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If you own a business in the UK or travel there frequently, you need to know about this new UK visa application system, known as UKVCAS.
The new UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) makes the process of applying for visas and visa extensions easier, quicker, and more secure.
Beginning in November 2018, most people who needed UK visas had to apply for them in the new way. However, the new system helps to improve the application process for a visa or visa extension by allowing applicants to complete most of their information online. No longer must original documents be sent by mail with the risk of being lost.
You can now also book appointments at a local service center. This helps to remove much of the legwork of the application process, making things quicker and more secure. In this article, we are going to look at the new system and provide you guidance to help you navigate it.
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What Is the New System for UK Visa Applications?
The new UKVCAS system is an online portal for making applications and storing documents. Moreover, it gives easy access to both the applicant and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) officials. This makes the application process as easy as possible.
For example, you can now upload documents that are critical to your application. This means that you will no longer need to send them by mail. This helps to avoid the loss of valuable documents that can cause application delays while you’re trying to source new ones.
The system is a big improvement, and it’s a real game-changer for applicants. That’s because you can store your critical documents securely online, and you can book appointments at a local center. There are also add-on services, such as premium processing for speeding up your application. In short, the system makes the process of applying for a UK visa as easy as possible.
Which Visas Are Covered Under the New System?
The following is a list of visas that will be covered under the new system. If you apply for a UK visa in the near future, you may still be offered the choice of using the older service if you prefer.
- Exceptional Talent
- Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
- Graduate Entrepreneur
- Tier 2 (General)
- Intra-Company Transfer: graduate trainee
- Intra-Company Transfer: long term staff
- Minister of Religion
- (General) student
- (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
To settle in the UK:
- Long residence
- Partner of a person or parent of a child already settled in the UK
- HM forces category
- Refugee or humanitarian protection
- Certain categories
- British citizenship by naturalization
- 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)
- Apply for a Home Office travel document
As you can see, the new system will comprise the vast majority of UK visa options under one roof. For help with the new system, get in touch with Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers in London.
How Do I Make an Application Under the New System?
To make an application under the new system, visit the website to begin. At the end of the application process, you will need to pay the appropriate fees for your UK visa. Additionally, most people will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.
Next, book an appointment at one of either the new so-called “core centres.” These are six centers in major cities across the UK. They offer free appointments for those who need them. There is also a premium lounge in London.
People who are based outside of the major cities have the option to visit one of the 50 so-called “enhanced service centres” around the UK. An appointment at an enhanced service center will not be free. This is due to the additional cost incurred by UKVI for using them.
Can I Still Use a Premium Service Center?
The old premium service centers have changed. However, all of the centers mentioned previously can facilitate premium services if you need an application to be processed quickly. Keep in mind, though, that you will pay an extended fee for premium service. Moreover, you will need to visit a center to complete the application process. Full details are available on the UKVCAS website.
The system has been improved for those who need premium services. In many cases you will be able to provide most of your paperwork in advance before you have your appointment. This process should speed things up considerably. Moreover, it will help UKVI to increase the number of premium applications they can process on a daily basis.
Where Can I Get More Advice?
If you need more advice or assistance with the new UKVCAS system then please get in touch with the immigration solicitors at Reiss Edwards in London. They will give you all the information you need to make a successful application.