Select UK VAC in India resume limited services

Select UK VAC in India resume limited services

Some UK visa application centres (VAC) in India have today resumed passport return services for Tier 4 international student visas as well as other applicants.

After suspension of functions due to the Coronavirus pandemic, a select list of UK VAC have resumed services today to return passports to those whose immigration decisions have already been made.

This applies to Tier 4 international students as well as other immigration categories including UK work permits.

Last week, the UK confirmed that foreign students forced to continue their studies through online, distance or blended learning will remain eligible for UK post-study work (PSW) Graduate Route visas in 2021 upon the completion of their programmes.

British High Commission in India confirms resumption of select UK VAC services

The current resumption of services is exclusively for those applicants whose passports are currently held at a VAC and a decision on their visa applications have already been made.

The British High Commission in India addressed the issue and stated: “A limited number of VACs are opening for passport return from today. If your passport is in a VAC, and a decision made on your application, the VAC will get in touch directly to arrange collection – please wait for contact.”

Resumption of other UK visa services in India expected soon

The British High Commission also confirmed that, whilst the current resumption of services is only for passport returns, this is the first step in a phased imminent restart of visa functions following the COVID-19 shutdown.

The UK in India statement said: “We are working on resuming wider visa services where local restrictions allow – further news to come. Health and safety of staff and customers remains the priority. Thank you for your patience.”

Many Indian applicants who are currently awaiting the return of their passports, whether to study, visit or work in the UK, have expressed concern regarding the lapse of their visa durations during the lockdown.

This is primarily of concern to Indian whose passports got stuck in the VAC processes in the early stages of the lockdown after the decisions were made but collection or deliveries of passports were not possible.

But the British High Commission noted that the services have only resumed for deliveries of passports to applicants and actively encouraged applicants to not visit the VAC directly.

“Currently no VACs are open to the public – please do not try and visit,” the UK in India statement added.

More information of available services at UK VAC in India is likely to emerge in the coming weeks.

Pic: Annie Spratt

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