Following the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s successful visit to Bhutan, the UK has announced the opening of a new Visa Application Centre (VAC) to further strengthen ties between the two countries.
The new VAC is a joint venture with Australia and VFS Global, UK Visas and Immigration’s commercial partner.
It is planned to open mid-May in Thimphu, and will provide customers the opportunity to apply for their UK visas in Bhutan rather than having to travel to India.
British High Commissioner Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG said: “I was honoured to accompany The Duke and Duchess on their visit to Bhutan. Their Royal Highnesses spent time with Their Majesties the King and Queen, children from local NGOs as well as a number of Bhutanese with links to the UK and were thrilled to get to know more this beautiful country and its people.”
“I am so pleased we are able to build on the strong relationship between our two countries by opening the UK’s first Visa Application Centre in Bhutan. I hope it encourages more Bhutanese to visit the UK, where they are sure to receive a warm welcome.”
UK Visas and Immigration Regional Director for South Asia, Nick Crouch said: “UKVI is committed to improving its service and making it easier for customers across the world to apply for their UK visas.” This new visa centre will allow Bhutanese to apply for their visas in their own country.
“We hope that by offering this new service we will see more Bhutanese applying for their visas and coming to the UK to visit or study.” The UK and Australian Visa Application centre will open five days a week and is located at: UK and Australia Visa application centre 5th floor, Thimphu Plaza 11B Chang Lam2 Thimphu, Bhutan-11001.
The visa process will not be altered as a result of this new service and applicants will continue to apply for their visa and book their visa appointment via the visa4uk website. However there will be an extra charge to use this user-pay VAC which is 54 British pounds on top of the cost of the visa. This charge, along with the visa fee, will need to be paid for when the application is submitted online. The VAC will open from 9 am- 2 pm, Mon to Fri, except holidays. All visa decisions will be made in Delhi and will be processed within UKVI’s global 15 working day service standard.
Customers needing a UK visa urgently will still be able to apply for them in Kolkata or Delhi and use the priority or super priority visa services if eligible.