Kochi: A British visa application centre will open
in Kochi next week to help applicants from Kerala.
to function from 8 am to 2 pm everyday from Monday to
Friday, will collect applications, send them to the British
Deputy High Commission (BDHC) in Chennai for clearance
and will distribute the visas.
second secretary, immigration, at the BDHC office, says
the visas could be issued within a minimum of three days
where no personal interviews are required.
are required, the applicants can now choose the date and
time of the interview in Chennai to suit their convenience.
This way, the serpentine lines at BDHC can now be a thing
of the past, he hopes.
He says the
Kochi centre will only be a forwarding and distributing
office and that the visa decisions will be taken by the
immigration clearance officers at BDHC.
BDHC, he says,
has streamlined the visa application procedure so that
it is now user-friendly and requires a short time. With
the opening of the Kochi centre, all the southern states
now have a visa centre each.
says the Kochi centre is the outcome of a rise in the
number of British visa-seekers from Kerala in the past
few years. He notes that 15 to 20 per cent of all the
visa-seekers from South India are from Kerala. Nearly
15 Keralites seek British visa every day.