From Monday 6 May 2013, applicants and their dependants who are applying for a UK visa will need to make their applications online. From this date, manually completed application forms will no longer be accepted, the British High Commission in Colombo said.
Online applications and appointments will be mandated for all applications under the points based system, visitor and settlement routes. This means applicants will need to complete and submit the application form by visiting https://apply.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/iapply.portal.
Applicants will then need to print off a hard copy of their application form and make an online appointment to attend their nearest visa application centre (VAC). They should bring the application form printout to their appointment at the VAC, along with the necessary supporting documentation. Applicants will need to give their biometrics (finger scans and digital photograph) at the VAC in line with the current practice.
By completing and submitting a visa application online, the customer saves time when attending the visa application centre. This is because information about the application has been received and recorded. It is also possible for the relatives of applicants to assist them to complete their application online.
“We along with our commercial partner, VFS Global, are committed to providing our customers with an efficient visa service, and we introduce changes to our processes with this in mind. In this case, completing and submitting applications online saves time. We have been introducing the use of online applications gradually so that customers have been able to get used to the process. Customers already need to make online applications for visas under the points based system. We are now extending the requirement to all categories of UK visa application,” Home Office Regional Director, Thomas Greig, said.
In order to make an online application, customers need to go to: http://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk
Applicants may continue to make an appointment separately to use the Premium Lounges to submit their applications, and should refer to www.vfs-uk-lk.com for further guidance. (Colombo Gazette)