UK visa application changes come into force

by Ray Clancy on January 2, 2013

UK visa application changes come into force

A number of changes have come into play for people applying for visas for the UK from various countries around the world relating to processing, payments and health issues. Applicants from the Philippines and Malaysia must now pay for visas online in US dollars using a Visa card or MasterCard as the UK Border Agency is no longer accepting other methods of payment.

Once applicants have applied and paid for their visa online they will still need to visit the visa application centre to submit documents and provide biometric information such as fingerprints and a digital photograph. Applicants will also need to book an appointment online to attend the visa application centre.

As of 7 January 2013 all UK visa applications submitted in Norway, Denmark, and Estonia will be decided on at the UK Border Agency regional hub in Croydon and people may experience minor service disruption as the system is upgraded. A UK Border Agency spokesman said that the actual visa application process will not change. ‘Applicants should remember to submit English translations of all supporting documents. In order to keep costs to a minimum for customers certified translations are not required as, translations are checked for accuracy by UK Border Agency staff,’ he explained, adding, ‘Processing target times remain unchanged. We aim to process 90% of non-settlement applications within 15 working days of submission’.

Quote from ExpatForum.com : “I would like to ask if he can still come on holiday to the UK even though he has been denied a visa (if so what amount of time can he stay?)”

The same change will affect visa applicants from Sweden and Iceland from the 14 January 2013, meanwhile, tuberculosis testing requirements are now, for many people, part of the visa application process for those planning to come to the UK for more than six months. This relates to 67 countries regarded by the World Health Organisation has having a high incidence of the disease including Malaysia, South Africa, Nepal and Zimbabwe.

This follows the UK government’s announcement in May 2012, to introduce tuberculosis testing as a requirement of the visa application process for certain countries.  Applicants who completed an online visa application form and paid the online visa application fee before 31 December 2012 will not need to take a tuberculosis test. Online applications submitted and paid for after this date will be subject to tuberculosis testing requirements.

The UK Border Agency spokesman pointed out that people will not need a tuberculosis test if they plan on travelling to the UK for less than six months, for example on business or for tourism.


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