Expanding and refurbishing the UK Visas and Immigration section in New Delhi

The Home Office’s UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) section in India wanted to move their Mumbai operation to the British High Commission in New Delhi to put all their staff in one building. This meant expanding and refurbishing an existing office space to accommodate an additional 80 staff.

As one of the largest visa operations in the world, the challenge was set to complete all work while running business as usual. March to September is peak season for the office, often requiring them to increase their staff by up to 50% to process visa requests. Carrying out the work during this time was impossible so the project had a strict six month time frame, ending in March 2016, to adhere to.

Prior to the project being commissioned, FCO Services’ architects and design team were asked to carry out a feasibility study to assess the practicality of the proposed plan and an estimate of the cost to achieve it. Once agreed, we managed the whole redesign of the process on behalf of the Home Office. This included designing the solution, tender and management of contractors onsite, coordinating the FCO Services installers and liaising and managing stakeholders including the High Commission security team and staff. We also worked with the Home Office and Indian Ministry of External Affairs to get blanket approval for a set amount of supplies to enter the country, stopping potential items being held at customs and delaying the work. The project was a success, completed early and under budget. The new and modern open plan office has increased collaboration and enhanced staff morale. Having all the team under one roof has improved consistency and quality of service delivery, saved running costs through economies of scale and ultimately provided UKVI’s customers with a better service.