A centre for receiving visa applications to the United Kingdom opened in Ho Chi Minh City on February 21.

Run by VFS Global Company, a trade partner of the UK Border Agency, the centre will make it easier for individuals, particularly those in the city and neighbouring localities to apply for visas instead of going to Hanoi to send in their applications as before.

The applications will be sent to the UK Embassy in Thailand for approval, then visas will be sent back to applicants in Ho Chi Minh City.

Antony Stokes, UK Ambassador to Vietnam said the work of the centre will increase the number of Vietnamese visitors to the UK.

According to the UK Embassy in Vietnam, the UK Border Agency approved over 14,300 applications for visas to the UK during the 12 months ending September 2012, up 16 percent against the same period one year earlier.-VNA