Visa application centres in the UK have begun a phased reopening process after a lengthy period of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is hugely positive news for all of those who have incomplete leave to remain applications, as the next stages of the application process can now be commenced.
UKVCAS (UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services) application centres first closed in late March after the UK entered lockdown, leaving scores of visa applicants unable to attend scheduled appointments.
Attending a visa application centre is a key part of the application process. UKVCAS provide a number of important services at the centres, including translation, interpretation, document checking and the recording of biometric information.
As of June 1, UKVCAS began a phased reopening of the centres, enabling considerable numbers of applicants to complete their leave to remain applications.
There are currently 57 UKVCAS application centres in the UK, of which 13 have now reopened.
The UKVCAS application centres that are now open are as follows:
- Birmingham (Core)
- Birmingham – Premium Lounge
- London – Croydon (Core)
- London – Premium Lounge (Mark Lane)
- London – ESP (Mark Lane)
- London – Victoria
- Manchester Fountain Street ESP
- Manchester – Premium Lounge
UKVCAS had this to say on the phased reopening process:
“Following government guidelines and Public Health England advice on Coronavirus, UKVCAS, in conjunction with UKVI, will begin a controlled, phased reopening of Service Points from 1st June 2020. Our priority remains the safety of customers and staff and to ensure we deliver an effective service that meets public health guidelines. This means that initially, we can only offer our service at a reduced number of locations, and at a lower capacity than usual. We understand that this may affect your booking and it may not be possible for you to attend an appointment at one of the reopened sites. We appreciate your patience as we work with UKVI to resume the service safely”.
What do I need to know about attending a centre?
As it stands, only those with outstanding appointments are able to attend one of the reopened UKVCAS application centres. No new appointments are currently permitted.
Those with outstanding appointments will need to re-book their appointment with UKVCAS. This will not be done automatically. However, UKVCAS will honour payments for pre-lockdown appointments- you will not need to pay twice.
Manchester Central Library, home of the Manchester core UKVCAS Application Centre- now open. [Image: TripAdvisor]
Lunar House, home of the Croydon UKVCAS application centre, also now open. [Image: Inside Croydon]
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