Following a move to restrict methods of visa application for UK travellers last month, India announced over Twitter yesterday (Tuesday the 1st of November) that they will introduce new methods to speed up visa processing.
Previously, India had stepped in with a sudden change and banned postal applications for visas in the UK. This reduced the accessibility considerably, with travellers only able to apply for an India visa at in-person centres around the UK. The reaction was fast, with many businesses standing to lose potential millions of pounds in bookings if travellers could not get a visa in time.
Now, however, India’s High Commissioner in the UK, Vikram Doraiswami, has made an announcement in a video on Twitter stating that India’s visa service provider, VFS Global, has started to roll out a new door-step courier service, starting just yesterday on Tuesday the 1st of November.
“At a cost, you will be able to have your papers collected from your residence and brought to you after processing,” Vikram Doraiswami said, “To help with that, because often there are problems with filling a form online, the service provider will also offer a special service at a small cost for having your documents checked online.”
Though there were fewer details disclosed, Vikram Doraiswami also claimed that India is going to make visa processing easier for groups too. If a group is travelling on the same flight to the same destination, there will be methods in place to simplify the visa process, though he did not elaborate on this (the known details about entry requirements for India can be found on the Foreign Travel Advice page).
There will also be further assistance provided for those applying for a visa in person. A form-filling service will be established at visa application centres and a new visa processing centre opened yesterday (November 1st) in London’s Marylebone to help speed up applications.
Despite this improvement, many industry voices have specified that what the trade really needs to boost visa processing for India is access to India’s e-visa service. Currently, 156 different countries can use India’s e-visa application system, but the UK and countries such as Algeria, Burkina Faso, Lebanon, and Pakistan still cannot use this service.
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