UKVCAS, the new UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service

Introduction

Changes effective from 2 November 2018.

The way you can apply to obtain further leave to remain or settle in the United Kingdom is changing. From 2 November 2018 you can either submit your application form including the documents and register your biometric details with the post office or you can choose the new system and service provided by the Home Office’s commercial partner Sopra Steria.

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What’s on this Page

New system or Old?

It is important to note that over the coming months the majority of paper application forms will be withdrawn and the majority of applicants who wish to apply for leave to remain in the UK or to settle permanently will have to apply online and use the new system.

Categories

If you are applying for further leave to remain under the following categories, you can use the new system.

  • 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)
  • The 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
  • Application for a Home Office travel documents

(Source Home Office)

What is changing?

  1. All applicants will have to register and apply online in order to obtain further leave to remain or citizenship in the UK.
  2. Applicants will pay their application fee, biometric enrolment fee, and immigration health charge online.
  3. The online system will also refer the applicants to the required documents and supporting evidence. Applicants will be asked to upload these documents as well in order to complete their application.
  4. Once the application is submitted to the Home Office the applicants can book an appointment with UKVCAS (Sopra Steria’s webpage) who will have 57 centers all over the United Kingdom. This will include
    1. 6 core service centers offering free appointments
    2. 50 enhanced service centers offering charged appointments
    3. 1 premium lounge

Appointments

  1. Once the application is submitted to the Home Office applicants are required to book an appointment within 5 working days.
  2. Family members who have applied along with the main applicant are also required to book and attend the UKVCAS center at the same time.
  3. Children under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult

Supporting Evidence

  1. Applicants are not required to post their supporting documentation.
  2. Applicants will have to either upload their documents or take these supporting documents with them at their appointment.
  3. Applicants’ passport and supporting documents will be returned once the appointment is concluded. However, applicants are prohibited from traveling until a decision is made by the Home Office and received by the applicant.

Services excluded from the new system

If you are applying under the following category you will have to use the old system

  • to join family members in the UK as a dependent, other than a PBS dependent, armed forces dependent or ECAA dependent
  • for the family reunion with a refugee or person with humanitarian protection
  • on the basis of statelessness
  • on the basis as a victim of domestic violence under the specific route
  • making further submissions after a failed protection claim
  • to only enroll your biometric information
  • for a fee waiver or fee exemption
  • apply for a certificate of right of abode
  • apply for a registration certificate as an EEA or Swiss national
  • apply for a document certifying permanent residence as an EEA or Swiss national

For further details or to book an appointment, you can click on the following link https://www.ukvcas.co.uk/home-internal

How the new system will work? we have no idea at this time however the system is aimed to digitalise and simplify the whole process. Only time will tell how successful the system is. Meanwhile, if you are affected by the issues raised in this news article or would like to seek expert legal advice on Immigration, you can rely on our experienced Immigration Lawyers.

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