World news story

Changes to the user-pay Visa Application Centre network announced

Changes to visa application procedures in Sylhet

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


From 11 May UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will implement changes to the User Pays Visa Application Centre (VAC) Network. This will see the global fee remain at £59 across all locations. The fee was previously due to rise on 6 April to £70.

This change is possible because of the decision to convert a small number of currently free to use application points into User Pay centres from 11 May. In all these locations (Sylhet, Bangladesh, Ikeja, Nigeria and Mirpur, Pakistan) applicants will continue to have access to at least one other free to use application centre in that country.

Applicants using the VAC in Sylhet will be offered a number of improvements to the service. These include:

  • Unlimited walk in appointments (bar Tier 4 students where interviews are a requirement)
  • Enhanced document checks for applicants applying for work, study and settlement routes. Where applicants do not have the correct documents for their application, they will be given the opportunity to come back to the VAC at a later time to submit their documents at no extra charge
  • Applicants will be able to keep hold of their original documents and submit photocopies
  • There will be increased flexibility for agents or named third parties collecting applications, saving applicants the time and cost of returning to the VAC

Applicants in Sylhet will need to pay the £59 charge at the same time as paying for their visa.

The changes we are making now are part of longer term strategy to increase the number and range of different ways that people overseas can apply for visas to the UK.

Published 6 May 2015