As mentioned in our post earlier this month, the Home Office will launch a new Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UK VACS) for applications in the UK with effect from 5 November 2018. It is allowing applicants in the UK to submit all necessary evidence and personal information to support their application quickly and securely through a simpler journey.
At present applicants either submit their visa application by post and attend a biometric appointment at a post office or they attend a Home Office Premium Service Centre with their application and submit biometric data at the same time, or in some routes, you can use Super Premium Service to get a same-day decision on your visa extension or settlement application .
Under the new process most applicants will submit an online application and upload supporting documentation online, which means that the majority of applicants will be able to retain all evidence including travel documents (passports). Applicants will still not be able to travel abroad whilst their application is pending, otherwise their application will be treated as withdrawn.
Here are the easy steps:
- Step 1: Visits GOV.UK to apply online & book appointment
- Step 2: Attends Appointment at Service Point (identity Checked & Biometrics collected, Evidence digitised)
- Step 3: Leaves Service Point with all evidence including travel document
The applicants will then have the options include attending an appointment for free at one of 57 centres located in major cities, or they may wish to purchase additional services, which will be a range of optional and chargeable added-value services including “On-demand”, mobile application services beyond the 57 locations to others, e.g. university campuses, employers’ offices or individual customers’ homes.
Sopra Steria will be able to offer bespoke “On-demand” services, similar to the current Super Premium Service. The on-demand service offers a tailored experience for applicants; and a new mobile pop up service will bring a team to a location of our partner’s choice, to process up to 440 full or 1,800 biometric enrolments appointments per day.
The new appointment centres will open between 5 November and 29 November, and during this transition period, the majority of applicants can choose whether to enrol their biometrics and submit their documents via these new centres or use the existing processes via Premium Service Centres. Premium Service Centres will close on 29th November. and all locations will be open by 29th November.
Service and Support Centres will open on January 2019, for use by a small number of applicantss who require more support with their application. They will continue to use the current process until January.
The new services will offer a fast, digital, convenient streamlined service. It provides more flexible on-demand mobile application services. And enhanced support for vulnerable applicants through financial and mobile support.
Please see the list of UK VCAS service points & the routes will be eligible to use the new service UK Visa Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) – from w/c 5th November below.