India probes unauthorised agents causing visa delays in UK
The Indian High Commission in London has said that it is investigating reports of unauthorised agents illegally charging fees to get visas processed for travellers to India, amid reports of a severe visa crunch faced by tourists to the country.
The Indian mission has said that it is working on streamlining processes and also dismissed claims in sections of the UK media that there had been a sudden visa rule change that had impacted British tourists. It reiterated that individual visa applicants have always been expected to apply in person at the mission's outsourced VFS Global centres in London.
“It has come to our notice that unauthorised agents and individuals are illegally charging fees and collecting India visa applications for submission at VFS Centres, misleading applicants and misrepresenting the services that they can legally provide,” the High Commission’s statement said.
“It is underlined that this matter is currently being investigated. High Commission of India emphasises that M/s VFS Global Services is the only authorised Outsourcing Service Provider for India-related passport/visa/ and consular services in the UK. As per established procedure, individual visa applicants are, and have always been required to submit visa applications at the VFS Centres in person… It is reiterated that there is NO change in the visa application process for individual visa applicants,” the statement reads.