Later this month it will become mandatory for UK visa applicants in certain countries to pay for their visa online.
Among the countries to make the change is India. From December 16th applicants will be required to pay online and then go to a visa application centre (VAC) where they will then provide a printed copy of their application form, along with biometric information such as fingerprints and a photograph.
Payments can be made using Visa, International Maestro or e-wallet systems. In India, the payment will need to be made in INR and the fees can be paid through Visa4UK. Once payment has been made, a confirmation email will be sent from WorldPay. Visa applicants can then take a printed version of this email to the VAC before completing their application.
The changes are part of wider efforts to streamline the UK immigration system. Over this year and next the Border Agency is implementing changes to allow the majority of customers to apply for a pay for their UK visas online.
Among the other countries to switch on to a mandatory online payment system this month are Romania, Montenegro, Bhutan and Kosovo.
There is a leeway in the changes for people who complete their online application form prior to December 16th. These people will be able to use other payment methods up until January 14th next year, when the system will change so that only online payments are accepted.