This will be provide applicants with many enhance benefits including:

  • A straightforward application process with user friendly forms, and the options to purchase fast track additional services for convenience and speed.
  • A convenient and quick self-service, enabling applicants to upload evidence and make applications from the comfort of their home.
  • A modern and digital, secure process, enabling clients to submit personal information and evidence online, with the ability of retaining their valuable documentation and passports, rather than sending them to UKVI and risking their loss and added processing time.
  • More mobile and flexible application services, available on demand i.e. in university campuses, applicant’s homes, employer offices etc.
  • Extra support and service to vulnerable customers by financial means, for travel costs and mobile services.

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service

Most of the customer applications will be completed via the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UK VCAS), provided by partner Sopra Steria. Free appointments will be available in centres located in 6 main cities, with an additional premium user-pay centre in London and an additional 50 local user-pay service centres located in libraries.

UKVI Service and Support Centres

For those customers whose applications and personal circumstances may be more complicated and vulnerable, requiring personal advice and dedicated support, free appointments will be available as from January 2019, in 7 dedicated Service and Support Centres (SSCs). This will enable customers to receive advice and support from experienced UKVI staff, who can better evaluate and handle their personal circumstances, validate evidence and offer them the appropriate support that they require. In the meantime the customers will continue to use the existing process until January.

Application forms and GOV.UK

The UKVI aims to offer a modern, pristine and world class service, offering unparalleled customer service with an easily navigable application process with clear guidelines as to how to complete the application and all supporting evidence that is required to complete their online applications successfully. Most visa and immigration services are already currently offered online to UK customers, via the GOV.UK.Over the coming months the majority of paper forms will be withdrawn and the majority of UK customers will need to apply online via GOV.UK.

Additional support will be offered ensuring that no one is excluded from making an immigration application online, due to lack of digital skills or no access to a computer. The Assisted Digital Service will be available online to support all customers with completion of their application online. Eligible customers will be offered telephone support or face to face support at their home or library to help them access and complete their online application forms. This service does not include immigration advice.

Further information will be available next month with further details on opening dates of all sites, and the process to be followed.

Should you require advice and support for any UK Visa and Immigration matters please contact Astons at where our specialist Lawyers and immigration team will be happy to assist you.