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Online pilot for certain student visas launched in the UK

The UK has launched a pilot for its new online application form for Tier 4 student visas but it is restricted to invited sponsors. This means that students need to find out if their sponsor is part of the pilot and they can then apply for permission to stay in the UK using the new online form.

‘If your sponsor has not been asked to take part in the pilot, you can apply using the print and send application form,’ said a UK Border Agency spokesman. ‘The pilot will be restricted to invited sponsors. This will enable us to ensure a smooth transition and monitor applications closely before it is opened up to all Tier 4 applicants,’ he added.

The online system will allow applicants to complete a customised interactive form, to pay online, to book an appointment although this applies to premium applications only, and to submit their application online. Meanwhile, a super priority same day visa service is now available for visa applicants in Chennai, India.

The new service complements the UK’s existing fast track service, and is designed to allow those who need to travel urgently to do so. It is available to customers applying for a six month or two year multiple entry visitor visa, excluding student visitor visas, who have previously travelled to the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or a Schengen country within the last five years. It is also available to visa applicants sponsored by companies who are members of the UK’s Business Express Programme. The service has been introduced in Chennai following its popularity in Delhi and Mumbai.

Ivan Nagar from Delhi was the first person to use the new service. Needing a quick turnaround in order to join his brother on holiday, he was thrilled to discover his visa could be processed on the same day. ‘I am very happy. If it hadn’t been for this service, I would not have been able to enjoy a vacation with my family,’ he said. The fee for the Super Priority Visa Service is £600, plus the standard fee for the type of visa being applied for.

Meanwhile visa applicants around the worlds are being reminded that the UK is entering its busy season for applications. ‘If you are planning to travel to the UK, you should allow enough time for your visa application to be processed,’ said the spokesman. ‘We aim to process 90% of non-settlement visa applications within 15 working days and 95% of settlement applications within 12 weeks.

To ensure you receive your visa decision in good time, please make your visa application as early as possible. You can submit your visa application up to three months before you travel,’ he explained.

RAY CLANCY

JUNE 20, 2013

http://www.expatforum.com/britain/online-pilot-for-certain-student-visas-launched-in-the-uk.html

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