South Africa – VFS Global Offices Open in The United Kingdom

What has changed

Effective from August 7, 2015, Visa Facilitation Service (VFS Global) will service residents in the United Kingdom who require a visa to travel to South Africa.  To further facilitate the demand, applicants will be able to submit their materials directly to the VFS Global Facilitation Centre in one of three (3) locations:

  • London
  • Manchester
  • Edinburough

Previously, all submissions happened in person at the South African High Commission in London, which stopped accepting application directly on August 6, 2015.  This change is meant to improve the overall service level to visa applicants.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • South Africa visa applicants located in the United Kingdom

Employees will need to submit immigration applications at one of the three (3) VFS Global Centres. There is no jurisdictional limitation regarding which VFS Global Centre an applicant can visit, but applicants must obtain an appointment prior to submitting their application materials. In addition to location, the submission process has changed in the following ways:

  • Application fees will generally remain the same, but there will be an additional VFS service charge of £35 per application.
  • Passports will now be retained during the processing time. Previously passports were returned to the applicant upon submission. This will impact any international travel plans the applicant has during the adjudication process.
  • Processing times  for work visa applications have increased to up to thirty-two (32) to thirty-four (34) working days.

Additionally, applicants are likely to face requests for additional documentation. The VFS Global Centre can request this documentation at any stage during the application process.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Appointments must be booked in advance for the submission but the centres are accepting walk-ins for the next two (2) weeks.
  • Emigra Worldwide will continue to monitor news from the VFS centres and will send updates accordingly.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.

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