the hall to the Schengen VAC to apply for their Schengen visa.
“Following Prime Minister Modi’s successful visit to the UK last week, we hope that more Indian visitors will be inspired to choose the UK for their next holiday. Not only do Indian visitors benefit our economy (last year they spent 444 million pounds in the UK) they take back to India good memories of the UK, which benefits the wider relationship between our two countries,” Sir James Bevan said.
He said that UK Embassy is committed to improving the visa service to Indian customers and make it as straightforward as possible.
“The opening of this new Visa Application Centre is another example of the improvements we are making,” he added.
Other recent improvements to the visa service in India include the introduction of new services at selected VACs across India, provided by UKVI’s commercial partner, VFS Global. Many of these services were initially suggested by travel agents and customers.
The top 5 services include:
*Online Payment Assistance – allows customers to pay for their visa by cash at the VAC, using VFS Global’s credit card to make the payment.
*Certification – enables customers to keep hold of their original documents. Customers need to bring original documentation to the VAC to show VFS staff, who then photocopy the documents which then get sent to the decision hub along with the application.
*Walk- in appointments for customers short on time, or who can no longer make their booked appointment.
*Digital Assist – providing help to customers who do not have internet access, by filling in their application forms for them at the Visa Application Centre.
*Group appointments – allowing groups to book appointments at the same time in the same VAC, regardless of the size of the group.
The new UK & Ireland Visa Application Centre replaces the one in Nehru Place, which closed on November 6 and no longer accepts visa applications.