BANGKOK, 1 June 2017: The UK government will slap a fee on people for just writing an email seeking advice on applying for visas.
According to the UK Mirror, People, who want a UK visa, will have to pay £5.48 debited from their credit card, when they seek clarity or ask for information on how to apply for visa via emails.
The charge came into force today, Thursday, as part of a cost-cutting drive after UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) out-sourced the enquiry service to a private firm.
It covers general enquiries, not just full visa applications which carry a separate fee also paid for by credit and non refundable.
The change impacts on anyone applying for a visa from outside of the UK.
A Home Office source told UK media the service had “cost a significant amount to run” so charging foreigners will make it cost-neutral. Outsourcing firm Sitel UK won the contract for running the enquiries service.
The UK visa email enquiry service was offered in numerous languages including Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese.
The list has been cut back to just include language specific enquires and responses in English, Arabic, Cantonese, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish.
However, the UK’s Home Office noted all of the full list of languages continue to be available on its website.
The reduction in languages is likely to cause stress for 1 in 25 callers and those who e-mail to UKVI, the Home Office stated.