Visa to United Kingdom Country Information & Travel News
The articles below provide important information about travel to United Kingdom.
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While filling the online UK visa application, applicants will be advised of their closest Biometrics Center to visit and have their fingerprint taken. The applicant will be given a receipt upon completion of the Biometrics process.
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The Government's five-year Strategy for Asylum and Immigration entitled ‘Controlling our borders: making migration work for Britain' published on 7 February 2005 announced that UKvisas (now the UK Border Agency, Visa Services Directorate) would be collecting biometric data from all visa applicants, irrespective of nationality. In the forward to the strategy the Prime Minister wrote:
"We will fingerprint visitors who need visas, and those planning longer stays, before they arrive"
All applicants are now routinely required to provide 10 digit fingerscans and a digital photograph when applying for a UK visa, with a few exceptions (Heads of State for example).
All visa applicants save for a limited number of exceptions will be required to attend in person to register their biometric data. Biometrics are collected at the offices of the British mission, commercial partner or in certain cases, the host government.
It will be simple and quick and will not delay your visa application.
Enrolment will simply mean presenting fingers on a glass screen, plus having a digital photograph taken; no ink, no mess. It will take less than five minutes and will not delay the decision on your application.
It will be discreet.
We are extremely aware of the need to protect the dignity, privacy and modesty of our applicants; there will be special arrangements for our female applicants where required.
All UK visa applicants, save for those benefiting from a limited number of exemptions and exceptions, are required to provide biometric data (10-digit fingerscans and a digital photograph) as part of the application process.
You will have to go to your nearest visa application centre in person to provide your biometrics. In those countries where there is no visa application centre, you will need to go to the British mission. In the USA you are most often directed to you local Police Station.
Your visa application will not be processed until you have provided the necessary biometric information. The finger scans are electronic so staff do not need to use any ink, liquid or chemicals. You will have your digital photograph taken at the same time and the whole procedure should take no more than five minutes to complete. You should make sure that you do not have any decoration (such as henna), or any cuts or other markings on your fingertips before having your finger scans. You should also make sure that if you have any cuts and bruises on your face, they have healed or disappeared before you have your photograph taken. Digital photographs must be of your full face and you should not wear sunglasses, a hat or any other head covering (unless you wear it for cultural or religious reasons but the face must not be covered).
We live in a constantly changing world. More travellers, greater mobility and new security threats mean we must find new ways of working which keep us all secure but which also benefit customers.
Identity theft is a major and growing problem globally. It helps terrorism and organised crime, and undermines national economies. To protect the integrity of the visa system and to protect our customers, we require every visa applicant around the world to enrol their fingerprints, and to have a digital photograph taken when they make a visa application.
We are not alone in doing this. Biometrics are becoming the industry standard for identity management. Increasingly, all passports will have a unique biometric identifier, whether this be fingerscans, an iris scan or a digital photograph. EU countries are also introducing biometrics into their visa application process.