From 18 August 2013, the Home Office has introduced full online appointment booking and payment for all in-country application types* via its website.
Customers can now book an appointment online and then make payment of the full application fee via the Worldpay site; this fee includes the premium fee of £375 and the appointment in-person fee of £100. The £100 appointment in-person fee will continue to not be refunded where the appointment is not cancelled or rescheduled with more than five working days’ notice, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Until the end of August, the Home Office will operate a transitional period, during which it will:
- continue to accept bookings under the representatives service;
- continue to ask customers booking through the representatives service to pay the £100 appointment in-person fee at the time of the booking; and
- ask these customers to pay the balance of the fee on arrival at the PEO.
From 2 September 2013, all appointments* must be booked via the new i-Apply online booking and payment process. Though the Home Office will continue to accept representative cases in all of its Public Enquiry Offices, the new booking and payment system means that the current manual booking process for representatives will be withdrawn.
More information on booking and cancelling premium appointments with the Home Office can be found here.
Largely in response to business demands, the Home Office has further been expanding its premium and priority services for out-of-country applications. Premium and priority services allow applicants to have their visa applications placed at the front of the queue once received by UK Visas and Immigration. In certain countries, applicants will need to submit documentary evidence that they have previously travelled to one of the following destinations in the previous five years and complied with the terms of their visas: the UK; USA; Canada; Australia; and New Zealand.
Premium and priority applications are usually processed between 48 hours and 10 working days. To find out if such services are available in a country, please click here.
UK Visas and Immigration advises that applicants should not apply for a premium or priority service if they:
- have been refused leave to enter the UK;
- have been previously deported, removed, or otherwise required to leave the UK;
- have overstayed a period of leave in the UK;
- have had leave to remain in the UK curtailed by the Home Office;
- have been refused leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office;
- have been previously refused a visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the USA, or a Schengen country;
- have been interviewed, detained, or prosecuted by the police for any offence in the UK or elsewhere;
- have an unspent criminal conviction in any country; and/or
- have committed a criminal offence in any country.
*Excluding Super Premium and emergency applications at the discretion of the Public Enquiry Office.