Britain's Immigration Regional Director for Central and South Asia Thomas Greig said that the new initiative has been taken as part of efforts to streamline the visa application process and to make it consistent with the wider global trend.
    
Indian visa applicants will have to pay the fee online using Visa or MasterCard debit or credit cards or through e-wallet (Skrill).
    
Other methods of payment, including payment at the visa application centre, will be discontinued effective from December 16, said the British government official.
    
"This is part of our on-going commitment to offer the best service to our Indian customers. It is also part of the Home Office's programme of modernization," said Greig.
    
He said that the new initiative will help cut costs in the management of visa operations which in turn will help to keep visa fees down.
    
If the applicants need to create an e-wallet account, they will have to do it a few days before applying for the visa to ensure that the funds are available to use the online payment.
    
When the applicants pay their fee online, they will receive a payment confirmation email from WorldPay. They should print this confirmation email and take it with them to the visa application centre when they submit the rest of their visa application, British officials said.
     
Applicants intending to travel on work, study or settlement visas can ask their UK sponsor to make the online payment. Those applying for visit visas can also ask their travel agents to pay for their visa application as part of a package when booking flights and accommodation.
    
Applicants, who have applied and made online payment for their visa, will have to attend the visa application centre to submit their documents and provide their biometric data, including fingerprints and digital photograph.
    
For applicants who have completed their online application form prior to December 16 will be able to use other payment methods currently available until January 14, the officials said.

(Agencies)

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