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“Premium” visa services for UK-bound students

UKVI and VFS Global have announced new measures to help students from the US and across South America who are planning to travel to the UK. 

Visa rules have been relaxed for students coming to the UK. Photo: Pexels

"VFS Global has established standardised protective measures to be followed across all its Premium Application Centres"

In a statement, VFS Global said that students can schedule appointments at Premium Application Centres operated by the company across the US as its centres in Latin America also open.  

“It is important we provide international students with the support and flexibility they need”

US centres have had a phased reopening since August, and are operating in ten cities including: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Seattle, Washington DC and San Francisco. 

“Over the last few years we have continued to see thousands of students from the United States choose the UK’s world-class higher-education system as the destination for their studies,” said Martin Potter, head of customer experience and account management for UKVI.

“Despite the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important we provide international students with the support and flexibility they need to pursue their studies in the UK, in a safe manner.” 

Additionally, centres in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Ecuador and Guatemala are processing Tier 4 visa applications.

While the centres are subject to local lockdown regulations, students across Latin America can opt for a On-Demand Mobile Visa service, which allows them to submit their visa application and enrol biometrics from home.

VFS Global and UKVI also said that new health precautions will be brought in to protect those students who apply for visas.

“In order to ensure a safe environment for customers and employees, VFS Global has established standardised protective measures to be followed across all its Premium Application Centres,” the statement said. 

“For those travellers, our message is clear: your safety is our highest priority. Throughout the visa application process and your travel to the UK, we are taking measures to ensure you are safe and secure,” Potter added.  

UKVI and VFS Global said that staff will carry out preventive measures such as disinfecting high-contact surfaces, body temperature screenings, use of hand sanitisers. 

US students making applications via the standard visa service will attend a USCIS Application Support Center  to provide their biometrics.

“As borders re-open and travel resumes, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of health and safety precautions, according to the guidelines of the World Health Organisation and local authorities,” said VFS’s regional group chief operating officer (South Asia, Middle East, North Africa and Americas), Vinay Malhotra. 

“We are conscious that this is the time students will be applying for visas to travel to the UK for higher education, and would like to assure them of a safe and seamless visa application process at our Centres,” he added.

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3 Responses to “Premium” visa services for UK-bound students

  1. Hello Dear

    Do middle east people such as ( Iraqi people) have the same chance to get tier4 or not?? I mean if they had profe the financially ready, good english they have, and acceptance letter from authorised university. That will be same chance like others??

  2. It is a good initiative but incredibly expensive – the UK visa itself is far more expensive than any of our other visa applications. It is worrying and may become cost prohibitive. In Bolivia without the Premium service we cannot get the visa in time so everyone will have to pay for this service which is not in everyone’s budget. The UK should curb the visa expense, especially now with Brexit. It could adversely affect international recruitment.

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