UKBA to close biometric clinics on Borneo until 2013

The United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA), one of the UK's immigration authorities, which has responsibility for visa applications made overseas, has said that it is to cease its mobile biometric clinic service on Borneo. The UKBA says 'We have received a lot of positive feedback on the mobile biometric service and we will explore the possibility of offering this service in summer 2013.'

Applicants for a UK visa have to submit biometric data to accompany their visa requests. These clinics made it possible for Malaysians from the island of Borneo to apply for a UK visa without travelling to the Malaysian mainland hundreds of miles to the west.

In August the UKBA announced that it will be opening the clinics in Borneo. During August there was one clinic a week in Kota Kinabalu, in the Malaysian province of Sabah and in Kuching, in the Malaysian province of Sarawak. Both clinics were located in the British Council offices; the service cost MYR600 (about £120) on top of the visa application fee.

The UKBA announced that the service was to be discontinued on Friday 7th September 2012. The last clinic in Kota Kinabalu was held on Friday 7th September and the last clinic in Kuching will be held on 15th September 2012. It had originally been planned that the service would run until the end of September in both provinces.

A UKBA spokesman told that the service had been discontinued because 'they were temporary clinics to cater for the peak student visa season in Malaysia.' Many Malaysians visit the UK for further education and there is a spike in demand for tier 4 student visas during the run-up to the beginning of the academic year in September.

The UKBA office in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, is unaffected by these developments and Malays who wish to submit biometric data can still do so there.

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