UK Visa applicants in Sri Lanka will now be able to retain their passports, with the launch of the new “passport pass-back service”.
Previously applicants had to submit their original passport and leave it for the duration of processing, so this is good news for frequent travellers and those who require their passports for other purposes.
Applicants lodging applications at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Colombo have the option of keeping their passports when submitting their application, for an additional fee of approximately LKR9,400.
Applicants applying for visit, employment or student visas will need to submit their passports within 10 working days of applying for their visa. Those applying under the settlement route will need to submit their passports within 4 weeks of notification.
This new service will not be available to applicants who want to apply under the UK’s Priority Visa service or Business Express Program, as the processing time is anyway short.
Applicants who have already submitted their passports for processing (before 11 August 2014) will not be able to get their passports back.
New applicants who wish to utilise this service can pay VFS online or notify them on arrival.
For further information about applying for UK visas, contact us.