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Vital info for Gambian visa applicants to the UK

Nov 8, 2013, 9:31 AM

To prevent unnecessary mistakes and sometimes misleading information which in certain cases may caused unexpected delays or result in refusals for the granting of visa, the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) has once again come out with clear, thorough and helpful information to all Gambian applicants intending to visit the UK.

The UKBA also outlined the importance of ‘fingerprint, appointment and application fees’ required and further disclosed that Gambians can apply for a visa ‘three months’ prior to their visit to the UK. However, it strongly advises applicants ‘not to confirm travel arrangements’ until they have received their visa.

Information gathered by this correspondent following enquires about such issues also explains how you can apply for a visa to come to the UK, if you are currently in Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Mali or Cape Verde.

Before applying, the UKBA also outlined that applicants must ‘prepare the supporting documents that they will need and be ready to enroll your fingerprints and photograph (biometric information) at our visa application centre in the British High Commission, and be able to pay the visa application fee’.

Furthermore, the UKBA advised that any applicant ‘who do not know’ which supporting documents to provide, the ‘visa application fees and guides information’ will help them accordingly to find guidance for any visa category. Those who are applying under the points-based system should equally provide ‘all the documents specified in the guidance for their visa category’.

The UKBA also stressed that if you are applying for any other type of visa, ‘you should provide documents that will support the statements that you make in your visa application’. Importantly, you should also show that ‘the information in your application is true’.

According to the UKBA they will ‘only consider documents submitted with your application’. Thus ‘you cannot submit documents after you have completed your application at the visa application centre, unless our staff asks you for them’.

The UKBA also emphasized the importance of original documents, and said that for ‘every document that you provide, you must include the original document and a photocopy’. The documents include ‘a copy of your passport bio-data page (the page containing your photograph)’.

Good quality photocopies are also essential and, therefore, the UKBA politely stressed that applicants should ‘please ensure that the photocopies are of good quality and can be read easily’.

It also added that applicants must make visa application online, and that after you have completed and submitted your online application form, ‘you will need to print out and sign the completed form’.

As part of your online application, the UKBA advised that you ‘must also make an online appointment to attend the visa application centre’. After you have completed your online application, ‘you will receive an email message containing your application number (GWF reference number)... Please make a note of this number’.

The UKBA also disclosed that ‘appointment must be no more than 60 days after the date when you completed and submitted your online visa application form...You must enroll your fingerprints and facial photograph (biometric information) when you attend your appointment’.

It is also important to note that the applicant cannot enroll fingerprints ‘if fingertips are cut or damaged, or if you have put any form of temporary decoration (such as henna or mehendi) on them’. In addition, applicants who are part of a family or group, each member of the family or group ‘must make an individual appointment’.

As far as payment is concerned, applicants ‘must pay the visa application fee in cash (GMD) in undamaged 100 GMD denomination banknotes’ at the visa application centre in the British High Commission.

The UKBA reminded applicants that they should ensure that they ‘get a receipt’ and that it ‘cannot accept payment by any other method’.

Author: Alhagie Mbye, The Point’s UK Correspondent.