The decision to make this change was taken following careful consideration by the UK Border Agency of how the visa operation in the Americas could be made more efficient without compromising border security and whilst maintaining the customer service offered to UK visa applicants.
The visa application process itself will not change. Applicants will continue to be required to submit their visa application and pay on line (http://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk) before making an appointment at the British High Commission in Barbados to enrol their biometric information. Applications will then be forwarded to the UK Border Agency Visa Section in Kingston for processing.
It is only the decision-making part of the visa issuing process that we are moving. Once the visa application is lodged at the British High Commission Barbados, it will then be couriered securely (at our expense) to the British High Commission in Kingston for assessment by UK Border Agency visa officials. Once the decision is made, it will be couriered back to the location specified by the applicant in the same way as is currently the case.
There will be no change to the UK Border Agency’s customer service standards under the new arrangements;
- The UK Border Agency aims to complete 90 per cent of visa applications (except settlement categories), in not more than three weeks, 98 per cent in six weeks and 100 per cent in 12 weeks.
- For settlement categories, the UK Border Agency aims to complete 95 per cent of applications in not more than 12 weeks and 100 per cent in not more 24 weeks.
The visa section at the British High Commission in Kingston has an extremely good track record in processing visa applications in good time and currently processes applications lodged in both Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
I would be grateful if you would pass this message on to any of your contacts who you think would benefit from this information. Visa applicants can get more information on applying for a UK visa at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas.