From 25 March 2014 the UK Government will be working with a new commercial partner, Teleperformance (operating as FedEx), to deliver visa services in Kigali. The visa application desk at the British High Commission in Kigali will close with effect from this date. The new Visa Application Centre will be located at the following address:
Blue Star House
Plot no. 1236
Boulevard de l’Umuganda
The opening hours will be as follows: Monday to Friday, 0800 – 1230.
We are also changing the way we charge customers for using our visa service. With effect from 25 March 2014 most customers making applications in Kigali will need to pay a “User Pays charge” of £59.00 (around 66,900 RWF at the current exchange rate) in addition to the visa application fee.
The current policy will continue to apply for diplomatic passport holders applying for visas for official visits, who will not need to attend the Visa Application Centre in person, as they continue to be exempt from submitting biometrics, nor will they be required to pay the Visa Application fee or the User Pays charge.
All other current gratis categories will not be required to pay the Visa Application Fee or User Pays charge.
The process is otherwise the same, with applicants making their applications online before attending the Visa Application Centre. Once the UK visa application has been submitted in Kigali it will then be forwarded to the Decision Making Centre in Nairobi by commercial courier, where it will be considered by Entry Clearance Officers. Decisions will then be returned to the Visa Application Centre, or directly to the applicant. Processing target times will remain unchanged and Visa Application Centre staff will continue to play no part in the decision-making process.
The procurement of new commercial contracts has enabled us to:
• Increase the number of application points globally,
• Offer improved customer services, including increased access to premium and priority services, and
• Deliver efficiencies in the visa application process.
The UK continues to retain free to use Visa Application Centres in high-volume locations across the globe. However, it is not possible to maintain this in all locations. This is not a reflection of our bilateral relationship; decisions have been taken in line with a global model.
We recognise that customers currently applying for UK Visas in Rwanda do not pay an additional fee to use the visa application office at the British High Commission. The charge being implemented is solely to cover the costs of operating in this location and the cost of the return courier service directly back to the customer.
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