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UK Border Agency or UK visas - Government Department


UK Border Agency or UK visas


About UK Border Agency or UK visas

Please note: UK visas is now UK Border Agency

The UK visa operation has offices in a hundred and forty six locations throughout the world. The largest handled over 170,000 applications in 2006/7; the smallest less than ten. UK Border Agency issued visas to 81% of those who applied. They processed 66% of visa applications within 24 hours. This is a record of which they are proud, but they aim to do even better.

UK Border Agency have already introduced new initiatives such as working with commercial partners to enable them to handle sharply increasing demand while also improving customer service. Their online application system, Visa4UK, has improved convenience and reduced processing times for customers and is now available in many overseas posts. They continually review the whole customer visa experience as they introduce new measures to ensure that they achieve their goals of supporting community cohesion and improving the United Kingdom's competitiveness as a destination.

In 2007 they implemented biometrics in their overseas posts, enabling them to take the fingerscans and digital photograph of every visa applicant. This enables them to fix their identity when they apply for a visa and improve their service to low-risk customers who will experience a faster, more effective service and are better protected against identity theft. They have also continued the expansion of their overseas risk assessment network, which identifies emerging trends or visa abuse through the development of analytical and profiling tools. Biometrics and risk assessment are key parts of their programme to strengthen the UK's border.