UK announces new visa processing arrangements for Sri Lankans

Saturday, 27 October 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The UK Border Agency yesterday announced the details of arrangements for the processing of UK visa applications from Thursday, 1 November 2012.   

From this date, all visa applications submitted in Colombo will be processed by the UK Border Agency at the British Deputy High Commission in Chennai.  

The majority of Sri Lankan visa applications have been processed in Chennai since June 2008 and the UK Border Agency will ensure a smooth transition of the remaining visa operation. The visa section in the British High Commission will close on 31 October.

Applicants will continue to submit their visa applications at the visa application centre in Colombo and collect their documents from the same location, or request return by courier. The published processing times for short-term visas is for the UK Border Agency to process 90% of applications within 15 working days, and this will not change.

For all applications submitted from 1 November, applicants will be required to pay a Sri Lankan Government levy of Rs. 1,000 for the movement of their passport out of Sri Lanka. For the convenience of UK visa applicants, this fee will be payable at the visa application centre before the visa application is submitted. VFS will charge an administrative fee of Rs. 200. There will be no change to the cost of the visa itself.

Visa applications, including passports and supporting documents, will be transported by secure courier between the visa application centre in Colombo and the British Deputy High Commission in Chennai.

These arrangements for decision-making for Sri Lankan visa applications are consistent with the UK Border Agency’s global approach to making the best use of resources to deliver an efficient and effective visa service.  There are many examples of this kind of operation world-wide, in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Southern Africa.

UK visa applicants may make enquiries by:

  • Phoning VFS Global:  331 for Dialog subscribers and 0094 773908011 for international callers or
  • Sending an email to the UK Border Agency:  [email protected]

Comprehensive information about the visa application process is available at:; and

When the visa section closes in Colombo, there will continue to be a UK Border Agency Risk Assessment and Airline Liaison unit in the British High Commission in Colombo. This unit will continue to undertake forgery checks on documents submitted with visa applications.