All UK visa applications made in Bangladesh will need to be made online from the start of next month.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) confirmed that from June 2nd this year, all applications will be online-only. For those making a UK visa application through the points-based system, they will need to switch to the online system a little earlier, from May 19th.
In effect, the changes mean that applicants will have to complete their application forms online before printing off a hard copy ready to take to their nearest UK visa application centre (VAC).
At the VAC, immigration officers will process the application along with supporting documents. But in order to fully complete the submission, applicants will need to supply their finger scans and digital photograph as part of their biometric verifications.
It is also at the centres that migrants will have to provide payment or proof of previous payment through one of the designated BRAC branches.
VACs are located in Dhaka and Sylhet. For those who are unable to access the online services from home, computers are provided at the centres but applicants requiring the use of these services will need to contact their nearest centre in advance in order to book an appointment to access the centre's IT equipment. No appointment is required to submit the visa application, however.
Full guidance is provided on the application website in both Bangla and English for people looking for help in completing the forms.
The changes form part of the government's efforts to streamline the UK immigration service and both reduce costs and increase security when managing British borders.