01.11.2018 UKVI New Streamlined Application Service

01.11.2018 UKVI New Streamlined Application Service

UKVI New Streamlined Application Service

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has announced in October that it is introducing new, streamlined services, ‘which will allow customers in the UK to submit all necessary evidence and personal information to support their application quickly and securely through a joined up journey’.

On 17 May 2018 Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes has announced that Sopra Steria has been awarded a contract to deliver a new service for people applying for Tier 2 work visas, Tier 4 study visas, Tier 1 Investor visas, settlement and citizenship applications from within the UK. Sopra Steria has taken on the contract in October.

The new service aims to deliver a more streamlined application process from over 60 locations across the UK, including 56 local libraries. UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services centres will be available across the country, with six core centres in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast and Croydon as well as a premium lounge in London. These will be supported by an additional 50 enhanced service points providing coverage across the UK.

The primary purpose of these centres will to enable visa applicants to transfer data, such as supporting evidence and biometric information, to UKVI digitally.

The new process is expected to enable individuals to choose to upload digital files in advance of their appointment. Under the new agreement, once applicants have submitted their application online and paid the fees, people using the service will be able to submit biometric information including photos, fingerprints, and signatures and their supporting evidence online, in advance of their appointment.

The evidence will then be copied and sent to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), meaning that people won’t have to hand over important documents, such as passports, whilst the applications are being processed. All original documents will be checked at the appointment and immediately returned to the applicant who can then take their passport and other documents away with them.

Caroline Nokes said, “The new streamlined service will make the visa application process quicker and easier to access than ever before for people in the UK, through increasing the use of digital services.”

The UKVI’s new application service for visas will include:

  • 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; and
  • Enhanced support for vulnerable customers through a range of financial support for travel costs and mobile services.

There will no longer be premium service centre (PSC) appointments at the Home Office in Croydon and other UKVI offices around the country. The Tier 2 priority service will also cease. Alongside the new service, UKVI Service Centres will continue to offer appointments for certain “vulnerable” applicants and asylum applicants or anyone else who needs a face to face interview with a caseworker.