(all stats given are for year ending September 2017)
- Over 517,000 visas were granted to Indian nationals, in the year ending September 2017.
- In the same period over 433,000 visit visas were granted to Indian nationals, an 11% increase year on year.
- The UK has 18 Visa Application Centres in India – more Visa Application Centres than in any other country.
- Almost 53,000 Tier 2 work visas were granted to Indian nationals. More Tier 2 work visas were granted to Indian nationals than the rest of the world combined.
- We granted over 14,000 Tier 4 student visas, a 27% increase on the previous year. In the same period we also granted over 5,000 short-term study visas.
- This is really good news for the UK and India, and it’s great to see in particular the fact that almost 90% of Indians applying for UK visas are granted. This shows that the UK is open to Indians who want to travel to the UK to work, study and visit.
- However, of that small minority who aren’t granted a visa, this is often due to mistakes or inaccuracies in their application that can be easily avoided – for example not providing proof of employment or not showing enough funds in your account to pay for your trip.
- That’s why we want to provide advice and support to applicants from Kolkata and across India to provide an easy, accessible and convenient visa application process.
- Firstly, we want customers to Beat the Peak of visa applications and get their applications in as early as possible.
- Indian nationals can apply up to three months in advance for their visa and post-date it to take effect up to three months in advance. So, for example, if someone wants to go to the UK in mid-May, they can apply as early as mid-February.
- Applying outside of peak time means quieter Visa Application Centres, more appointment slots and a more relaxed process for the customer.
Customers can apply from: https://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/
- Secondly, customers need to check their application as much as possible before they send it off. Make sure youy follow the guidelines on our Gov.UK website – or take advantage of VFS’s optional service to check your application. This decreases the likelihood that avoidable mistakes will affect the decision.
- Thirdly, make sure to take advantage of our improving visa services. For example you can apply for a longer visa than the usual 6 month visit visa. Access UK – a newer, better online visa application form – is being rolled out and we are also going to be engaging in digital transformation across our centres in India during 2018. Access UK is available from: https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa. By using these services – and then letting us know feedback – we can continue to improve our offer to Indian customers.
- Fourthly, tailor your application and use customer services. For example, by selecting a Priority Visa service, applicants can get their visa in five working days instead of the usual 15. Or by choosing VFS’s Courier Service they can have their passport delivered back to them after a decision has been taken. For more services, see https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/india/
And finally, research your trip to Britain! By knowing where you’re going and what you’re doing you can be clearer about your plans during the visa application.