British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis on Friday advised Indian travelers not to buy tickets until they receive their visas as approvals are taking longer than expected. The UK is expecting a flood of Indian students to join campuses this fall and the British HC is doing all it can to ensure they get their visas in a time bound manner.
“Why is this (delay) happening? Firstly, due to the unprecedented increase in UK visa demand post-Covid. Second, due to global events, especially the Russian invasion of Ukraine. What are we doing about it? We are putting more resources into this. We are training more people and keeping the priority visa service open, which many of you can use. You can help us by making sure you have the right documents,” he added.
“And my advice is don’t commit to your plane tickets until you’ve got your visa to be on the safe side. We want to see an unprecedented number of Indian students come to the UK this year and will do everything we can to make sure you get your visa on time. But again, follow the instructions to the letter,” the teacher-turned-diplomat said in a recorded video message posted on Twitter.
Post-pandemic foreign missions in India are overwhelmed with visa applications due to curbed travel demand.
VFS Global COO (South Asia) Prabuddha Sen had recently told the Times of India that it is “experiencing unprecedented volumes – 20,000 to 23,000 visa applications per day on average from India, given the subdued travel demand”.