UK Immigration Updates

March 8, 2016

Among the top 10 nationalities granted entry visas, Indians were the second-highest.

The decision by the British government to increase visa application fees across-the-board from March 18 will have a major impact on migrants from India — the country from where a large segment of entrants seeking to live and work in the U.K.

The increase in fees “linked most closely to economic growth” such as those offered to workers and students will increase by 2 per cent, as will tourist visas.

Settlement, residence and nationality fees will be increased by 25 per cent; while optional premium services offered by the Home Office such as the super premium service and priority visa services overseas will be increased by 33 per cent.

The Home Office notification says the aim of the increase is to achieve a “self-funding system, whilst continuing to provide a competitive level of service, and a fees structure that remains attractive to businesses, migrants and visitors”.

From India, tourist visas to the U.K. will go up from £85 to £87 (six months); £324 to £330 (two years); £588 to £600 (five years); and £737 to £752 (10 years). There are increases for student visas, work and settlement visas and for academics who travel to the U.K. on work. The full list of the fee structure can be found on the U.K. Home Office website.

According to a report from the Office for National Statistics, of the top 10 nationalities who were granted entry clearance visas (that excludes visitor and transit visas) to the U.K. in 2015, Indians were the second highest at 85,403 following China which had the largest number at 93,076.

February 3, 2016

Walk – in without an appointment:

Customers who need to travel urgently or who can’t book an appointment for their preferred date or time, can pay extra to get a walk in appointment. This service is also available for those who turn up late for their appointments.

If you have already applied online and booked an appointment then you must cancel any existing appointments before using this service.

Charges applicable are INR 2548 per applicant. This service is available in New Delhi, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Mumbai North, Mumbai South, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Cochin.

December 5, 2015

British Deputy High Commission in Chennai and the Visa Application Centre in Chennai are currently closed and have been since 1 December 2015 due to the weather conditions.

The British Deputy High Commission in Chennai is UK Visas and Immigration’s decision making hub for all of South India and Sri Lanka, and its closure impacts UK visa applicants in Cochin, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Colombo. All applicants who submitted applications and gave biometrics at the visa application centres (in Cochin, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Colombo) on or before Monday 30 November and have not had their documents returned will face delays in getting their passport and visa back.

The documents are currently in the British Deputy High Commission Chennai, and there is no way of accessing them. The airport is also shut so we would be unable to return passports from South India or Sri Lanka. Please note that all passports and documents have been stored safely at the British Deputy High Commission Chennai.

We have made contingency plans for applicants in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Cochin and Colombo who have applied or will apply for their visa on or after 1 December 2015. Our courier routes have been rerouted and all decisions on applications made on or after 1 December will be processed at the British High Commission New Delhi. There may be some minor delays to some applications as a result of the adverse weather and rerouting.

We hope to get our priority visa service up and running in Cochin, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Colombo shortly and will keep the VFS website updated.

Customers in Chennai will be unable to submit their applications and biometrics at the Visa Application Centre until it is reopened and are advised to apply for their visas at either Hyderabad or Bangalore.