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Better services for UK visa applicants.

MUSCAT -- The British Embassy, in collaboration with its partner VFS Global, has announced the introduction of new, enhanced services for UK visa applicants.

Beginning this month, anyone who has made an application for a UK visa at the new visa application centre will be able to track his/her application online and receive updates by SMS about the progress of his/her application.

The online tracking system is available free via the VAC website at ( and needs just an application reference number and the date of birth of the applicant. Once the information is given, the tracking system will tell you what stage your application has reached, up to the point that it is ready for collection from the application centre.

Applicants can also sign up for automatic SMS updates on their mobile phone at each key stage. The charge for this service is an additional 500 baisa, payable at the time of application.

In addition, the visa application centre website is now available in Arabic ( It contains translated versions of all the visa guidance, instructions and checklists and is the first time that the complete website is available in both English and Arabic.

Introducing the new service, British Ambassador Dr Noel Guckian said: Acents[euro]A"The services we offer to visa applicants continue to grow and to improve. Our visa application centre is proving popular with our customers who appreciate the longer opening hours and easier access. The online application system Visa4uk is a quick and convenient way to apply with priority service at the VAC.

Our premium 5-year visas offer unparalleled flexibility, and value for money at only RO164. And the biometric data we are now taking, is helping us to secure the identity of those we know and trust, as well as to identify fraud and secure the UK's borders. We have now taken over a million sets of fingerprints in 120 countries since our biometrics programme began in 2005. For more information for a UK visa log onto

[c] Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2008

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:May 20, 2008
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