UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS) to reopen amid Coronavirus pandemic

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS) has announced that they will be reopening some of its service points for certain customers following closures due to the Coronavirus pandemic. UKVCAS is following public health guidelines to keep the safety of its staff members and also Applicants in mind. A UK visa application will not be processed and considered until an Applicant has attended the application centre for Biometrics. Failure to book an appointment within the given time frame will result in the application being invalidated. Our Immigration Solicitors in London can assist with submitting UK Visas and Immigration applications and booking appointments at visa application centres.

What is UKVCAS?

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres in the UK are where visa Applicants can book an appointment to enrol their biometric information (photograph and fingerprints) and have their supporting documents checked. Applicants can also buy extra services such as document scanning and translation. Staff members at UKVCAS do not make a decision on any applications.

Applicants who are overseas will either have to use VFS Global or TLScontact (dependant on the country) who offer the same services for entry clearance applications.

When will UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres (UKVCAS) reopen?

Following UK Government guidelines and Public Health England advice on COVID-19, UKVCAS will begin a controlled, phased reopening of Service Points from 1 June 2020. Applicants who did not have an existing appointment prior to the suspension of the service will not be able to book an appointment at this time. Only Applicants who booked their appointments prior to the lockdown and had them subsequently cancelled should now be receiving emails giving them instructions about rebooking.

The following Service Points will reopen on the 1 June 2020:

  • Birmingham (Core);
  • Birmingham – Premium Lounge;
  • Chelmsford;
  • Exeter;
  • Leeds;
  • London – Croydon (Core);
  • London – Premium Lounge (Mark Lane);
  • London – ESP (Mark Lane);
  • London – Victoria;
  • Manchester Fountain Street ESP;
  • Manchester – Premium Lounge;
  • Sheffield; and
  • Southampton.

At the time of writing, overseas appointment centres VFS Global and TLScontact largely remain closed, however Applicants should check with the centre in the country they are applying from as certain centres may be open at a reduced capacity.

How do I book an appointment with UKVCAS?

There are two ways to book an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centre. Most appointments are made online once the Home Office online application has been paid for and submitted, Applicants will be redirected to the UKVCAS website. Applicants will need to set up an account with UKVCAS and follow the instructions on how to book an appointment, upload documents and purchase other services. Appointments may also be made over the phone by calling the UKVCAS Premium Support Line (calls cost £0.04 per minute).

With assistance in submitting a UK visa application to the Home Office and booking an appointment at UKVCAS, please contact our Immigration Team.

How long does UKVCAS appointment take?

Appointments at UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres should usually take less than an hour. However, appointments may take longer if additional services have been purchased (such as document scanning or checking).

What happens after UKVCAS appointment?

Once an Applicant has given their biometrics and all of the supporting documents have been scanned in (if not uploaded prior to the appointment) Applicants will then need to wait for the Home Office to give a decision on the application; which is given in writing either to the Applicant directly or to their legal representative if they have one. Depending on the type of service the Applicant has selected, some Applicants can receive a decision within 24 hours. Priority services come at an additional cost and should only be selected if the application is straightforward and meets all of the visa requirements.

What documents do I need for biometrics appointment UK visa?

All UK Visas and Immigration Applicants must take their passport with them to their biometric appointment at the visa application centre as well as the appointment confirmation which would have been emailed after the online application was submitted and appointment booked. The appointment confirmation will have a QR code which will need to be scanned at the centre.

The other supporting documents will be dependent on the specific visa requirements and can either be uploaded prior to the appointment or scanned in during the appointment for an additional fee. Original documents are no longer posted to the Home Office decision-making centre which benefits Applicants as there is no danger of original documents going missing.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to book an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centre (UKVCAS)

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative in order to advise on a UK Visa and Immigration application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications, which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be uploaded to the UKVCAS portal or scanned in on the day of the biometrics appointment for an additional fee.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules and all of your documents are correctly provided.

Successful UK Visas and Immigration applications using our Immigration Solicitors in London

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department.

We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to speak with one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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