Visa Application Centres (VACs) have been introduced in over 100 countries by the British Government’s visa department, UKvisas. Newly opened VACs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi were recently showcased to media including an overview of the biometrics process. In the Middle East, the VACs are run in partnership with VFS Global Ltd, a subsidiary of the Swiss-based Kuoni travel company. The commercial partner plays no part in the decision-making process on whether or not to issue a visa. On completion of the fingerprints and relevant documentation, the applications are forwarded to the Visa Section of the British Embassy for decision. For the overwhelming majority of applications, decisions are made within 24 hours.
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