Visitors from India, Papua Guinea and Fiji must apply for visa online from March 5, new rules state. A list provides for countries already applying online for the UK visas.
The UK Border Agency has also announced a plan to increase issuance of biometric cards by making the process more user-friendly. The agency aims to issue 400,000 biometric cards or BRP cards for immigrants from its circulation of 650,000 in four years since 2008, according to the Guardian.
There are other new rules that will see the light of day soon, such as an increase in visa processing fees due to set in on April 6. The Immigration Department also clarified that all visitors planning to visit the UK for the Olympics will have to undergo preliminary procedure for application for a visa online.
There is a complete ban on non-English speaking spouses to the UK. The border agency received a boost when the High Court ruled in favour of the legislation that demands spouses be able to converse in English if moving from some other country into Britain. On the same lines is the legislation introduced to acquire a car driving licence in the country. Those attending tests will acknowledge no language other than English.
"We believe it is entirely reasonable for someone staying in the UK to be able to converse and communicate in the English Language," said Immigration Minister Damien Green when asked to respond to the court's order.
In a recent announcement Green announced that starting Feb 29 all refugees and other immigrants who have been guaranteed permission to stay in the UK will also receive biometric cards.
Apart from convenience, biometric cards will provide for verification of identity, through fingerprints and face recognition. It will act as a handy tool for employers in the UK to verify accounts of immigrants the companies would wish to employ, with exact employability status on immigrants.