World news story
UK visa service opens in Adelaide for the first time
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South Australian residents are now able to submit their biometric visa data in Adelaide, rather than travelling to other States.
UK Visas and Immigration is piloting a UK visa facility in Adelaide in partnership with Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection. This new agreement between the UK and Australia will mean that UK visa applicants from South Australia will no longer need to travel to other States to submit a visa application, potentially saving applicants hundreds of dollars and days of travel time.
This is already being experienced by clients who have attended the Adelaide facility.
The service launched on 10 September and enables UK visa applicants from South Australia to provide their biometric data (fingerprints and digital photograph), a key part of the application process, at Immigration’s offices . The pilot will run for six months initially. DIAC is acting as a collection agency only and has no access to the data and is unable to assist with general UK Visa enquires.
Previously, a service did not exist in Adelaide and UK visa applicants had to visit Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra or Perth to complete the UK visa application process. The new service will operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9.30 and 10.30am by appointment only. Once a customer has submitted their biometric information, they will then need to send their visa application to the UK visa processing hub in Manila, The Philippines where all applications from Australia, New Zealand and nine other countries are processed.
The new pilot service in Adelaide provides a much more convenient option for customers and is part of a wider programme of enhancements to provide a better experience for customers. Just last month UK Visas and Immigration launched a new priority visa service for those applying to settle permanently in the UK which is already proving to be very popular. Those settlement applicants who opt to pay the additional cost of the priority visa service will have their applications processed within 10 working days rather than the standard 12 weeks.
British High Commissioner, Paul Madden said:
I am very pleased to announce the launch of our visa service pilot in Adelaide which I am sure will be very well received by South Australians needing a visa to the UK. I would like to thank the Australian Government’s Department for Immigration and Citizenship for their involvement and support in running the pilot service on our behalf, a reflection of the strong ties between our two countries and continued co-operation between the two departments.
An immigration spokesman said the department has a very strong and productive relationship with UK Visas and Immigration, especially where biometrics are concerned.
While we will not have access to this data, shared visa and biometric collection facilities and services are a big part of our relationship, and these services are in place around the world.
This initiative builds upon that cooperative government-to-government relationship, and it also provides a significant convenience to our residents in Adelaide who want to travel to the UK .