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Thursday, November 13, 2008

TweetThis! Attention to Tanzanians planning to/seeking UK visas [updated]

UK visas to be processed in Nairobi

The United Kingdom visas for Tanzanians wishing to travel to Britain would from December this year be processed in Nairobi. The British High Commission Press Officer, Mr John Bradshaw, told journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday that effectively from that time, there won’t be visas issued in Tanzania.
Mr Bradshaw illustrated that the process to get a UK visa will now take six weeks, instead of the old five days that majority of UK travellers used to enjoy. According to the new directives outlined, an applicant of UK travel permit will have to submit an application on line, and then wait for an appointment that will require the applicant to bring appropriate documents to High Commission office in Dar es Salaam for verification.

Mr Bradshow said the last procedure will take place in Nairobi, where the whole process will take three weeks before the visa is ready. He said the changes are part of UK government’s plans to restructure its visa operation, known as ‘Hub and Spoke Visa Processing’. He added that UK visas for southern African countries are now processed in Pretoria, South Africa, where seven countries, including Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi and Zimbabwe get the service.

Mr Bradshow advised travellers to apply for long term visas, which are cheaper than making a 6-month permit application. He insisted that student visa applicants should apply three months in advance, to enable them travel on time, because student visa does not require an interview. Over 8000 Tanzanians apply for UK visas every year, Mr Bradshow said.

Report & credit: Upendo Hartsuiker of Daily News
Published on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - 21:15

Changes to the UK visa service

The British High Commission is giving advance notice of changes to its visa service.

As before, applicants should start the application process at least 6 weeks before they plan to travel.

But the British High Commission will no longer have any ability to arrange visas at short notice.

From 1 December, visa applications will be handled as follows.

Step One: Apply On-line & Make an Appointment

All applicants are strongly encouraged to make an initial application on-line at www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk.

As part of this on-line process, the applicant chooses a date and time for his/her appointment at the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam. Appointments will normally be available within 3 weeks of the on-line application. Applicants will find it easier to choose a time convenient to them because the visa section will be open for longer than previously: from 0745 to 1400 Monday to Thursday, and from 0745 to 1130 on Friday.

Applicants, who cannot make the initial application on-line, may instead come to the High Commission without an appointment. But they will be treated with lower priority than those who have already made an appointment on-line. So they may have to come back at a later date.

Step Two: Appointment at the British High Commission

All applicants must come to the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam at the set appointment time.

At the appointment, the applicant

submits his/her passports, a hard copy of the application, and supporting documents (see www.ukvisas.gov.uk to find which documents are required);
provides fingerprints;
pays the non-refundable fee.

The High Commission tells the applicant when to return to pick up the passport.

Step Three: Assessment of the Application

All passports, applications and related documents will be sent to the British High Commission Nairobi, where they will be assessed and where visas will be issued for successful applicants.

The passports and documents will then be returned to the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam.

This process will normally be completed within 3 weeks. If there is any delay, the High Commission will contact the applicant and give a new date for passport pick-up.

Step Four: Pick up Passport

The applicant returns to pick up the passport at the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam on the agreed date.

The changes make it more important than ever that applicants should apply for a UK visa well in advance of travel.

We already recommend to all applicants that they should start the process on-line at least 6 weeks before they plan to travel. We continue to recommend this. Applicants who do not allow 6 weeks are likely to find that their application cannot be processed in time.

Appointments to apply for a UK visa can actually be made up to 3 months before travel. We recommend in particular that people applying for student and settlement visas should apply 3 months in advance if possible.

Please note that, after 1 December 2008, the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam will not be able to arrange visas at short notice.

The British High Commission would like to reassure travellers that the British Government remains committed to improving its service to Tanzanian citizens and others wishing to travel to the UK.

Further details:

1.These changes are part of a restructuring of the UK's global visa operation, known as "Hub & Spoke visa processing". This will reduce the number of visa-issuing posts world-wide by more than half, to around fifty. In southern Africa, for example, visa applications from Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi and Zimbabwe are already processed in Pretoria. Nairobi already processes applications from the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Kenya. In Europe, the Americas and Asia, visa operations have been moved from over fifty British Diplomatic Missions to regional processing centres.

2.UK visa fees are determined by the world-wide cost of processing a visa. Consolidating visa operations will help keep the processing costs down, which in turn will help keep visa fees down.

3.There will be no change to the range of visa services available in Tanzania. We will continue to offer a high quality visa service.

4.The on-line application facility is now the quickest and most popular way for our customers to arrange visa appointments. Over 80% of Tanzanian applicants now use the on-line process.

5.Those applying for visas to live in the UK for 12 months or more will still need to have TB tests at the International Organisation of Migration in Dar es Salaam, before their appointment at the British High Commission. If DNA tests are also needed, they will continue to be carried out in Tanzania.

6.If an applicant needs to be interviewed, arrangements will be made for this to happen at the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam or by telephone. Interviews will be arranged as quickly as possible, but no more than ten working days after the first appointment at the British High Commission. Applicants will not be required to travel to Nairobi for interviews.

7.In any case, we now interview visa applicants only rarely. Applications are judged by the details provided on the application form, the supporting documents and any previous UK immigration history. It is therefore essential that applicants submit sufficient details to support their application, including e.g. evidence of funds available to cover costs of travel and living in the UK.

8.If an applicant presents a fake document, or makes a false statement, he/she will be refused a visa, and could be subject to a ten-year ban.

9.People who travel frequently to the UK may be eligible for a 5 or 10 year multi-entry visa. This saves having to reapply regularly for a new visa. A long-term visa also works out cheaper than making frequent 6 months visa applications. Long-term visas mark the holder as a valued and trusted customer of the UK.

10.Current visa fees are:

Six months Multiple Entry Visit Visa - Tsh 137,000

Long term Validity Visit Visa: 1 year, 2 years, 5 years and 10 years multiple visit visas; Working Holiday Makers; Work Permits; Employment; HSMP; Certificate of Entitlement - Sh 430,000
Medical Visa - TSh 156,000
Student Visa - TSh 208,000
Direct Airside Transit Visa (Not allowed to leave airport) and Visit in Transit Visa - TSh 94,000
Settlement and Marriage visas - TSh 1,082,000

11.Between 8,000 and 9,000 Tanzanians apply for UK visas every year.

12.Further guidance notes can be found on our website at www.ukintanzania.fco.gov.uk.


1 feedback :

marwa said... Thu Nov 13, 02:52:00 AM MST  

if at all these changes aim at achieving better practice,then i for the one have no objection,irrespetive of the expected practical difficulties to nairobi,but if it later become a long term plan as that of southern African countries then we can not leave to air our grievances to the Queen.KASSIM KIBOGA PUNDUGU-MOROGORO

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