Procedures and Regulations for UK Visa Applicants from India
Nations that are a part of the Commonwealth have United Kingdom embassies in their country referred to with special names such as the British High Commission and the Deputy High Commission. Because India belongs to the Commonwealth of Nations, the British Embassy that is located in India is called the British High Commission while the Consulate General is called the British Deputy High Commission.
The United Kingdom’s Same Day Service Policy in India for Visitor Visa’s
The Home Office has recently implemented a new policy in India for visitor visas. As per the policy, applicants who wish to seek a 6 month or 2 year (multiple entries) visa for visit purposes can have their applications made on the same day that they come to apply for the visa. The applicant can avail this policy by visiting either of the service centers in Delhi or Mumbai. Offices are open from 8 A.M. to 9:30 A.M from Monday to Friday. The United Kingdom government plans to further implement the same day service policy in other service centers such as Chennai.
What is VFS and what is its purpose for when I’m applying for a visa to the United Kingdom?
VFS is the official commercial partner of the British High Commission in India, which acts as an independent entity, and has been given the task by the United Kingdom government to receive all visa applications that are submitted. It is a Visa Application Center (VAC) and is not responsible for processing or making decisions regarding your visa application and only acts to act as a representative. The applicant cannot submit his/her visa application to the British High Commission or the Deputy High Commission directly as it will not be accepted by either of the government divisions.
Does the applicant have to appear at the Visa Application Center in person?
Yes, visa applications being processed in India by VFS require applicants to appear in person. The applicant must also keep in mind that VFS will require fingerprints of each individual applying to be scanned and a photograph taken. VFS is obligated by the British High Commission to not process any applicant’s visa application who refuses to provide this biometric information or any individual who cannot provide the required biometric information.
However, a few categories of people are exempted from this requirement of biometric information which includes any child who is under the age of five, any diplomats in India and official members of the United Nation.
What is the visa application process when you go to a VFS?
Applicants in India must book an appointment with VFS when coming to apply for a visa to the United Kingdom. Applicants must also keep in mind that a separate appointment must be made for each individual applying for a visa. VFS requires that the applicant bring along the following documents when coming to apply for a visa to the United Kingdom:
Visa policies set by the United Kingdom such as UK investment immigration policy, tier 4 student visa policy, tier 5 visitor visa policy etc. can be read upon through the ‘Immigration Rules of the UK’, a collection of laws regarding immigration acts passed over the years.
Visa Application Fee
The visa application fee varies from category to category depending on the purpose the applicant is going to the United Kingdom for e.g. UK tier 1 investor visa, UK tier 1 entrepreneur, UK startup visa etc. Applicant’s applying from India can pay the fee at the time of the visa application submission at a Standard Bank counter which have been placed at all of the Visa Application Centers (VAC). Applicants can also pay the fee in advance at any convenient branch of the Standard Bank.
The visa application fee can also be paid through a demand draft in the name of the British High Commission. The demand draft can be issued by any foreign bank or a bank that has been nationalized. The demand draft can be paid in New Delhi if the visa application is being submitted in either North or East India. For applicant’s submitting their visa application in Western India, the demand draft can be submitted in Mumbai. For visa application’s being submitted in Southern India, the draft can be paid in Chennai. Applicants should keep in mind that the demand draft should be brought along at the time of the visa application submission.
The current fee is dependent on the exchange rate of the time the application was submitted. Any dependants applying on the visa are also required to pay the same fee, as directed by the Home Office.
The visa application fee can be viewed on the Home Office’s site at: www.uba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/india/fees
All visa application forms for Indian applicants can be found at:
Will I be interviewed if I want to go to the United Kingdom from India on any visa category?
Yes, once the application is submitted to VFS, it is further sent to the British High Commission so a decision can be made on it. During this process, the British High Commission will schedule an interview for every applicant applying. If the applicant being interviewed is a child under the age of ten, he/she will not be interviewed alone. If the child is between the ages of ten and fourteen, the British High Commission will consider conducting the interview under the supervision of his/her parents or guardian. The British High Commission looks to process applications as quickly as possible so a decision can be reached on it.
What happens after a decision has been made regarding my visa application?
If the Home Office grants the applicant permission to enter the United Kingdom, the applicant’s passport will be supported by a visa and it will be returned to the VFS to be collected. The returned passport will also include all of the documents that were submitted for the visa application
In the case the visa application is denied, and thus the applicant is not given permission to enter the United Kingdom, a letter with the reason outlined will be given to the applicant. A reason of refusal is mandatory to be given and is obligatory on the Home Office along with informing the applicant regarding his/her right to appeal the decision.
Note that the decision on all visa applications is taken by the Entry Clearance Officers of the Home Office and not VFS, which acts as a third party to collect the visa application forms.
In which cities are the offices of the Visa Application Centers (VAC) being handled by VFS in India located?
The TB test requirement for Indian applicants
Any Indian applicant looking to apply for a settlement visa, any work visa that falls under the Tier 1, 2 and 5 visa categories, a student visa that includes the Tier 4 visa category with a requested time period of more than 6 months is required to be tested for TB. The United Kingdom requires applicants applying from India to test for TB at a clinic approved by the Home Office to show that the applicant is not suffering from TB.
Applicants who fall under any of the above mentioned visa categories and are applying from India can look for further information regarding TB testing on the following site:
UK tier 1 investor visa
UK tier 1 entrepreneur
UK startup visa
UK investment immigration policy