MIRPUR (AJK) - In order to facilitate the intending AJK / Pakistani applicants with comfortable and luxurious environment during the course of submission of British visa applications by the local customers, the state-run UK Border Agency has launched a premium lounge service at its Visa application Centre in Mirpur. Peter Chaplin, Regional Head of the UK Border Agency in Pakistan inaugurated the latest facility comprising a luxurious lounge set up, at the Mirpur Visa Application Centre here the other day. The ceremony was attended among others by senior officials of the British High Commission in Islamabad including George Sherriff, Press Attache, Imran Rana, Spokesperson, BHC, Ms Jocheesbrough, Gerrys retired Brig Javed Sattar, Vice President Corporate Security and Lt Cdr (r) M Asad Qureshi, Manager Administration besides local officials of the organization. Peter unveiled the plaque besides cutting the ribbon to open the premium lounge at the Visa Application Centre. Addressing news conference on the occasion Peter Chaplin, Regional Head of the UK Border Agency in Pakistan disclosed that the newly-established premier lounge at Mirpur VAC of the British High Commission was the fourth lounge in Pakistan next to the similar modern lounges yet set up in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad with prime focus to facilitate the British visa seekers with a personalized service for the submission of their applications and passport for visa processing. Peter Chaplin said that the UK Border Agency was committed to providing a first class visa service to Pakistan including Azad Jammu & Kashmir. He said in the last 12 months, we have opened premium lounge services in all Pakistan Visa application Centres, updated our visa services website, including specific pages for visa applicants in Pakistan and launched a priority Business Selected Scheme for our corporate customers who send employees to the UK on business. He revealed that in the year of 2010, the UK Border Agency received close to one hundred thousand (100,000) applications from Pakistani national and the majority of these were processed within our published customer service standards. We continue to build on this service this year (2011) as well with more than 90 percent of non-settlement applications processed within 10 to 15 days, he added. Peter continued that the premium lounge set up in Mirpur is the luxurious, dedicated and convenient lounge for UK visa applicants. Elaborating, he said that the lounge offers a ready to use service with no prior appointment required from our call centre, Applicants, he said, will be able to take advantage of the facility upon arrival at the UK Visa Centre. He said that besides Mirpur, similar stylish and dedicated lounges were set up at the Visa application Centres in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore in order to ensure the fast, convenient and comfortable submission of visa application by the customers. He further said that the lounge will provide free SMS alerts on the status of a customers application besides complimentary snacks, tea and coffee during their visit to the VAC. Responding to series of questions, Peter Chaplin said that there had been 15 to 20 rising trend in the arrival of the applications for different forms of British visas from the Pakistanis recently as compared to the past. He said that the UK Border agency seeks the dispensation of maximum possible best services to the visa applicants in line with the prevalent UK Immigration / Visa policy and rules of the British government.