New UKVI / Home Office System on how to apply for your UK Visa and Biometrics
The Home Office have announced a new system on how you can apply for your UK Visa and have your Biometrics taken. This new procedure has already commenced on the 2 November 2018. From that date there will be a new online system introduced. The UKVI are moving from paper applications to an online system. The new system is called the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service.
The UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) system is for everyone who will be applying or making an application in one of the categories below:
- Tier 1 (Investor)
- Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
- Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
- Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
- Tier 2 (General)
- Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer): graduate trainee
- Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer): long term staff
- Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)
- Tier 2 (Sportsperson)
- Tier 4 (General) student
- Tier 4 (Child) student
- Tier 5 (Temporary Worker)
- PBS dependent: partner
- PBS dependent: child
- Member of HM forces or their dependents
- Turkish businessperson or worker
- Dependent partner of a Turkish businessperson or
- worker (ECAA 3: dependent partner)
- Dependent child of a Turkish businessperson or worker (ECAA 3: dependent child)
- Settle or extend your leave in the UK: Turkish ECAA categories only
- Settle in the UK: long residence
- Settle in the UK: child
- Settle in the UK: partner of a person or parent of a child already settled in the UK
- Settle in the UK: HM forces category
- Settle in the UK: refugee or humanitarian protection
- Settle in the UK: certain categories
- British citizenship by naturalisation
- Register for British citizenship as a child under 18
- Register as a British citizen
- Update, replace or transfer: biometric residence permit
- Other leave to remain applications within the Rules (unless noted below)
- Apply for a Home Office travel document
The above list of UK visas categories is from within the UK so does not apply to applications for Entry Clearance.
The Home Office guidance on UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) states “…an online application process making it clear what they (YOU) need to do, what supporting evidence they (YOU) will need…”. Whether or not this will actually happen in practice we will have to wait and see.
There will be a number of centres being opened before the 30 November 2018 as the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) centres.
The system is similar to that of the Entry clearance procedure where you apply online, pay the NHS and the fee and then book an appointment. Optimistically the Guidance states that there will be appointments available within 5 working days. The online system hopes that documents will not need to be posted to the Home Office / UKVI but uploaded or dealt with at the appointment.
It is hoped that your original documents and your passport will be return to you after the appointment.
At The UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) appointment:
- Have your Identity checked
- Hand over your documents – to be scanned
- Enrol your biometrics – your photograph and fingerprints
- Do not travel using your passport unless a decision has been made on the application
Family applications: Spouse Visa, Unmarried Partners Visa, Civil partnership Visas
For the above visas there will be dedicated Service and Support Centres (SSC). This will be from January 2019. Other visa categories included for January 2019 are:
- some customers applying under family route
- customers applying to join as a dependant
- customers applying for family reunion
- customers applying on the basis of statelessness
- customers who qualify for a fee waiver or fee exemption
- customers applying under the domestic violence route
- some customers who are required to only enrol their biometric information
If you have used the new system, why not share your experience with others. You can add your comments or email us directly.