ALL CHINESE WORK VISAS REQUIRE BIOMETRICS
Wednesday, May 30th, 2018 13:00
Since the 29 May all Chinese work visas, including short term visas for musicians and performing artists, now require biometrics to be given. Previously visas for stays of under 30 days were exempt, but the requirement has now been extended to these as well. As result even those working on brief performances in the country will now have to attend the Visa Application Centre in person to give their fingerprints.
BIOMETRICS INTRODUCED TO SOME LONGER CHINESE VISAS
Friday, May 11th, 2018 11:27
As of 8 May the roll-out of biometrics for Chinese visa applications has been extended to include some longer term visas. Applicants studying for more than 180 days (the X1 visa), or making a family or private visit for more than 180 days (the S1 visa), will now need to attend the Application Centre to provide fingerprints. Also affected are applicants seeking to work in the country (the Z visa) for more than 30 days. The only nationalities exempted from these new arrangements are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Israel and the USA. In the first few days of operation, the new system seems to be working smoothly, without significant delays.
CHINA ENDS HAND WRITTEN APPLICATIONS
Thursday, April 05th, 2018 21:58
The Chinese Visa Application Centre will no longer accept application forms that have been filled in by hand. Since 3 April all application forms have been required to be completed on screen, whether in a PDF program like Adobe Reader or in the Visa Centre's own online facility, before being printed, signed and submitted. Moreover, as might be expected, corrections by hand are not accepted either, so all errors must be corrected on screen before printing the page once again. Applicants may need to download an oriental fonts package to display the form correctly in their PDF program.
RUSSIAN PROCESSING TIMES INCREASE
Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 15:00
One unfortunate result of the current UK/Russia diplomatic friction has been a sharp potential increase in processing times for Russian visas. These may now be as long as 72 hours for the express service, and up to 4 weeks for the regular service. However, our understanding is that in practice many visas may still be granted significantly more quickly than this. It is unclear at this stage how long this situation may last.
GABON CHANGES
Saturday, December 30th, 2017 23:47
A number of changes have been introduced by the Gabon embassy in London, ranging from remaining open a full five days a week to axeing double entry visas. In addition, visa fees have been adjusted, and their standard processing time dropped from one week to 72 hours. The same day service remains unaltered. All visas are now single or multiple entry only.
UGANDA SHIFTING TO E-VISAS
Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 15:00
The Ugandan embassy is now actively encouraging all applications to be made through their online E-Visa portal, which has been operational since the middle of last year. Whilst they are still processing traditional paper applications in the embassy, it is not entirely clear for how much longer this will continue.
NIGERIA INTRODUCE BIOMETRICS
Thursday, September 14th, 2017 15:12
As of Thursday 14 September, the Nigeria Visa Application Centre is requiring all applicants to attend in person to give biometric information (ie. fingerprints). An online system is in place for booking appointments in one hour slots, at visa centres in Leicester and London. Any potential provision for agency booking remains, at this stage, unresolved. The system has been introduced at unusually short notice.
CAMEROON CHANGE PROCESSING TIMES
Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 13:00
Cameroon have changed their regular service from Next Day to 72 hours, and introduced an express Same Day service for a slightly higher fee. The regular service fee remains the same, while the express fee costs a flat extra £35.00, irrespective of whether for a 3 month or 6 month visa.
NIGERIA FEE CHANGES
Thursday, May 11th, 2017 13:00
The Nigerian Embassy has dropped its own processing fee, while the OIS Visa Application Centre has increased its express fees. The best news is for applications on the regular service, for which the only change is that they are no longer charged the Embassy's own fee of either £23 (tourist/business) or £57 (TWP/STR). However, whilst applications processed on the express service also no longer pay this - which was either £79 or £113 respectively - the saving is to a large degree cancelled out by OIS's fees having risen by £70 inc VAT (tourist/business) or £100 inc VAT (TWP/STR). Nevertheless, even these express applications have seen a small overall reduction in price.
AZERBAIJAN FEES SIMPLIFIED
Monday, March 13th, 2017 11:36
Azerbaijan have simplified their consular fees considerably, and the Azerbaijan visa centre has also adjusted its processing fees. Whilst EU nationals apart from the UK now pay a flat £30.00 consular fee for both single and multi entry visas, the rest of the world pays just £18.00 for a single entry, but £290.00 for a multi entry. Processing fees range from £20.00 + VAT for the normal service on a single entry visa, up to £160.00 + VAT for the express service.