To switch from a visa to a visa, or to extend a visa from within the UK, the applicant had the right to send documents to the Immigration Service by post and a few days after receive an invitation to submit biometric data at one of the post offices. Or visit the Premium Center, where the applicant could submit the documents and biometric data at the same day, and get a decision on the same day. Of course, the second option was more expensive.
From November 2, 2018, the commercial partner Sopra Steria launches 57 visa centers in the UK:
6 core service centres offering free appointments,
50 enhanced service centres offering charged appointments,
1 premium lounge.
Optional added-value services will also be available.
From now almost all visa applications will be transferred to the electronic version, which means that you have to fill in the application form on https://gov.uk. On the same site you can pay the visa fee and IHS insurance. After that, you will be directed to the Sopra Steria website to book your appointment to the visa center and select optional added-value services.
For these types of UK visa the new system is obligatory:
- 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),
- 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 (unless noted below),
- Apply for a Home Office travel document.
When visiting one of the new visa centers, you need to bring necessary documents with you. You can upload these documents before your visit, or it can be done with a help of visa centre specialist.
If you are applying through one of the below routes, you will not be able to use the new service and will continue to use the existing service:
- to join family members in the UK as a dependent, other than a PBSdependent, armed forces dependent or ECAA dependent,
- for 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 enrol 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.
Customers applying under the family or private life route, depending on their individual circumstances, may be able to use the new service. During your application you will be advised about which services you are able to use.
UK.Visas.Consulting provides expert assistance in applying (extending) for a UK visa both under the old scheme and through new visa centers from within the UK.