Vanguard Solicitors

If you make an application on or after 2 November 2018, you may be given a choice between using a new service for enrolling your biometrics and submitting evidence or using the existing service offered through the Post Office or at a Premium Service Centre (PSC) (subject to availability).

NEW UK visa and citizenship customer journey

What is changing and who can choose this service ?

Customers seeking leave to remain in the UK or to settle permanently on the following routes will have a choice between using the existing service or the new UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS):

  • 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

Over the next few months, the majority of paper application forms will be withdrawn and most UK-based customers applying for leave to remain in the UK or to settle permanently will need to apply online.

On the new service, customers will be intuitively led through an online application process making it clear what they need to do, what supporting evidence they will need and where they will need to go to complete their application.

When change is happening ?

From 9 November 2018, new UKVCAS centres will begin to open with all being open by 30 November 2018.

These centres will be managed by a commercial partner, Sopra Steria. You can check when service centres will be opening near you.

There will be 57 UKVCAS centres across 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.


You will be able to choose an appointment within 5 working days of making your application. You are encouraged to go to an appointment as soon as possible and will receive a reminder after 15 working days if you have not attended an appointment.

If your application includes family members, you will all need to attend an appointment at a UKVCAS centre at the same time.

Children under 16 must be accompanied to their appointment by the responsible adult named on the application. If you choose to use the new service, you will not need to post your supporting evidence to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

You will either self-upload your evidence or take it with you to your appointment.

In most cases, you will have your supporting evidence (including your passport) returned to you immediately once the appointment is finished. You may not be able to use your passport for travel until you have received a decision on your application.

You will be told what you need to bring to your appointment when you submit your application, this will include:

  • appointment confirmation
  • passport or travel document
  • supporting evidence (unless you choose to self-upload)

At your appointment you will:

  • show your appointment confirmation (you will get this as an email containing a QR code) and ID documents to confirm your appointment
  • enrol your biometric information (fingerprints, photograph) and digital signature
  • submit your supporting evidence (unless you choose to self-upload this)
  • show your passport or travel document and have your identity checked
  • speak to a member of staff who will check that your biometric information has been successfully enrolled and your passport and supporting evidence has scanned correctly

Existing service

If you apply on or before 29 November 2018, you can choose to use the existing service and enrol your biometric information at the Post Office or a Premium Service Centre if you’re applying for one of these routes. You’ll be told how to do this as part of your application and in your biometrics enrolment letter.

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.

Waiting for a decision on your application

You should not leave the UK until you have received a decision on your application. If you travel outside the “Common Travel Area” (CTA) before the decision is made on your application, your application will be treated as withdrawn.

The CTA is:

  • UK
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Channel Islands
  • Isle of Man

If the decision is made while you are outside the UK and your current leave has expired you will not have a right to return to the UK and you may be refused entry at the UK border.

Service standards

For both the new and existing services, you’ll be told on your application form how long it should take to get a decision. You’ll also be told if you can get a faster decision on your application.

You’ll be contacted by UKVI if your application is going to take longer.

If you choose to use the UKVCAS service, you will be able to apply to use the priority service online. You’ll find out how to do this when you’ve completed your application.

Appointments at Premium Service Centres

From 29 November 2018, when the current PSCs close, until 8 January 2019 there will be limited appointments available in the PSCs for those not able to use UKVCAS applying online for leave based on family life or private life who choose UKVI’s 24-hour decision service. During your application you will be advised about which services you are able to use.

The customers who can use this service will be those applying for leave based on family life, including spouses and partners of settled persons, or those applying for leave on the basis of private life where one of the following conditions applies:

  • they have no extant leave
  • they are applying for the first time or are switching from an unrelated route

These are all the address for the UK Visa and Citizenship Centres including the libraries that will host this service;

UK Visa and Citizenship Centres not in libraries

  • Birmingham - Ground Floor, T3, Trinity Park, Bickenhill Lane, Birmingham, B37 7ES
  • Belfast - 1st Floor Capital House, 3 Upper Queen Street, Belfast, BT1 6FB
  • Glasgow - The Beacon, 176 St Vincent St, Glasgow
  • Croydon - Bedford Point, 35 Dingwall Road, Croydon, Surrey,

UK Visa and Citizenship Centres in libraries 

  • Cardiff - Cardiff Main Library, The Hayes, CF10 1FL
  • Aberdeen- Central Library, Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen AB25 1GW
  • Barbican – The Barbican Library, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
  • Bedford - Bedford Central Library, Harpur Street, Bedford, MK40 1PG
  • Bournemouth - Bournemouth Library 22 The Triangle, Bournemouth BH2 5RQ
  • Bradley Stoke - Bradley Stoke Library, Fiddlers Wood Lane, Bradley Stoke, South Gloucestershire, BS32 9BS
  • Brighton - Jubilee Library Jubilee Street, Brighton, BN1 1GE
  • Burnley - Burnley Central Library, Grimshaw Street, Burnley, BB11 2BD
  • Cambridge - Central Library Cambridge, 7 Lion Yard, Grand Arcade, Cambridge, CB2 3QD
  • Canning Town - Canning Town Library 103 Barking Road E16 4HQ
  • Canterbury - Canterbury Library, 18 High Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2RA
  • Coventry - Central Library, Smithford Way, Coventry CV1 1FY
  • Dorchester - Dorchester Library, Colliton Park, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ
  • East Ham – East Ham Community Neighbourhood Centre & Library, 328 Barking Rd, London E6 2RT
  • Eastbourne- Eastbourne Library Grove Road, Eastbourne BN21 4TL
  • Gloucester- Gloucester Main Library, Brunswick Rd, Gloucester GL1 1HT
  • Grays - Grays Library, Orsett Rd, Grays RM17 5DX
  • Hemel Hempstead- Hemel Hempstead Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead, Herts HP1 1HH
  • Hull - Hull Central Library, Albion St, Hull HU1 3TF
  • Ipswich - Ipswich Library, Northgate Street, Ipswich IP1 3DE
  • Kensington, London - Kensington Central Library, 12 Phillimore Walk, Kensington, London W8 7RX
  • Lancaster - Lancaster Library, Market Square Lancaster LA1 1HY
  • Liverpool - Liverpool Central Library William Brown Street L3 8EW
  • Llandudno - Llandudno Library, Mostyn Street, Llandudno, LL30 2RP
  • Newcastle - City Library 33 New Bridge Street West Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8AX
  • Newport - Newport Central Library, John Frost Square, Newport, NP20 1PA
  • Norwich - Central Library, The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich NR2 1AW
  • Nottingham – Nottingham Central Library, Angel Row, Nottingham NG1 6HP
  • Bristol - Bristol Patchway Library, Rodway Road, Patchway, South Gloucestershire BS34 5PE
  • Peterborough - Peterborough Central library, Broadway, Peterborough, PE1 1RX
  • Portsmouth - Carnegie Library, Fratton Rd, Portsmouth, PO1 5EZ
  • Preston - Preston Harris Library, Market Square, Preston PR1 2PP
  • Reading - Reading Central, Abbey Square, Reading, RG1 3BQ
  • Swinton (Rotherham) – Library & Neighbourhood Hub, Station Street, Swinton, S64 8PZ
  • Salisbury - Salisbury Library, Market Place, SALISBURY SP1 1BL
  • Shepherds Bush - Shepherds Bush Library, 6 Wood Lane, London, W12 7BF
  • Shoe Lane – Shoe Lane Library, Hill House, 1 Little New St, London EC4A 3JR
  • Stockport - Stockport Central Library, Wellington Road South, Stockport, SK1 3RS
  • Stratford, London – Stratford Library, 3 The Grove, London E15 1EL
  • Stevenage - Stevenage (Central) Southgate, Stevenage, Herts SG1 1HD
  • Swindon - Swindon Central Library Regent Circus, Swindon SN1 1QG
  • Taunton - Taunton Library, Paul Street, Taunton, Somerset TA1 3XZ
  • Truro - Union Place, Truro TR1 1EP
  • Victoria, London – Victoria Library, 160 Buckingham Palace Rd, Belgravia, London SW1W 9UD
  • Wakefield, UK – Wakefield Library, Wakefield One, Burton St, Wakefield WF1 2EB
  • Warrington - Warrington Library, Museum Street, Warrington, WA1 1JB
  • Warwick – Warwick Library & Information Centre, Shire Hall, Market Place, Warwick, CV34 4RL
  • Watford - Watford Central Hempstead Road, Watford, Herts WD17 3EU
  • Wimbledon – Wimbledon Library, 35, Wimbledon Hill Road, SW19 7NB
  • Wolverhampton - Wolverhampton Central Library Snow Hill, Wolverhampton WV1 3AX
  • Burnholme - Tang Hall Explore Library (Burnholme), Mossdale Avenue, York, YO31 0HA


Do you need advice or help with your legal issues?

Our solicitors will hold your hands throughout the process, liaising with all relevant government bodies, including UK Visas and Immigration, British Consulate, overseas agents and where necessary the courts.

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