British embassy reaction to statement by senator Dan Voiculescu

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The British Embassy was surprised and disappointed to read Senator Dan Voiculescu's statement to the Senate yesterday on the treatment of visa applicants outside the British Embassy in Bucharest.  The British Embassy provides a high-quality service to our visa applicants. Our visa system is more efficient than ever before. Since the launch of the on-line visa system on 1 September, visa applicants are no longer required to queue to submit visa applications. The applicant chooses the date and time of their interview and therefore need not "wait for hours". This system has proved successful and popular with our customers. In a recent customer satisfaction survey only one respondent considered that their experience of this new visa application process was 'poor'. All other 121 respondents regarded it as 'good' or 'very good'.
 
In addition, visa applicants who have already visited the UK or are regular travellers to Schengen countries can drop their application off at the Embassy without the need for an interview. This drop box system accounts for around 25% of our daily applications, and further reduces the number of people outside the Embassy at any one time (further information can be found at our website    www.britishembassy.gov.uk/romania under the Visas Section).
 
Senator Dan Voiculescu also referred to the cost of the visa application. This fee covers the cost of processing the application, regardless of the outcome. The UK visa fee is uniform throughout the world and is in line with the amount charged for similar visa services by USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and EU countries.
 
The constant security threat to British Missions world-wide means that visitors to our Embassy have to be carefully managed by both locally-employed Embassy security staff, as well as Gendarmerie.  If an applicant has a specific complaint about their treatment outside the Embassy or the visa application process in general, this should be addressed to the Consul (Tel. 201.7300, E-mail: BUCHAVisaInfo@fco.gov.uk ). We act on all feedback that we receive, and use it to improve the service that we provide. We hope that Senator Voiculescu will inform us of any specific complaints that he may have received.

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