In line with the Home Office’s intention to process all entry clearance applications submitted overseas in Sheffield, UK, all visa applications submitted in the United States will now be scanned and sent to the Home Office in Sheffield for processing.
Applicants will still be able to book an appointment to submit their biometric data at their local UK Visa Application Centre. (See here for a complete list of biometric locations.)
At the biometric appointment, the applicant will receive a stamped biometric page and will be required to include this with the application and original documents which must be sent to the UKVI Scanning Hub in New York within five days of biometric submission. The UKVI Scanning Hub in New York will then send scanned copies of the original documents to The Home Office in Sheffield for processing. Once the application has been processed in Sheffield, the UKVI Scanning Hub in New York will endorse the applicant’s passport with their new UK visa and return the original documents to the applicant.
Applicants must now include a fully addressed prepaid electronic shipping label and envelope in order to have their documents returned to them from the UKVI Scanning Hub in New York. This can be purchased from VFS online.
It is still possible to use the Priority Processing Service, but applicants must write “Priority Service” in large print on the outside of the package they send to the UKVI Scanning Hub in New York and should expect priority applications to be processed within 5 to 10 working days (once received at the UKVI Scanning Hub). Applicants with urgent applications should consider submitting their applications via a Super Premium Application Centre and electing to use the Super Priority Visa or Gold services.
If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this alert, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers: