November 2, 2018

UK Visas and Immigration – New services for UK visa customers


On Friday 2 November 2018 we have received this letter form the Home office

Dear colleague,

We recently wrote to you about UK Visas and Immigration’s (UKVI) new services for UK customers, which includes the opening of new Visa and Citizenship Application Service centres across the UK. We are pleased to announce that appointment booking for these centres is now live.
There will be 6 core Visa and Citizenship Application Service Centres in the UK, delivered by our partner Sopra Steria, which will cater to the vast majority of customers applying for citizenship and to extend their stay in the UK for study or work.
The first centre will open in Manchester on 9th November 2018. This opening will be followed by Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast and Croydon. In addition, there will be 50 enhanced service centres nationally for increased convenience, which will be available to customers for a small fee, and a premium lounge located in London. All centres will be open by the end of November. Sopra Steria will offer a range of optional and chargeable added-value services at these locations. More details can be found on gov.uk.
About these new services

UKVI’s new streamlined services will allow individuals to submit all necessary evidence and personal information to support their application quickly and securely through a simpler journey. There are a range of benefits, including:

• A streamlined online journey for most application types, with an intuitive easy-to-use form making it easier to apply and giving 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;
• Speed and convenience, 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, delivered through new Service and Support Centres.
There will be a small number of customers who either require more face to face support with their application from a trained UKVI caseworker or are in a position of vulnerability. These customers will be offered free appointments in 7 dedicated Service and Support Centres, which will be open from January 2019. This will enable experienced UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) staff to better understand the customer’s circumstances, validate evidence, and take appropriate action to support them. Until January 2019, these customers will continue to use the current process.
For any questions relating to these new services, please contact: FrontEndServicesTeam@homeoffice.gov.uk.
Premium sponsors, please contact your licence manager for any questions relating to these new services.
UKVI and Sopra Steria look forward to working with you to deliver an improved customer service and application process.
Regards,

UK Visas and Immigration.

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