for fellow travellers

Sunday, May 10, 2009

VFS UK Delhi

We reached the VFS UK, (Upper Ground Floor, S-2 Level, International Trade Tower, Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019) without appointment early in the morning at 7:30 am there was already a queue. We got a number for waiting for paying the visa fees at the cash counter.
In case of USA visa this fees can be paid by applicants in their hometowns at a HDFC , specified counter.
After 3 emails to UK VFS we got an appointment for a date other than the 3 dates we had requested.
Although not mentioned in the required list of documents a Bank statement is absolutely required to be submitted at the time of application.
In 2007 when we went to USA we had been sure that we would be refused visa. But they had told us not to buy flight tickets or pay for accommodation before getting the visa. For the UK visa you have to purchase tickets before hand and also book accommodation. What happens when they refuse visa? I found the Working of US embassy much smoother and systematic than UK VFS.
After submitting all documents and after hours of standing in, this queue then that queue, we were told that we may still be required to come for an interview, that was ultimate especially for us, coming from another city.
We proceeded to Biometrics where we had to give finger prints of all 10 fingers. They took photographs also. AVOID MEHNDI (Henna) application on hands if applying for a UK Visa, otherwise you might have to postpone your visit to UK.
First time visitors to UK and less frequently travelled people should be prepared that their applications would take a longer time to process.
Collecting the passports afterwards was again not easy. I suggest you stand in line by 5:30 pm otherwise there would be a long queue.
Pankaj had last year applied for a 5yr visa to the UK. The family had a history of travelling to UK for 3 times in the last 4yrs. He had payed the hiked visa fees only to receive a visa for 2years. In contrast one applies for a tourist visa to the US embassy for 6 months and they even give you a 10 yr multiple entry visa in the same fees.
I think UK VFS seriously needs to revamp the processing process which they are currently doing for visa applications.

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