Further UK Visa Application Centres re-open - | Hudson McKenzie

Further UK Visa Application Centres re-open

Starting from 27th July 2020, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has scheduled for more Visa Application Centres (VACs) to reopen and resume services. This announcement is widely appreciated as the UK border begins to reopen with more travellers now having the ability to book their respective appointments to travel in and outside of the UK.

Following on from previous updates, more than 130 VACs have reopened. This phased programme of resuming visa services is progressing at speed; a huge benefit to those severely affected by the COVID-19 travel restrictions. 

Appointment bookings are now live at the following VACs that are scheduled to re-open:

Week commencing 27th July 2020

  • DR Congo – Kinshasa
  • Malta        -Valletta
  • Mauritius – Port Louis
  • Nigeria      -Abuja, Lagos (Ikeja), Lagos (VI)
  • Bhutan
  • Georgetown
  • Islamabad
  • Karachi
  • Kingston
  • La Paz
  • Lahore
  • Mexico City
  • Port of Spain
  • Rio De Janeiro
  • Sabah
  • Sao Paulo
  • Seattle
  • Tehran
  • Ulaanbaatar

Week commencing 3rd August 2020

  • Estonia       – Tallinn
  • Finland       – Helsinki
  • Latvia         – Riga
  • Lithuania    – Vilnius

However, although centres are gradually reopening, it must be remembered that Priority and Super Priority Visa services remain inoperative. This will be reviewed in due course. In addition, visa customers must also be aware that these updates may be subject to change at short notice depending on local conditions.

Please also remember that the following VACs have been closed temporarily since the previous government update:

  • Australia   – Melbourne
  • India          – Bengaluru, Pune
  • USA            – Los Angeles (Premium Application Centre)
  • Madagascar- Antananarivo
  • Serbia        – Belgrade

We advise all visa customers and travellers to be aware of the latest travel information and updates. This is to ensure all individuals are aware of any changes made to the border because of coronavirus at short notice.

A new approach

UKVI has further announced that operations will now resume running from UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS). This will also be part of a phased programme to introduce the full running of services.

The booking system to register appointments has opened for specified applicants. Applicants who have submitted their applications between 1st June and 30th June 2020 will be able to book their respective appointments via the UKVCAS service.

There will be changes in the way UKVCAS normally process applications. Some visa customers may not have to go to a Service Point. This is because biometrics (fingerprints) documented from previous applications will be reused to verify an individual’s identity and thus make the whole process faster and more efficient. 

Visa customers must be aware that appointments at Service Points will only resume depending on if conditions become safe enough to do so. Hence, UKVCAS services will still operate at lower productiveness than usual but this will be gradually improved as more services from Service Points are scheduled to open in the next few weeks.

Temporary visas

For individuals who are on a 30-day visa to work, study or join family in the UK and their visas have already expired or are due to expire, they can now contact their local VAC directly to request a replacement 30 day vignette.

Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you require legal assistance with your visa application, please get in touch with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at londoninfo@hudsonmckenzie.com or by telephone +44(0) 20 3318 5794.