The United Kingdom has introduced two new bespoke ‘platinum services’ for visa applicants in the United Arab Emirates.
The new services have been designed “specifically for customers who want to sit back and relax while their visa application is taken care of, whether at the application centre, or in their own office or home,” a statement said.
The first is an on-demand mobile biometric service which allows applicants to complete their visa application from their home, office or any location of choice.
The service is available to individuals and groups including corporate employees or families. A small team will travel to the applicant’s chosen location to complete the biometric enrolment process – capturing fingerscans and a photograph.
The cost of the service starts from Dhs 4,500 for an individual, with discounted pricing for groups.
The second facility is a ‘platinum lounge’ opened within the visa application centre in Dubai’s Wafi Mall.
Customers can relax in their own private booth within the lounge, while VFS staff will take care of the entire process.
Applicants will be provided with a personalised chauffer service to and from the centre, have wi-fi connectivity and enjoy one-to-one assistance with filling in application forms and making online payments.
Lounge customers will also enjoy priority visa service and can have the visa delivered to their door three to five days after they apply, or within 24 hours if they choose to upgrade to the super priority visa service.
The lounge is the first of its kind that the UK has introduced anywhere in the world, the statement said.
The service costs an additional Dhs 2,600 and is available to customers applying at the UK visa application centre in Dubai only.
“The introduction of the new services marks a further step forward in the UK’s efforts to provide a bespoke visa offering for customers in the UAE,” the statement said.
The UK currently offers Emiratis an electronic visa waiver service for short trips of up to six months at a time.
There were more than 54,600 EVW registrations from UAE nationals in the last year. Visa applications from Emiratis were processed in under four days on average during this period, officials confirmed.