Changes to UK Visa Application Process

The UK Border Agency has announced that on 13 February 2013 it will close the UK visa section at the British High Commission in St Lucia. This change is part of a worldwide programme by the UK Border Agency to deliver efficiency savings following the outcomes of the 2010 spending review.
To ensure that applicants can continue to submit their biometric information without needing to travel outside of St Lucia, the UK Border Agency has reached an agreement with its commercial partner, CSC, to operate monthly mobile biometric enrolment clinics in Castries.   These clinics will operate monthly and anyone wishing to take advantage of this option will be required to pay an additional service fee of USD$183.10 plus tax which includes courier return of the passport. The first clinic will take place on 19 March 2013. Details of when and where the clinics will take place will be publicised on the UK Border Agency website at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/stlucia/
Applicants who do not wish to pay this fee will be able to enrol their biometrics free of charge at the UK Border Agency visa section at the British High Commission in either Kingston or Bridgetown.
At the same time, the UK Border Agency will change the way it processes UK visa applications lodged in St Lucia.  From 13 February 2013, the UK Border Agency will move the processing of UK visa applications lodged in St Lucia from New York to Kingston, Jamaica.
St Lucian passport holders continue to be able to visit the United Kingdom for up to 6 months without having to apply for a visa before travelling. For more information on what activities you can undertake as a visitor to the UK, take a look at the UK Border Agency website: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/visiting.
These changes will not affect the UK Border Agency’s customer service standards;
•    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 UK Border Agency in the Americas regularly exceeds these customer service standards. For up to date information about processing times, go to: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/customs-travel/beforetravel/visas/processing-times.

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