What has changed
The UK Visas and Immigration is introducing a new streamlined visa application process at new service centers for in-country UK applicants as part of a dramatic overhaul of the current online application system, in response to processing delays and the call for a more modernized system to support the submission of applications.
Beginning November 5, 2018, new UK Visa and Citizen Application Service (UKVCAS) centers will open, replacing the current Premium Service Centers. The current Premium Service Centers will close on November 29, 2018. In-country visa applicants will have the option to use the new UKVCAS or existing Premium Centers from November 5, 2018, to November 29, 2018.
Who is affected
What to expect
The UKVCAS centers will be operated by Sopra Steria, an outsourced firm. Sopra Steria is expected to create a more streamlined process for most application types with simpler forms, mobile application services, enhanced support, and the option to purchase additional services for convenience and speed. Applicants will be able to book appointments online using a new postcode-based system, as well as self-upload supporting documents from home or office or use self-service biometric kiosks available in the new service centers.
Until November 29, 2018, in-country visa applicants will have the option of using either the existing process or the new process. The same service standards apply to both processes.