UK introduces ‘Priority Visas’ SA PDF Print E-mail

15 November 2011, Tuesday

The UK Border Agency in South Africa has introduced a Priority Visa Service, effective November 14.  

Customers can now pay an additional fee to fast track their visa application and have it processed ahead of others. Only a limited number of Priority Visas will be sold each day on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Priority Visa Service will be available only for UK visit visa categories.  To apply, customers must complete and submit a visa application online as normal and visit one of the UK’s Visa Application Centres operated by VFS Global in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth or Pretoria where they will be able to obtain further details about the Priority Service.

The cost of the Priority Visa Service will be R675, in addition to the visa application fee.  The fee is payable at the Visa Application Centre only by Debit/Credit Card (Visa/MasterCard).

The British High Commissioner in South Africa, Dame Nicola Brewer, said: “I’m delighted that we will be enhancing our already excellent UK visa service to customers in South Africa.  We turn around most visa applications very quickly but inevitably some people have to travel at the last minute and this Priority Service will speed up the process even further.  Along with the ability to track progress of applications online, request SMS updates and courier returns, the Priority Service makes our visa operation one of the most modern and effective in South Africa.”

The VFS Global Country Manager in South Africa, Rishen Mahabeer, said:

“We are proud to partner with the British High Commission in providing this innovative service, which we are confident will add significant value to applicants.”
This service does not imply or guarantee in any way that applicants using the Priority Service will be successful in their visa application. All visa applicants must meet the requirements of the UK immigration rules.

Applicants should be aware that they may experience extended processing times if any of the following factors apply. If the applicant has:

1. Previously been refused a visa for the UK, and/or;
2. Previously been refused leave to enter the UK, and/or;
3. Previously been deported, removed, or otherwise required to leave the UK, and/or;
4. Overstayed a period of leave in the UK, and/or;
5. Been refused leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office, and/or;
6. Previously been refused a visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States of America or the Schengen countries.
7.  Been convicted of a criminal offence in any country.

UK Border Agency’s published global customer service target for processing visit visa applications is 15 working days.  Applicants in South Africa generally receive a quicker service with most applications processed in around five working days.  The Priority Visa Service will offer an even faster service, however a specific turnaround time will not be guaranteed.

Further details on applying for a UK visa in South Africa are available at: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/south-africa/?langname=UK%20English

eTNW - Travel Info



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