Visa: Following the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s successful visit to Bhutan, the UK has announced the opening of a new Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Thimphu to further strengthen ties between the two countries.

The new VAC is a joint venture with Australia and VFS Global, UK Visas and Immigration’s commercial partner. It is planned to open mid-May in Thimphu, and will provide customers the opportunity to apply for their UK visas in Bhutan rather than having to travel to India.

“I was honoured to accompany The Duke and Duchess on their visit to Bhutan,” British High Commissioner Sir Dominic Asquith (KCMG) said. “Their Royal Highnesses spent time with Their Majesties The King and Queen, children from local NGOs as well as a number of Bhutanese with links to the UK and were thrilled to get to know more of this beautiful country and its people.”

The British High Commissioner added: “I am so pleased we are able to build on the strong relationship between our two countries by opening the UK’s first Visa Application Centre in Bhutan. I hope it encourages more Bhutanese to visit the UK, where they are sure to receive a warm welcome.”

UK Visas and Immigration Regional Director for South Asia, Nick Crouch said: “UKVI is committed to improving its service and making it easier for customers across the world to apply for their UK visas. This new visa centre will allow Bhutanese to apply for their visas in their own country.”

He added that it is hoped that by offering this new service, more Bhutanese will apply for UK visas to visit or study in the UK.

The UK/Australian Visa Application centre will open five days a week (9am-2pm) and is located on the fifth floor of Thimphu Plaza, Changlam.

Staff reporter