The Ministry of Justice has opened another third-party visa application center in London earlier this week, the latest in a series of moves to reduce the workload of embassy staff.
“Starting from January 17, 2022, the Government of the Republic of Korea will open the Korea Visa Application Center (KVAC) in London, operated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to manage Korean visa applications submitted by UK nationals and third country nationals regularly residing in the UK,” the KVAC said in a statement.
The move, which follows a memorandum of understanding with the IOM, marks the third KVAC location in Europe following Berlin and Paris.
“The KVAC is in charge of simple tasks such as visa applications and distributions as well as consultation. Visa screening is handled by diplomatic offices,” said one Ministry of Justice official in charge of the centers.
“With only one or two staff available at most diplomatic missions to handle visa work, the centers were set up to streamline the process and enhance the visa screening process.”
In-person visits to an embassy are still required for a visa to be issued in many countries where the KVAC is not in operation.
The official, however, added plans to extend the service in other countries have been halted for now, citing the pandemic and a drop in visa demand.
In Indonesia, visa applications have been handled by the KVAC since May 2019.
By Yim Hyun-su (email@example.com