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Closure of Visa Section at British Embassy

 PRESS RELEASE FROM BRITISH CONSULATE - LISBON

CLOSURE OF VISA SECTION AT BRITISH EMBASSY, LISBON

The Visa Section (UK Border Agency) of the British Embassy in Lisbon will permanently close to the public on 4th March 2011. This means that with effect from 24th February 2011, all applicants resident in Portugal (including diplomats and officials) wishing to apply for United Kingdom visas will be required to submit their applications at the British Embassy in Madrid.

This decision occurs in the context of wider efforts all across the British Government aimed at reducing the UK’s public deficit. As part of this efficiency programme the UK is reducing the number of overseas visa posts and repatriating more visa work to the UK. In the European and Mediterranean region the UK is concentrating first of all on those operations where we are able to restructure our current model whilst still meeting customer service targets. Lisbon is one of these – alongside Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Brussels and Geneva.

The UK Border Agency is currently looking into the feasibility of opening a mobile Visa Application Centre in Lisbon, to be run by our commercial partner CSC WorldBridge. This would give visa applicants the choice of paying an additional fee to submit their applications in Portugal instead of travelling to Madrid. We plan to open this service by the end of March 2011 and we will advise customers of the final details on the application process and fees before 24 February.

Information on applying for a visa can be found at www.visainfoservices.com. Applicants will need to select Portugal as the country they are travelling from. The application process will remain the same; it is just the location for submission of applications that will change. Applicants will not need to make a second journey to Madrid to collect the decision, as they will be offered an optional courier return service direct to customers at their address in Portugal at a cost of €14. This should also help to reduce processing time as decisions will not need to be returned to the British Embassy in Lisbon before being returned to customers.

The British Embassy in Lisbon will no longer be able to provide information for visa applicants. For any visa enquiries please contact Worldbridge Services through the free email enquiry service or the premium phone line +34-93-184-5597 (fee equivalent to US$14).

This decision does not affect the way we provide services to British nationals in Portugal.

Lisbon 1 February 2011, British Embassy, Press & Public Affairs Section, 21 392 4076/4046

 

From 4th March 2011

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