UK to implement global changes to visa rules

ISLAMABAD: The United Kingdom (UK) Border Agency (UKBA) will implement new global changes to the immigration rules for those aspiring to work or study in the UK, read a British High Commission press release issued on Friday.

Full details of the changes, which come into effect on April 6, could be found on the UKBA’s website. These changes would not be applied to marriage settlement applications.

The UKBA is also introducing new measures to help improve the level of customer service to applicants from Pakistan, including a new online application system and a priority visa service.

From 1 May, all applicants and their dependants who are applying for a UK visa must use the online service to fill in their visa application forms.

UK High Commissioner Adam Thomson said, “People-to-people links are the foundation of the strong bilateral links between the UK and Pakistan. These changes to our visa system are good for the British people and good for Pakistan. Our relationship is too important to allow fraudulent behaviour to tarnish genuine travellers.”

The press release also read that from April 6, those applying for work or study visas (points-based applications) must do so online; From 1 May, applicants and their dependants who are applying for a UK visa must apply online. From this date, the UK Border Agency will no longer accept manually completed paper application forms.

On April 1, the British High Commission will introduce a priority visa service. This will be available to customers who are applying for a UK visit visa; and have travelled to the UK within the last two years; and have complied with the UK’s immigration laws.

The fee for the service is Rs 8,400 per application, in addition to the visa application fee, and is payable at the visa application centre. Applicants need to obtain a receipt for every transaction.

Daily Times

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