UK visa applicants in India are set to have access to a new online payment system from next month.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has confirmed that from May 1st this year, anyone in India who is looking to make a UK visa application will have the option to pay their fees with a credit or debit card online.
Thomas Greig, regional director for the Home Office, explained that the decision is part of the office's “on-going commitment to offer the best service to our Indian customers”.
At the moment, Indian customers are able to apply for their visa online, but it isn't possible to process the payment over the internet. This will change with the update next month, but applicants who don't have online access can rest assured that they will still be able to make payments through the visa application centres and other existing methods if they prefer
Mr Greig commented on the new service: “It will be a much more streamlined application process and is consistent with a wider global trend to online transactions and payments.
“It will also be a safer system for both customers and staff as it reduces the risk associated with cash payment.”
He added that the move is part of the Home Office's internal programme of modernisation, which includes “moving to an online application process where almost all customers around the world would apply and pay for their visas online”.
At the moment customers will continue to pay for their UK visa with rupees, but the option to pay in other major world currencies is due to be introduced at a later date. The online service currently operates with either MasterCard or Visa payments but this is also expected to be expanded to include the option to pay with other cards and eWallets in the near future.