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A Guide to UK Visa and Citizenship Appointments

What is UKVCAS?

UKVCAS stands for ‘UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services’. It is the system for processing immigration applications made from within the UK for leave to remain, including all extension applications, and any switching between visas, as well as applications for both settlement and citizenship.

What are “core service points”?

There are three different types of UKVCAS centres, or “service points”. Core service points are based in larger locations and offer free of charge appointments and out of hours appointments. There are six of these in the UK. Document scanning must be booked in advance of the appointment.  It is also possible to self-upload documents. 

What are “enhanced service points”?

Enhanced service points offer extra services. These services could include document checking in advance of your appointment, and document digitisation. These are located in local libraries and are only open during set times.

What are “premium lounge appointments”?

Only available in Central London, the premium lounge includes complimentary hot and cold beverages, snacks, free wifi and newspapers. Sopra Steria staff offer Biometric Capture (fingerprint and photo), Digitisation (scanning of documents if required), and Interpretation. As of 2 March 2020, the opening hours are Monday-Saturday, 7am-7pm. It is closed on Sunday. 

Where are the service and support centres located?

You can find your nearest core service point and enhanced service point and its opening hours by searching your postcode here. The premium lounge is located at 20 Mark Lane, London, EC3R 7NQ. 

How do I book an appointment with UKVCAS?

You can book an appointment from your UKVI account or by clicking the link in the UKVCAS account set up email you have been sent. Alternatively, you can book an appointment by telephone on the UKVCAS Premium Support Line on 0900 165 6600, although be warned that calls are charged at £2.50 per minute. 

What is the UKVCAS appointment fee?

An appointment at the core service points will be free of charge. For priority appointments, or those outside of office hours, you will need to pay a fee. The fee depends on the type of service point. Chargeable appointments at core service points range from £50 to £100 per person, depending on time and location. For enhanced service points, the fee is £69.99 per person during normal office hours and £110 and upwards outside of normal office hours (before 10am and after 4pm).  

What will happen at the UKVCAS appointment?

To complete your application you must attend a UKVCAS service point to have:

  • Your identity confirmed
  • Any required biometric information enrolled
  • Any required supporting documentation digitised and checked
  • Confirm you are happy to send your application to UKVI

A UKVI official will take your biometric information. This will involve taking a digital photograph of your face, scanning your fingerprints and asking you to provide a signature. Children under 5 do not have to have their fingerprints taken or provide a signature. You do not have to remove your head covering if you wear it for religious or medical reasons. They will check and scan your documents and make sure your application includes all the information needed. They will also explain to you what happens next.

How long will the UKVCAS appointment take?

Appointments usually take less than 2 hours. They may take longer depending on your circumstances. If you are only providing your biometric information, your appointment will take around 15 minutes.

If you want to minimise the amount of time you spend at the service point you can book an Express appointment at one of the core service points. If you purchase an express appointment, it will be complete within 30 minutes of you being checked in when you arrive at the service point. A member of the team will process your appointment from start to finish. These appointments are subject to availability and cost £75 per person.

What documents should I take to my appointment?

You will need to bring your appointment confirmation, passport or travel documents, supporting documents (if they have not already been uploaded), and checklist of supporting documents. Children under 16 must go to the appointment with the person named as a ‘responsible adult’ on their application. In this case, the responsible adult will need to bring ID with them in the form of a passport, photo driving licence, national identity card or UK Biometric Residence Permit. If the adult is not the parent or legal guardian, they must bring the proof of responsibility from the parent, legal guardian, registered foster carer, or social services representative. 

When will I receive a decision on my immigration application?

The length of time it takes for a decision to be reached will depend upon the type of application. You will not receive a decision at the appointment. 

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