In a new and modernised online visa application journey, Indian customers for UK visas can experience a more modern, digital visa service as a result of improvements developed by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), and VFS Global. The intuitive and simplified online visa application system, developed by VFS Global for UKVI, is part of UKVI’s continuing initiatives to transform the visa application journey for customers around the world.
Previously, Indian visa applicants applied for a visa via two separate websites – Gov.UK and VFS Global. As part of the new customer journey, customers can access information about, or opt for, all visa services at the outset of their visa application journey. The new system can be accessed via www.gov.uk.
Customers now have the option to digitally upload documentation prior to visiting the Visa Application Centre using their smartphone, tablet or other camera/computing device. Customers who opt for the self-upload option can visit the centre with just their passport – meaning less need to carry original documents with them.
A scanning service will still be offered by VFS Global, for a fee of 500 INR, however this will be free to customers for a short period.
“UKVI and VFS Global’s shared goal is simple – to deliver an efficient, secure visa service that places the customer experience at the heart of our operation. These latest announcements do just that. By making better use of digital technology we can make the visa application process easier for the customer, giving them the opportunity to upload documents with their smartphone or tablet from the comfort of their home or office. In addition, this move will make us much more efficient and resilient as we prepare for another busy year – so, as Indians travel to the UK for the Cricket World Cup, they can be confident that they won’t get caught out by the visa service,” David Ratcliffe, Regional Director South and South East Asia, UK Visas and Immigration, said.
Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer – Middle East, South Asia and China, VFS Global, said, “Customer comfort has always been at the forefront of our efforts, and the new UK visa online application system is a big step in that direction, as it essentially integrates access to convenient visa services in one seamless interface. The United Kingdom is an esteemed client government that VFS Global has served since 2003 in India, and with their support, we have continuously developed flexible solutions aimed at easing the application journey for customers. We are confident this latest innovation will become a benchmark for visa application systems the world over.”
Over 630,000 people applied for a UK visa from India in the last year. That included over 475,000 visit visas – an increase of 43,000, the largest absolute increase for any country. In addition, almost 19,000 Tier 4 student visas were granted to Indian nationals – a 32 per cent increase on the previous year – along with over 55,000 skilled work visas – more than the rest of the world combined.