Applying for a UK visa from abroad?
Be aware of future changes in immigration procedures after arrival
The UK Government is about to introduce changes in the way that it issues permission for people to come to the UK from abroad for more than six months. The changes are planned to kick in in February 2015 when the new rules will affect only people applying from Pakistan. From 29 May 2015 a second group of countries will be requested to follow the new immigration procedures. The rest of the world countries will be added on 31 July 2015.
The current system is that when students apply in their home country for permission to come to the UK, they receive an ‘entry clearance’ visa sticker in their passport, which usually gives them permission to enter the UK and stay in the UK for the entire length of their course (plus a short time afterwards). According to the new system when a student makes their immigration application abroad, they will have to say what town they are going to stay in after the arrival to the UK. They will be given a short-term entry clearance in their passport that gives them 30 days in which a student must to travel to the UK and then go to a Post Office near the town identified to collect a ‘Biometric Immigration Document’ (‘BID’) which shows their permission to be in the UK for the rest of their course (plus a short amount of time afterwards).
We advise students to collect their BIDs as soon as possible after arriving, as BID will be needed for many purposes like renting accommodation, opening back account etc.
The first group of countries to be affected after Pakistan:
Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Gibraltar, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Laos, Libya, Maldives, Malta, Nepal, Netherlands, North Korea, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The countries that will be added for those making applications on or after 29 May 2015:
Afghanistan, Ascension Island, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Bermuda, Brunei, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Guyana, Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, St Helena, St Lucia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, USA, and Yemen.
Source of information: UKCISA