• Home Office Expands Expedited Processing and Customer Service Options
  • November 26, 2013
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The UK Home Office recently announced several initiatives aimed at improving customer service for visa applicants.

    The Home Office will pilot the Great Club, an invitation-only and personalized visa service program for high-level executives. Participants in the program will be offered their own immigration account manager who will help them through the immigration process. Pilot Great Club participants will remain subject to all standard requirements and processes.

    The Home Office also aims to increase the number of countries in which priority visa processing is offered, from 67 to 90 by April 2014. Under these programs, the details of which can differ depending on the country, eligible applicants can pay an additional fee to have their applications moved to the front of processing queues. Applicants cannot use the priority visa service if they have an adverse immigration record. This month, for example, priority visa processing became available in Nepal.

    In India, the Home Office will introduce the VIP mobile visa service. Users of the service do not have to visit a UK diplomatic post. Instead, UK visa teams go to applicants to collect their completed forms and biometric data. This process reportedly takes less than five minutes. And in southern India, a new Passport Pass-Back program will be piloted, allowing visa applicants to have their passports returned to them within seven to ten days of submitting their applications.