The Visa Section at the British High Commission and their Commercial Partner, VFS, have in the last week received an unprecedented number of visa applications for the Ghana-England friendly match at Wembley Stadium on 29th March 2011.
The UK Border Agency, UKBA, has worked closely with the English Football Association, the Ghana Football Association and designated travel agents. Applicants can help by ensuring that:
There is no need to send the original ticket for the match, a copy will suffice but all other original documents should be included where possible.
Applicants must note that each application is assessed on merit using the evidence provided. Simply having a ticket for the match does not guarantee entry into the UK. A well prepared application assists the Visa Section with their decision-making therefore applications submitted without full supporting documentation are less likely to be successful. Applicants are assessed as visitors under the published Immigration Rules.
UKBA wishes to assure the general public that staff of the Visa Section will be working additional hours to process the large number of applications received. The Visa Section will however not be open to the public and all applications must be made at VFS as normal. VFS, based at the Visa Application Centre, in Labone, will not open over the weekend.
Currently UKBA processes visa decisions well within the published 15 days and are doing all it can to meet this with the football related applications. There is no guarantee however that a final decision can be made prior to the proposed travel dates for the match. The visa process takes time so applicants should endeavour to submit their applications promptly. If left too close to kick off it is unlikely that a decision can be made in time for travel.
Information on the visa process and our work in general is available on the UKBA website – www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas
Source: Gifty Bingley
British High Commission