From 21 August visa seekers will apply online to speed up process
12 August 2010: Saudis can now apply online from their country. For the UK immigration department is introducing an online visa application service for those applying from Saudi Arabia.
A statement from Roderick Drummond of the US Embassy in Riyadh says from 21 August visa seekers will have to apply for their UK visas online in order to speed up the application process.
Of all the Gulf states, Saudi is issued the highest number of UK visas according to last year’s figures.
Even though the application will be forwarded online after the specified date, the applicants will still be required to visit a UK visa application centre for submitting their biometric information.
But even then not much time is expected to be wasted. Drummond assured the applicants that they will not have to spend more than 15 minutes at the centres.
The Arab News quoted him as saying there is a high demand for UK visas and online service will help speed up the process.
The development is significant as some 100,000 UK visas were issued to Saudis last year. Out of the total, 20,000 were student visas. These currently take as long as 10 days to process.
Drummond added they have already issued 65,000 visas this year and hope to match last year’s figures by the year-end.