The Indian Mission in London is one of the largest in the world and the outsourcing of the visa application process will make the exercise hassle-free, High Commissioner Shiv Shankar Mukherjee said after launching the visa application centre in Victoria, in the heart of the city.
Mukherjee said the new Centre would have several firsts to its credit including facilities for submitting application online and payment by credit card.
The posh centre is one of the eight centres VFS Global, the private agency chosen for handling the work, planned to open in the UK, its Chief Operating Officer Sanjay Bhaduri told PTI.
On an average, the High Commission issues 500,000 visas in a year and it is expected to go up by 20 per cent every year.
"This will be one of the largest application processing centres," Bhaduri said, adding "we are using the best practices from other missions here."
Zubin Karkaria, owner of VFS Global, said two India Visa Application Centres will commence operation in the city tomorrow and one each in Edinburgh and Hayes in Middlesex on June 6.
"Ultimately we will have 8 centres," Sanjay Bhaduri said. Established in 2001, it currently served the interest of diplomatic missions in 42 countries worldwide.
"The company, operating out of over 276 Visa Application Centres located in Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, CIS and the Middle East, would process close to 6 million visas in 2008."