The British High Commission in India and IntegraScreenTM, an international provider of document and information verification services, today announced a voluntary scheme to expedite the processing of visas for travellers to the UK. Applicants for U.K. visas can now choose to speed up their applications by sending their documents and related information for verification to IntegraScreenTM.
The new scheme also includes VFS, the British High Commission's commercial partner, who collect and dispatch visa applications for the U.K. Customers who wish to use this service – which is not compulsory – should first complete a form available from VFS or at http://ukvisas.integrascreen.com. They can then submit the completed form, and the fee for verification, along with photocopies of supporting documents, to any VFS application centre. For customers who wish to go to the UK on a temporary basis (e.g. students, HSMP), the verification fee is INR 5,900. For customers who wish to live permanently in the UK, the fee is INR 10,800. These fees are in addition to the visa fee, and are not refundable.
Supporting documents are those such as educational qualifications and professional qualifications, employment details, bank statements and property ownership documents.
The UK Visa Departments in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata will give priority to applications which are supported by documents which have been verified by IntegraScreenTM.
Mandy Ivemy, Director of UK Visa Services for India, explained: "This partnership with IntegraScreen™ demonstrates our continuing efforts to offer increasingly better services to our customers. It offers customers a way to demonstrate that their visa application is supported by genuine documents, screened by an independent third party. So our visa departments will be confident that documents are genuine, which means that we can process their applications quicker. We have also entered into this partnership because we are concerned about the rise in the number of agents who charge exorbitant fees and make unrealistic claims including guarantees of visa issues. Some of these agents persuade applicants to buy false documents. These visas are always refused and the applicants lose all their money. In addition, both the applicants and the agents could face criminal prosecution".
IntegraScreenTM, the largest international provider of immigration screening services, currently works with various governments across the globe. Prominent among these is the Degree Verification Programme (DVP) being conducted for the Government of United Arab Emirates. The UAE DVP programme currently screens degree certificates of all international job applicants. The programme helps to protect all sectors of society by rooting out fraudulent applications and ensuring that all professionals are correctly qualified for the jobs they are doing.
Yogesh Bhura, Managing Director, IntegraScreen™ Group said: "We are delighted to provide our services to the British High Commission. Our immigration screening experience across the globe has helped us create a world class system of document and information verification. Forged documentation is an area of concern for the immigration departments of governments worldwide. We have recently seen an increase in requests from many government bodies."
Understandably, offering documents for independent verification will add time to the process before the formal application takes place. But the peace of mind that this offers customers will mean that many of those who are uncertain or confused by the visa process, or who wish to ensure their applications are in good order, will be very well served by using this facility.
To see whether you can use this scheme, please visit www.ukinindia.com. For further information on this service please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
IntegraScreen provides background screening reports and data on companies and individuals. Established in 2000 and headquartered in Singapore, we employ 300 researchers in 10 locations around the world. We produce reports that thoroughly analyze public domain information to determine the background of companies and individuals as well as the risks they may pose to our clients. Our reports and data products are used for immigration screening and compliance with the Sarbanes Oxley Act, anti-money laundering regulations, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the USA Patriot Act.