Update on UK Visa Application Centres and new UK Visa procedure

Over the weekend Sopra Steria the official UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) partner published further guidance on their website and also emailed us guidance on how they intend on dealing with the significant demand for biometric appointments. The Home Office has introduced a new UK Visa process whereby they will use existing biometric information on their systems, which means applicants, will no longer need to attend biometric appointments. The Home Office is also in the process of launching a new digital service so that it can accept digital images electronically. However, not all applications will be eligible for the new service and some may need to attend an appointment to give their biometric information.  

Are Visa Application Centres opened across the UK?

Yes, Visa Application Centres across the UK are open and many of our clients have attended appointments to submit their biometric information. Presently, biometric appointments are only available for applicants who already had appointments prior to the lockdown but were cancelled. If your appointment was cancelled you should have by now received an email with new appointment details. However, there have been cases where appointments have been rescheduled by the emails have not been sent out resulting in missed appointments. In order to avoid this problem, you can contact our immigration team and we can book an appointment for you and monitor updates making the process stress free.

When will Visa Application Centres open for everyone?

Until last week the position was that the Visa Application Centres would gradually allocate appointments for new applications submitted during the lockdown period. However, the UKVI is changing the way it processes UK Visa applications to tackle the significant demand in appointments. There will be a new visa procedure (see below), which will be used by the UKVI. However, some applicants may need to attend an appointment to give their biometric information, as they may not be eligible for the new service. UKVCAS will email applicants with information as to whether they are eligible for the new service.

New UK Visa procedure for biometric appointments

The new UK Visa procedure consists of the Home Office reusing biometric information that is already on their systems. This will help verify your identity and save you from having to worry and stress about booking an appointment. The new process will not be available for everyone. The Home Office will assess every case and send emails with next steps. The Home Office also plan to launch a new system for applicants to upload their facial images for their Biometric Residence Permits (BRP). 

Can I claim a refund for the cancelled Biometrics appointment?

If you had booked a paid appointment to give your biometric information and it was cancelled due to Coronavirus you may not be eligible for a refund. The fee paid will be used to secure a new appointment at a later date. If you are eligible for the new service and an appointment is no longer required you should be issued with an automatic refund. 

When will Visa Application Centres around the world open?

In June 2020 the Home Office announced that several Visa Application Centres around the world were reopening for applicants who had had appointments but were cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The priority was due to deal with the backlog of cancelled appointments. It was not possible for applicants who had submitted their UK Visa application during the lockdown period to book biometric appointments. However, over the last 7 days, visa application centres around the world are gradually resuming their services for new applications submitted during the Coronavirus suspension. Visa Application Centres have reopened across the Middle East, America, Asia and Europe. Unfortunately, some Visa Application Centres in some parts of the world remain closed due to the unexpected rise in Coronavirus cases.

It is important to note that not all locations will be reopening straightaway; therefore, applicants may need to book biometric appointments in different cities. As we understand most countries will only reopen centres in the main cities. Before booking appointments applicants are advised to take into consideration the local lockdown restrictions in their respective countries.

How our immigration solicitors can help with UK Visa applications

Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in visa applications and prepare applications to the highest standard. We have an impeccable track history of submitting successful visa applications for a range of clients. The key to submitting a successful visa application is being aware of the relevant Immigration Rules and submitting the correct supporting documents. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the application. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provides multiple substantial reviews of the application bundle to ensure that the correct documentary evidence is submitted. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the application.

Using our Immigration Solicitors to submit UK Visa applications

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application to submit a visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.

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, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successfully submit UK Visa applications

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 prospects of submitting a visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements under the Immigration 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 meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss a visa application.

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

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