From Monday 5 March 2012, all UK visa applications in India will have to be made online. You also need to book your appointment at the visa application centre online, unless you want to book a ‘premium service lounge’ appointment. Applications completed by hand will not be accepted.
You can apply for a visa up to three months before your date of travel to the UK. `We strongly advise you not to confirm your travel arrangements until you have received your visa,’ the UK Border Agency said.
Before you apply, you must prepare the supporting documents that you will need; be ready to enroll your fingerprints and photograph, known as biometric information, at one of our visa application centres; and be able to pay the visa application fee.
If you are applying under the points-based system, you should provide all the documents specified in the guidance for your visa category. For each document, you should also provide any information or explanation that may help us to make our decision.
If you are applying for any other type of visa, you should provide documents that support the statements that you make in your visa application; and show that the information in your application is true.
The UKBA said: `We will only consider documents submitted with your application. You cannot submit documents after you have completed your application at the visa application centre, unless our staff ask you for them.
`For every document that you provide, you must include the original document and a photocopy. This includes a copy of your passport bio-data page. Please ensure that the photocopies are of good quality and can be read easily. If you do not provide a photocopy of each document, we might not return your original documents to you.
`To apply for a visa, you must complete and submit a visa application form; and attend one of our visa application centres.
`You can complete and submit the application form online, or you can print out the form and complete it by hand.
`If you are applying under the points-based system, you must complete an online application.
`If you apply online, you will need to print out and sign your completed form. If you do not have access to a printer when you apply, you will be able to log in and print out the form later.
`When you have completed your online application, you will receive an email message containing your application number, also known as a ‘GWF reference’. Please make a note of this number.
There are three ways to pay your visa application fee:
Payment at Standard Chartered Bank: You can pay your fee at some branches of the Standard Chartered Bank.
The bank will issue a demand draft in favour of the ‘The British High Commission’, payable in: New Delhi if you are submitting your application in Northern or Eastern India; Mumbai if you are submitting your application in Western India; and Chennai if you are submitting your application in Southern India
`The demand draft is valid for six months from the date of issue. You should submit your visa application during this six-month period. You must attend the bank in person with your original passport. In the case of a family application, one applicant can visit a branch of the bank with the original passports of all the family members applying for the visa.
Kindly bring the demand draft with you to the visa application centre when you submit your visa application. Separate demand drafts are required for each visa application.
You can pay your fee by getting a demand draft issued by a nationalised or a foreign bank. Bank charges for this service will vary.
The demand draft must be in favour of the ‘The British High Commission’, payable in:
New Delhi if you are submitting your application in Northern or Eastern India Mumbai, if you are submitting your application in Western India, Chennai if you are submitting your application in Southern India.
`Please bring the demand draft with you to the visa application centre when you submit your visa application. Separate demand drafts are required for each visa application.
`We regret that we cannot accept bank drafts drawn from a co-operative bank. You can pay the visa application fee at the visa application centre when you submit your visa application. Standard Chartered Bank facilities are located in all visa application centres for this purpose. The Standard Chartered Bank will apply a service charge of Rs.200 (inclusive of taxes) for this facility.
`To complete the application process, you must go to one of our visa application centres in South and North Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Hyderabad, Jalandhar or Kolkata.
`Unless you are making an application under the points-based system, you do not need to make an appointment. However, to avoid a long wait, we recommend that you do make an appointment before attending the visa application centre,’ the UKBA added.