The Home Office recently started implementing a new service for processing UK work, study and settlement visa applications made in the UK, along with citizenship applications. As covered by this blog a few weeks ago, the new service will be implemented gradually throughout November 2018 and is aimed at centralising and improving the efficiency of the visa application process, as well as digitising it as much as possible.
As part of the new process, applicants will be able to upload online scans of all their documents, including their passport, after submitting their visa applications online. Applicants will then be required to attend an appointment at one of the 57 Service Centres, where they will enrol their biometrics and be encouraged to provide their original documents for inspection. Helpfully, applicants will no longer be required to provide their current passports to the Home Office while their applications are being considered and will instead be able to keep them following their appointments.
However, it is important to note that applicants should not travel outside of the UK until they have received a decision on their visa application. If an applicant travels abroad (outside of the Common Travel Area – comprising the UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey) before they have received their new visa, their application will be considered withdrawn. This can have severe consequences on their immigration status and ability to return to the UK.
This essentially means that applicants have to remain in the UK while their application is pending consideration by the Home Office, although under the new regime they will be able to retain their original passport, which can continue to be used for any purpose other than travel.
Gherson has over 30 years of experience in assisting with various immigration matters. Should you require assistance with your application to the Home Office please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.