October 15, 2018

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service

UK Visas & Immigration

Dear colleague

From next month, UK Visas and Immigration is introducing new, streamlined services, allowing customers in the UK to submit all necessary evidence and personal information to support their application quickly and securely through a joined up journey.

The new services will offer a range of benefits to customers, including:

A streamlined online journey for most application types, with an intuitive easy-to-use form making it easier to apply and the option to purchase additional services for convenience or speed;
A modernised, digital and more secure process to submit key evidence and personal information, with most customers able to retain their passports and other valuable evidence rather than sending them separately to UKVI;
Fast and convenient self service with the ability to make applications and upload evidence from home;
More flexible on-demand, mobile application services, for example at university campuses, employers’ offices or individual customers’ homes;
Enhanced support for vulnerable customers through a range of financial support for travel costs and mobile services.
UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service

The vast majority of customers will complete their applications via the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UK VCAS), delivered by our commercial partner Sopra Steria. Appointments will be available for free in centres located in 6 major cities; with an additional 50 local user-pay service centres located in libraries; and a user-pay premium service point in central London.

These centres will open around the country from 5th November to early December 2018. During this period, the majority of customers can choose whether to enrol their biometrics and submit their evidence via these new centres or use the existing processes, such as the Post Office.

UKVI Service and Support Centres

For other customers who may be in positions of vulnerability or need more face to face help with their application, free appointments will be offered in 7 dedicated Service and Support Centres (SSCs) from January 2019. This will enable experienced UKVI staff to better understand the customer’s circumstances, validate evidence, and take appropriate action to support them. These customers will continue to use the existing process until January.

Application forms and GOV.UK

Customers will be intuitively led through an online application process, making it clear what they need to do, what supporting evidence they should provide and where they need to go to complete their application.

UKVI’s ambition is to offer a modern, world class customer service to all customers. As such, most visa and immigration services are now available online to customers in the UK via GOV.UK.

Over the next few months the majority of paper forms will be withdrawn and most UK-based customers will need to apply via GOV.UK online.

Support is available to help customers to complete their application online. The Assisted Digital Service aims to ensure that nobody is excluded from making an immigration application due to lack of digital skills or access to a computer. Eligible customers are offered telephone support, or face to face support at a library or their home, to help them access and complete the online form. This service does not provide immigration advice.

We will be in touch later on this month with full details of when every site will open and the process to be followed.

For any questions relating to these new services, please contact FrontEndServicesTeam@homeoffice.gov.uk Premium Sponsors should contact their licence manager.

UKVI and Sopra Steria look forward to working with you to deliver an improved customer service and application process from next month.

Regards,

UK Visas and Immigration.

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