A British Embassy error in booking interviews for UK Visa applications created a barrage of complaints from Japanese youth. An error with UK Visa interview appointments created anger for many who unfairly missed out. The UK Visa booking system for Japan is run by a separate organisation, VFS Global, on behalf of the British Embassy. Although the UK Border Agency announced that booking for the youth mobility visa was to start at midnight 1 January, the VFS booking system erroneously started accepting applications 31 December.
Word spread quickly that UK visa appointments could be booked earlier than advertised applicants rushed to apply, filled all the allocated slots in just a few hours. Many angry, upset and disappointed applicants protested to the British Embassy and the UK Visa Application Centres in Tokyo and when the offices opened in the new year.
In the interest of fairness, the online application system for the limited number of Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme Visas for Japanese citizens was restarted mid-January. "We obviously apologize sincerely for any problems that have been caused as a result of the problem with the system," said Anthony Preston, the British Embassy's deputy head of media relations.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their UK Visa applications to the British Embassy.
A "Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme Visas" is the old working holiday visa.