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Update: Phased Reopening Of Visa Application Centres (Vacs) In The US On 13 July 2020

Posted by: Gherson Immigration

This blog is an update of our previous blog on the reopening of Visa Application Centers in the US. 

On 8 July 2020, VFS Global announced that UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) would commence a phased resumption of services in the US as of 13 July 2020. 

Premium Application Centers 

The services will include the re-opening of some Premium Application Centres (PACs) at the following locations: 

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York 
  • San Francisco 
  • Washington

It is reported that the Seattle PAC is due to tentatively re-open in August. 

Application Support Centres

Application Support Centres (ASCs) across the US will also begin a phased reopening on the same day and will be able to provide the public with limited appointments at some US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) ASCs. It is further reported that depending on the success of Phase 1, more ASC locations will reopen each week after 13 July 2020. 

Precautionary measures during the appointments 

On 3 July 2020, the UK government website updated the “Apply for a UK visa in the USA” Guidance expanding on the measures to be taken when attending the appointments. It is advised that individuals attending their appointments must: 

·       wear a face covering. It is stated that face coverings will not be provided to applicants and individuals who do not adhere to this will not be allowed entry to the VAC; 

·       not bring additional individuals or family members that are not part of the applications, unless they are interpreters, attorneys, or someone providing required assistance to the applicants; 

·       follow social distancing guidance, this may refer to the advised 2-meter distance between individuals not of the same household; 

·       not attend the appointment if the applicant is sick or starts to show/feel symptoms of being sick, the Guidance advises for the appointment to be rescheduled should this be the case; 

  • check the relevant VAC on the day of the appointment. 

Please note if you are travelling from the US to the UK, all individuals will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days, unless they fall within an exception (which has been raised in a previous blog).

Gherson are continuing to monitor these developments and announcements. If you are an employer who needs assistance with sponsoring a foreign national or if you are looking to studyworkvisit or migrate to the UK, please do not hesitate to contact us and we would be happy to assist you. 

Please note that the information in this blog is current at the date and time of posting. The situation regarding policy and guidance based on the COVID-19 pandemic is subject to change at short notice. We shall be monitoring all aspects of UK immigration which may be impacted by the coronavirus closely, so please do keep updated with further blogs and articles which we will be posting on this site.

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.

©Gherson 2020


Toska Fernandez 

  Toska Fernandez

  Paralegal in our General and Corporate Teams


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