UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) are streamlining the way visa applications are submitted for people applying for a work or study visa, settlement or citizenship from within the UK.
Under the new arrangements applicants will be able to scan their supporting documents to an online portal. Following this they would then appear at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UK VCAS) to have their biometrics taken. They can then leave the appointment with their passport in hand.
The option to have a mobile biometrics team visit the applicants' residence for a priority fee will also be available.
Key changes include:
- A facility to digitally upload supporting evidence for visa applications, from home in or at a self-service centre appointment
- Most applicants will be able to retain their passports and other valuable evidence whilst their application is being considered
- The introduction of 50 additional service centres where applicants can provide their biometric information and upload documents as part of their application process
- New additional value added services available at some centres, including extended opening hours, next day appointments and walk-in appointments
- More flexible on demand mobile application services available at university campuses, employers' offices or at customers homes
This new service will start to launch on 5 November and appointments in some locations will be available to book from today, 2 November, when they will be launched online.
Additional locations for applicants to submit their applications will become available throughout November. Appointments will be available for free, in centres located in 6 major cities. London will have an additional 50 local user-pay service centres located in libraries across the country and a user-pay premium service point in central London.
As with the current visa application service there will be three main tiers of application:
- Super Priority Service - which will provide a decision in 24 hours
- Priority Service - which will provide a decision in 10 working days
- Standard Service - which will provide a decision in approximately 8 - 12 weeks
During this transitional period, the majority of applicants can still choose whether to enrol their biometrics and submit their evidence via these new centres or use the existing processes, such as the Post Office.