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.
BELARUS VISA-FREE UP TO 5 DAYS FOR 80 NATIONALITIES
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 14:21
Visitors of 80 nationalities, including the UK and the rest of the EU, can now enter Belarus for up to 5 days without a visa - for any purpose whatsoever. This only applies, however, to entry through Minsk National Airport. Other nationalities to benefit from the new arrangement include the USA, China and Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil.
RUSSIA VISA FEES RATIONALISED
Monday, February 06th, 2017 15:33
The Russian Embassy has simplified their visa fees for applications in the UK, sweeping away extensive differences between the prices charged to different nationalities. However, this has resulted in significant increases for many visas. Nearly all visas are now charged at the same rate, and only nationals of Angola, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey and Vietnam will pay lower fees across the board. For UK nationals, this has meant a rise of 41% for single entry business and tourist visas, while double entries have gone up a more significant 73%. However, Brits will only pay £12.00 more for multi entry visas on the normal service - but an extra £123.00 for multis on the faster next day service.