Online visitor visa service goes global

The Home Office has completed the roll out of its online visitor’s visa service.

Visitor visas to the UK will now be easier to apply for online – Photo credit: Flickr, J Aaron Farr

The service, Access UK, is available to people from more than 180 countries and in 10 languages, with the Home Office saying that it has already received more than half a million applications.

The online service was launched in 2014 for people in China to apply for visitor visas online, and in a statement published last week it said that the global roll-out was now complete.

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However, the Home Office said that a further 13 lower-volume locations would be added in the coming months. In addition, some locations such as the Falkland Islands were not able to use the system as they have unique application processes.

Access UK – which replaces the Visa4UK website – allows applicants to apply online, either with a computer or mobile device, and uses a set of checklist points.

UK Visa and Immigration’s director of international visa operations, Simon Peachey, said he was “delighted” that roll-out had been achieved on time “and without compromising on the quality of the service”.

The move is part of a wider government drive to automate services and make it easier for people to access them online.

It comes after the news that the Home Office had merged its digital and technology teams, and that it was bringing the full range of border IT services under one roof


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