New UK Visa center at Chennai

The recent news from the office of the VFS Global confirmed that they moved to a new and bigger offices complex to ensure better customer services and proper handling of the rising VISA applications for UK in the Indian market.

They shifted to their all new premises located on the 2 floor of Fagun Towers in the Ethiraj Salai area in Egmore. This came in the backdrop of the recent increase of 5% in the yearly number of applied UK visas which were issued in India in the last annum from 2012 to 2013. The British deputy high commissioner Mr. Bharat Joshi inaugurated the new office on Wednesday. Mr. Joshi said, “That of course includes offering the best visa service in the market for our genuine applicants.” He also listed several new options offered to the customers by VFS, like directly accepting visa applications for UK from people residing in Chennai, also a new courier service which will make sure that the visa is directly delivered at home or in their office. He also brought spotlight to the all new ‘passport passback’ service which allows the customers to safely retain their passports even after applying for the UK visa. So, now they can also apply for the visas to other countries simultaneously. After their application is over, they can return their passport for their UK visa to be officially placed.

New UK Visa center at Chennai

New UK Visa center at Chennai

Student visas

Although the market saw a booming increase in the number of new business visas issued; but, there was significant drop in the number of student visas almost by 20% for the same time.  Mr. Joshi attributed this to factors like a stringent admission process and also depreciation of the INR. However, there was no legal restriction in the number of student visas which could be issued. The Regional head of the South Asia sector of VFS Global, Mr. Vishal Jairath, said that the new centre could easily accommodate about 300 applicants simultaneously. It is well equipped with extra registration plus biometric counters which help in faster completion of the whole application process. It also has exclusive video conferencing counters to successfully handle scheduled student interviews during their peak admission season. The requirement of Video conferencing is a recent addition for the student visa applications. During this, the applicants are interviewed over video calls by the visa officials sitting in the UK in their main hub in Sheffield. The process was introduced to successfully prevent anymore fraudulent entry into the territory of UK. It also assesses the new students for the English skills, and proficiency and also checks their knowledge about the career courses they have opted for.

Also, as per a new initiative between these two countries, sources said that the British Deputy High Commission is also discussing with the Indian as well as the Tamil Nadu government regarding the prospects to launch their first pilot study on the primary healthcare system in the Southernmost State of India.

YS Subramaniam