New Updates on UK & US Visa Applicants requirements

The British High Commission has announced that applicants from outside the UK, will now pay for email inquiries from June 1.

This was contained in a brief report on changes to UK visas and immigration customer care operations made available by the media officer, Joseph Abuku, in Abuja.“Effective (June 1), email inquiries by visa customers from overseas will attract a fee.

“How you contact UK Visas and Immigration is changing.

“From 1 June, all customer enquiries will be handled by a new commercial partner Sitel UK. The new contract will see a number of changes for customers,” Abuku said.
The High Commission also confirmed changes were made in all phone numbers and opening hours.

There’s also reduction in the number of languages offered to eight, including English and a fee of £5.48 for customers who contacted the UK visas and Immigration by email.
Abuku added: “You will need to pay using a credit or debit card for contacting us by email.
“The charge includes the first email inquiry you send and any follow-up emails to and from the contact centre relating to the same enquiry.

“The way you pay to use the telephone service will remain the same using a credit or debit card.

“If you do not have access to a credit or debit card, you may choose to use a trusted 3rd party such as an agent or sponsor.”
There were no changes to services for customers contacting from inside the UK.

Meanwhile, People applying for US visas worldwide, will now have to fill a new questionnaire.

Applicants would be asked for their social media handles for the last five years and biographical information going back 15 years.
The new questions are part of President Donald Trump’s efforts, to tighten vetting of would-be visitors to the US. They were approved on May 23 by the Office of Management and Budget.

Consular officials can request all prior passport numbers, five years’ worth of social media information, email addresses and phone numbers.

They can also ask for 15 years of biographical information including addresses, employment and travel history.

However, critics have said the new questions would be tiring and lead to long delays in processing, discouraging international students and scientists from travelling to the States.

The State Department said earlier the tighter vetting would apply to visa applicants “who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities”.

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