India opens more consular services in UK

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Feb 18, 2015 16:27 IST

The Indian high commission announced on Tuesday that 14 centres will be opened across the United Kingdom from March to minimise waiting times and avoid travel to London, Birmingham and Edinburgh for consular services.

The services, outsourced to VFS, include visa, Overseas Citizen of India and other consular services. Ten centres will be operational from March 2 and four more from March 14.

VFS will introduce Online Appointment System for all services for the convenience of the applicants across the 0UK. After the centres become operations, no postal applications will be accepted at the high commission in London or in the consulates in Birmingham and Edinburgh, a release said.

The 14 centres are: three in London (Hounslow, Paddington and Goswell Road), Bristol, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester, Liverpool, Bradford, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

All applications for visa will need to first apply online and then appear in person at VFS centres for biometric data collection (fingerprint, facial imagery). Biometric data will be mandatory for all visa applicants, the release added.

Nearly 2600 applications per day are expected to be processed by VFS, which would mean about 6,00,000 applications a year, including nearly 4,00,000 visas and 75,000 OCI cards.

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