• search
For Quick Alerts
For Daily Alerts

UK declines Pak request to return 'visa processing' to country from Abu Dhabi 'hub'

By Nitsi

Islamabad, Oct 27 (ANI): Britain is not ready to entertain the Pakistan government's request for returning visa processing from Abu Dhabi to Islamabad, but has committed to streamline the procedures to ensure swift processing of visa applications from the country.

"The focus is on ensuring processing of applications swiftly and expeditiously," the Dawn quoted British Home Secretary Theresa May, as saying, while talking to reporters at the High Commissioner's residence on Tuesday.

She was replying to a query whether Pakistan would be excluded from the 'hub and spoke' programme and restart visa processing from Islamabad.

Under the 'hub and spoke' programme, Britain processes visa applications from a number of countries in Abu Dhabi, which serves as a hub for the processing of visas.

Pakistan was placed on the list after the British embassy determined that Islamabad had become unsafe for westerners and shifted the visa processing work to Abu Dhabi, which serves as the 'hub' for the region. But this has led to massive delays in the issuance of visas, in addition to a sharp surge in the refusal rate that jumped from 22 per cent to 44 per cent.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Interior Minister Rehman Malik had raised the issue of Pakistan's exclusion from the programme, May said.

The troubles encountered by visa applicants last year had been dealt with, she pointed out, and said, "I have delivered on our promise to determine all visas on time and within fifteen days."

Pakistan is UK Border Agency's (UKBA) fourth largest visa operation worldwide. Last year there were 90,000 applications for visit, work and study, which were processed in Abu Dhabi. (ANI)

For Daily Alerts
Get Instant News Updates
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more