South Africans share their frustrations on VFS Global’s announcement on new visa applications

28 Jul  2022 – IOL

South Africans have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns about the costs and red tape involved with applying for UK visas.

South Africans have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns about the costs and red tape involved with applying for UK visas after VFS Global announced changes to the availability of Priority Services (PV) for new visit visa applications.

VFS Global said that the volume of PV appointments would be reduced to enable UKVI to process more standard applications and gradually reduce the overall processing time for all customers.

VFS said: “Please note that PV appointments for new visit visa applications must be purchased online during the appointment booking process and cannot be purchased in the Visa Application Centre or retrospectively. SPV appointments can be purchased online during the appointment booking process.”

Redi Tlabi, news anchor and author, responded on Twitter by saying: “Do UK missions overseas endorse shocking fees charged by VBS? Are Consulates aware that often, the ONLY service & appointments available are the VIP expensive ones & for weeks on end, normal appointments are locked. Even when applying early. It’s wrong!’’

Tlabi also questioned why people’s passports held for 8 weeks or more and after purpose of travel has passed specifically when it comes to emergency trips and visas for short visits.

She said: “In this digital age, can @USEmbassySA, @ukinsouthafrica & EU counterparts not find a humane solution that is suitable for 21st century realities? Holding on 2 a passport for 8+ weeks whilst deciding on a visa for a 4 day conference seems ill suited for rebuilding work & economies.”

Chartered Accountant and Sports Enthusiast Mariam Engelbrecht responded: “It certainly doesn’t help that the South African passport is losing its “secure” status amongst the EU . My view …. Government should be doing more on this matter before countries start imposing visas . It wasn’t so long ago that South Africans could travel to the UK visa free.’’

www.samigration.com

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