UK - South African and other citizens can make online visa applications

South African nationals wishing to apply for a Working Holiday Maker Visa, Student or Work Visa for the UK will now be able to do so online via the Internet. Those living in South Africa can use the online system called "visa4uk" to speed up the processing of their visa applications for the UK.

The online application process also allows residents of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Jamaica and New Zealand to make online applications. More "supported countries" will be added to this list over time.

Residents of these 'supported countries' may have the opportunity to make an online application under the following visa categories: visitor, transit, student, work permit holder, settlement, permit free employment, family member of an EEA national, family member of a Swiss national, retired person of independent means, returning resident, or right of abode certificate of entitlement.

The new online system guides applicants step-by-step through the application process. Once the online application form has been completed, applicants will receive a notification by e-mail containing their reference number. The applicant will then need to send all supporting documents to the Visa Section in the relevant country (i.e. Pretoria, if applying from South Africa) together with the visa fee. Applicants will also receive notification via e-mail once the visa has been issued, together with information concerning when their passport will be returned. Beginning next month, applicants will also be able to pay the visa fee online with their Visa or MasterCard.

The online service is currently available through the British High Commission Pretoria website.