UKVI Introduces New Application Process and Additional Services for visa applicants in the UK
Following the announcement made by UKVI on the 24th of October 2018, a few changes will take place from November 2018:
From November 2018 new process will be available for application submitted in the UK. Most type of applications will be included in the process update, particularly all types of Points Based System applications, Turkish Business Person applications, most settlement applications as well as naturalisation and nationality registration applications. Family reunion, humanitarian protection, domestic violence applications as well as submissions for applicants who are stateless or relying on a fee waiver will be processed under the current system until January 2019.
The new process will allow the applications in the UK to be submitted in two simple steps:
Step 1: Complete an on-line form and book an appointment at a nearby UKVCAS service centre;
Step 2: Attend the service centre, where the UKVI staff will collect applicant’s fingerprints, check identity documents and digitilise supporting documents and send these electronically to the processing unit.
New service points are scheduled to start opening from the 5th of November all over the UK, with the core centres opening in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast and Croydon. Further enhanced service points are expected to appear all over the UK with no less than 10 located in London and the nearby areas, from Stratford and Kensington to Watford and Brighton. New additional mobile pop up services available on demand for private customers; employers and universities are expected to process up to 440 full appointments and up to 1,800 biometric enrolment appointments a day. Whilst the new centres will be opening their doors to customers from the 5th of November, Premium Services Centres operating under old standards will close by the 29th of November.
Whilst customers are promised a free service option for the documents submission at the new centres, a number of further added-value services are expected to become available for an extra charge, such as walk-in appointments, premium lounges as well as translation, interpretation and checking services. The system also promises further support to be available to customers with complex immigration matters and vulnerable applicants.
The UKVI release also seems to suggest that the applicants in the UK will be able to retain their passports and travel documents with them, during the processing of their applications.
Since publishing this article, UKVI has released further information about the new services in a power point presentation. This can be accessed HERE