The move follows the outsourcing of the UK visa service in Hong Kong to VFS Global. VFS Global already successfully delivers UK visa services across Asia Pacific, including in mainland China.
The new Visa Application Centre in Hong Kong will provide greater convenience and choice to customers.
British Consul General to Hong Kong, Caroline Wilson, said:
The move to a commercial partner for visa applications will provide greater convenience and choice to our customers through extended opening hours and a range of premium services such as the new Passport Passback service which will be launched here in Hong Kong in April.
The Passport Passback service will enable customers to keep their passport whilst a decision is being made on their application, allowing them to travel during this period.
An SMS application tracking service will also be available to customers.
There will be no change to the actual application process for customers and visa applications will continue to be sent to our visa decision making hub in Manila and assessed by UKVI staff.
There will be no change to processing times. We will continue to operate our successful 3-5 day priority visa service for non-settlement applicants and 10 day priority service for settlement applicants.
Customers should visit the VFS Global in Hong Kong website for information on how to apply for a UK visa in Hong Kong.
The new Visa Application Centre will be located at 15th Floor, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 08.00 to 15.00 (08.00 to 18.00 during the summer peak season).
A new UK visa enquiry service will also be available from 1 April. It will be available to customers in Hong Kong during local working hours and offer a range of enquiry options including a free recorded service, a premium call service for those who wish to speak with a customer service officer, a web-chat service and a free email enquiry service.