UK VISA New service Centres Complete Guide
From November 2018, the procedure of applying for UK visas in-country has changed.
In the past, UK in-country visa applications could be submitted in numerous ways:
- Applicants send their credentials by post and register their biometric information at an appointment.
- Applicants can appear at a Home Office Premium Service Centre with their application and present biometric data at the same instant.
In some cases, applicants can use the Super Premium Service to get a same-day verdict.
From 5th November 2018, the new UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) has been phased in, which introduced digital visa application processing.
A better way?
The new process ‘digitizes’ the visa application procedure, with the aim of making it faster, simpler and more reliable for applicants. Applicants firstly go online to the gov.uk website to submit their application form and accompanying documents and to book an appointment at either:
- One of six centres located in main cities (London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Belfast and Glasgow)
- One of 50 added user-pay centres situated in local libraries, or
- A Premium Service Point in central London.
- Applicants will also be able to obtain extra, not obligatory and paid facilities, where accessible, which involve mobile application services.
Though out the appointment, the applicant’s identity will be monitored and their biometric information registered.
Documentary proofs will be copied and stored in digital format. Essentially, this means the applicant holds the custody of their documents, eliminating the risk of original documents (such as passports and birth certificates) being ‘lost’.
What is not set to modification is the obligations for the applicant to remain in the UK while their application is in process. Leaving the UK while an application is being administered will indicate that the application has been withdrawn.
Which UK visa paths are entitled to use the new service?
From November 2018, the following routes can be administered online and at a selected service centre:
- Registration certificates
- Permanent residence cards
- Points-based visas (Tiers 1, 2, 4 & 5)
- PBS dependant visas (partner and child)
- Member of HM forces and their dependants
- British citizenship by naturalisation
- British citizenship as a child under 18
- Register as a British citizen
- Turkish business person or worker, or their dependants (partner and child)
- Other leave to remain
- Home Office travel document
- UK settlement (certain categories only include long residence, child, HM forces category, refugee or humanitarian)
- Biometric residence permits (update, replace or transfer)]
Applications for all other routes are liked to come under the latest system from January 2019, until then they should resume to be made using the existing processes.
New Service Centre Locations
As the new centres are being introduced, applicants are able to select whether to use the current application methods or whether to use the new centres where accessible.
Week Commencing 5th November 2018:
- Premium Lounge – London
- Core centre – Manchester
- Enhanced service points – Newcastle, Liverpool, Warrington, Stockport, Wakefield, Lancaster, Burnley, Hull, Burnholme.
Week commencing 12th November 2018:
- Core centre – Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff
- Enhanced service points – Nottingham, Coventry, Newport, Aberdeen, Wolverhampton, Ipswich, Cambridge, Warwick, Peterborough
Week commencing 19th November 2018:
- Core centre – Belfast, Croydon
- Enhanced service points – London (Stratford, Shoe Lane, Barbican, Victoria, Wimbledon, Kensington, Shepherds Bush), Gloucester, East Ham, Salisbury, Dorchester, Llandudno, Taunton, Swindon, Patchway, Bradley Stoke, Truro.
Week commencing 26th November 2018:
- Enhanced service points – Reading, Norwich, Bedford, Swinton, Watford, Brighton, London (Canning Town), Stevenage, Hemel Hempstead, Eastbourne, Preston, Grays, Preston, Brighton, Portsmouth
From January 2019:
- Free appointments will be offered to helpless applicants in seven reserved support centres.