If you are inside the UK and have just submitted your immigration application, you will normally be required to finalise the process by attending a UKVCAS Service Point to complete your biometric enrolment. Read this guide to become more familiar with what the process involves.
What is UKVCAS?
UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) is an official partner of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Since 2018, Sopra Steria - the private company responsible for UKVCAS - has been responsible for delivering a streamlined service to applicants who have applied to stay in the UK for work, study, indefinite leave to remain, and citizenship.
What are Biometrics?
Biometrics (or biometric enrolment) is a term used to include uniquely identifying information such as photographs, fingerprints and signatures. Each immigration application will usually involve the enrolment of fresh biometric information, even when it was previously provided. There are some some limited exceptions to this; in some rare cases, it may be possible to request biometric reuse (for example, where incapacitated due to disability, illness or injury). However, for most people, a new facial image will be required with each immigration or nationality application.
How do I book an Appointment?
Once you have made the payment for your immigration application, you will have the option to download a copy of your application form and document checklist. On the same page, under the 'mandatory actions' heading, you should see a prompt inviting you to attend an appointment to provide your documents and biometrics by a certain date.
Clicking 'book appointment' will redirect you to the UKVCAS website.
Setting up your Account
Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your account. This will involve requesting and inputting a system access code which will be sent to the email linked to your application. You will only have 60 minutes to verify this code before having to request a new one. Once the account has been set up, you can login and move on to the next step.
Logging in to your Account
Use the same login details used when setting up your account. If you have auto-saved your passport, the system may require you to manually verify randomly generated data to proceed.
Booking your Appointment
Now that you have logged in, you will see a few different options to select from. Click 'Book appointment'.
You will now be presented with different types of appointments to choose from. You can read about the different services available to you and what they include. In our experience, most applicants choose the 'Standard' service.
You should now input your postcode to find your closest UKVCAS Service Point.
Choose the most suitable location for you.
Next, you will have the option to choose from the available dates and times at your desired UKVCAS Service Point. Appointments will either be free of charge or chargeable, depending on slot. At busier Service Points, free appointments are usually taken up quickly so you will have to regularly check for when the next batch of appointments becomes available. UKVCAS states that free appointments are released on a daily basis at 09:00.
In this example, there are 7 free of charge appointments and 4 chargeable appointments available on the selected day.
Confirming your Appointment
After completing all of these steps you can proceed to finalise your chosen appointment. A summary of the location, date and time will be shown to you, including the price (if applicable) you will have to pay.
In this example, no fee was payable to confirm the booking because the client selected the 'Standard' appointment with a free of charge slot.
You will receive a confirmation email from UKVCAS with your appointment details. A separate PDF with a QR code will also be sent to you - it is important that you take a digital or printed copy of this with you on the day of your appointment. You must also make sure to upload your supporting documents before the day of your appointment. If you have paid for the 'document scanning' service, you do not need to upload anything.
Attending your Appointment
Aim to arrive with 5 minutes of your slot. Make sure you have your valid passport, a copy of your appointment confirmation and your document checklist. Depending on your circumstances, you may also need to bring all of your supporting documents with you. The rest of the process will be straightforward and a UKVCAS agent will be there to guide you through the steps.
If you need help booking an appointment, are unsure of how to upload your supporting documents, or you are facing other issues with this process, contact us today for advice.