All UK visa applications could be processed in Croydon under the new plans.
02 January 2013
Border Agency transfers UK visa processing
The UK Border Agency has announced it will begin processing UK visa applications from several countries at the agency's regional hub in Croydon, South London.
While it is not yet known how many countries will be affected by the change, it is thought that it could affect worldwide applications as the agency attempts to centralise the UK visa application process with new IT systems and avoid errors which have plagued the agency in recent months.
In an announcement on the Home Office website, the UKBA was quick to reassure applicants that they could still apply in their home countries where eligible and their applications would be couriered to Croydon; processing times are also expected to remain the same.
"You should remember to submit English translations of all supporting documents. In order to keep costs to a minimum for you, certified translations are not required as, translations are checked for accuracy by UK Border Agency staff," reads the announcement
"Your application and documents submitted in [your home country] will be taken by secure courier to the regional visa hub in Croydon, where a decision on the application will be made. Passports and documents will then be couriered back to the [original] Visa Application Centre, where they can be collected.
"There will be no additional cost to you and processing target times remain unchanged."
The UKBA warned of service disruption between 8, January and 14, January as systems are upgraded and changed over.
Marissa Murdock, casework department manager at the UK Visa Bureau, says processing all applications from one centre will benefit all applicants.
"Processing all applications in Croydon will mean that the same officers will be processing all applications, rather than isolated offices around the world relying on separate systems to perform cross references," said Ms Murdock.
"Centralising the entire process to one location should result in a much more balanced, fairer system."
The UK Border Agency is announcing which countries' applications will be transferred to Croydon individually, you can find a list of countries which will be regularly updated here.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.