Mobile biometrics service proposed for Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE

22 Oct 15



What is the change? The U.K. is planning to offer special visa services to applicants in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, including house calls to collect biometrics at an individual’s home or business.

What does the change mean? As an add-on service, the mobile biometrics option will allow individual applicants or group applicants to pay an additional government fee for catered visa services and thus avoid making a trip to a Visa Application Centre.

  • Implementation time frame: The program is expected to be introduced in the three countries by the end of the year.
  • Visas/permits affected: Biometrics appointments.
  • Who is affected: U.K. visa applicants in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.  
  • Impact on processing times: The service will significantly streamline the application process.
  • Business impact: The service will be a convenient alternative to attending an appointment at a Visa Application Centre.
  • Next steps: BAL will report additional details of the program as they become available next month.

Background: The proposed Mobile Biometrics service will be offered to individual visa applicants and to groups of applicants such as students and tour groups. For individuals, the service will allow them to give their biometrics at their home or office. Groups who opt for the service will be able to set up a location to give their biometrics at the same time. The additional government fee for the service has not yet been set.

BAL Analysis: The U.K. is adding more options to its suite of specialized premium services for visa applicants in select locations. While the services can be pricey, they have proven very popular for employers and individuals seeking streamlined services, convenience or urgency in the visa application process.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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