Chennai British Deputy Commission implements ‘Passport Pass Back Service’ to simplify the application process for visas to the UK

A pilot programme was implemented by the British Deputy High Commission to gauge reaction and operability of the ‘Passport Pass Back Service’ . The programme is in force from December 9th this year at the Chennai Centre. It will cost Rs 5,250 (approx 50 GBP) over and above other application fees.

The programme was announced by British Prime Minister, David Cameron, during his recent visit to India. If this pilot programme turns successful, it would be extended to other visa processing centres of the UK across India in 2014.

Chennai British Deputy Commission implements ‘Passport Pass Back Service’ to simplify the application process for visas to the UK

Chennai British Deputy Commission implements ‘Passport Pass Back Service’ to simplify the application process for visas to the UK

This programme will aim at simplifying the application process for visas to the UK. It returns the passport to the applicant and is aimed at making a departure from earlier practices where British authorities would retain applicants’ passports through the visa application process.

Under the new programme, those applying for visit, employment or student visas would have to submit their passports within 10 days of applying, while those applying under the settlement route would need to submit their passports within four weeks of notification. The new service will not be available to applicants who apply under the Super Priority Visa, Fast Track or Business Express Program categories.

The programme is sure to bring change to the current procedures, where applicants have to leave their passport with the British authorities for the entire processing time. This programme would now aim to retain the passports for a minimal time , thereby allowing applicants to travel abroad while their UK visa is being processed.

Sharanya Bharathwaj

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