The UK government opened its first ever Mobile Biometric Clinic (MBC) in Goa on Tuesday, which will save the locals from travelling to distant places like Mumbai to apply for visas to the country.
British high commissioner Sir James Bevan and Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar were present at the function held in this regard at a city hotel Tuesday morning.
The MBC is a new and optional service, which, for an additional fee, allows applicants who are residing in Goa to submit their UK visa application and biometric data using a mobile facility in the state.
"All visa applicants previously would have had to travel to Mumbai to lodge their applications. The new MBC service now offers the option to do this much closer to home. The Goa MBC is part of UK Border Agency's proactive approach to constant improvement in customer service," a senior official said.
Addressing the gathering, Parrikar said the MBC is a welcome initiative by the UK Border Agency providing convenience to the citizens of Goa with the localised option of applying for a UK visa.
"Britain welcomes Indian students, visitors, investors and business people. We aim to offer them the best visa service in India. Our visa operation here is the biggest in the world. We have the largest number of visa application centres of any country in India -12. Most Indians who apply for a visa get one - nine out of ten," said Sir James Bevan.
Last month, the UK prime minister had announced a new same day visa service for businessmen, he said.
"Today we launch another new service - a mobile facility which allows Indians to submit their visa application and biometric data outside our current network of Visa Application Centres," he added.
The MBC uses the UK Border Agency's mobile Biometric Enrolment System (BES) equipment to take biometric data (finger scans and digital photograph).
The service is delivered by the UK Border Agency's commercial partner, VFS Global.