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UK Visas & Immigration reports growth and service enhancements

BritCham / CBBC
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UK Visas & Immigration states in its latest quarterly report (for Q3) that 37 per cent more travellers went to the UK between July 2012 and June 2013 compared with the same period a year before. Initial analysis shows that the growth continued throughout the last months of 2013.

The full report is attached below. The main changes to the UK visa service include:

  • Online payments
On 16 December 2013, UKVI introduced online payment as part of the online application process for all UK visa applicants in China. Payment can be made using Visa, MasterCard, China Union Pay debit or credit cards or Alipay. The integration of payment into the online application system will provide a more streamlined visa application process and is part of a wider change to allow almost all customers to apply and pay for their visas online by 2014. Once customers have applied and paid for their visa online they will still need to visit the visa application centre to submit their documents and provide their biometric information (fingerprints and digital photograph). Appointments to attend the visa application centre should be booked via the online application form.
  • China UKVI website
UK Visas & Immigration recently re-launched the UKVI China website to make it easier to navigate and find the information relevant to your intended trip. Whether travelling for business, tourism or education, you can find links to the most up to date information. The site is available in both English and Chinese.
  • Long-term visit visas (reminder)
Regular visitors to the UK are encouraged to apply for a long-term multiple entry visit visa. Valid for either one, two, five or 10 years, these visit visas are a good option for those who travel regularly to visit the UK. The key benefit is that applicants will only need to make one application and provide biometric information once for the entire duration of their visa. It’s suitable for those who intend to spend less than six months in the UK on any one visit and not more than six months in any 12-month period. More details can be found here.
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