Great news for Indians applying for a British visa
Source: tom
LONDON: There is good news for those applying for a British visa across India.

You don't have to leave your passport behind in order to obtain the visa.

Britain on Wednesday announced that from March 31, the Home Office will be extending its "Passport Passback" service to all 12 Visa Application Centres in India.

It was initially piloted in Southern India. The service will allow Indian applicants to keep their passport while their visa is being processed.

This means they can travel or apply for another visa if they need to, reducing the time it takes to get two visas.

The Home Office said, "This service allows applicants to retain their passports while visa decisions are being made. This will be of particular interest to those people who need to travel or apply for other visas in the interim period. The service will be capped to 75 slots per day across each Visas Application Centre (VAC) in India".

The UK has also announced a number of changes to the fees charged for visas, immigration and nationality applications and wider premium services.

"We are introducing these fee changes in order to bring a consistency to the pricing of our premium services across the world. The main changes to the fees for premium services that will come into effect from March 31 are: The passport pass-back service will cost Rs 4200 per applicant," it said.

The Priority Visas (earlier known as "Fast Track") which are processed within 2-3 days will now cost Rs 10500. The Super Priority Visa Service fee remains Rs 63000.

Success rate of visas for Indians applying to come to UK in very high.

Sir James Bevan, UK High Commissioner to India said nine out of ten Indians who apply for a UK visa get one.

He said, "We issue more visas to Indians than to any other nationality in the world: over 400, 000 in 2013. People think we are issuing fewer visas than in the past. Wrong again: we issued 5% more visas to Indians in 2013 than in 2012 - more visas for visitors, whose numbers rose by about 10% last year, more visas for workers, and more visas for dependents".

He added "Another myth I hear frequently is that we overcharge for our visas. Wrong: a UK visa is competitively priced. A UK visit visa costs £80. An Australian visa costs about the same. And a US visa costs around £100".