A phased reopening of UK visa application centers in the US and Canada has started. Those who are applying for a UK visa including UK travel visa can now fix a biometric appointment at the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Service) ASCs (Application Support Centers). Appointments can also be made at VFS Global PACs (Premium Application Centers).
Since the closing of PACs and ASCs in March, this is the first time they are reopening, starting July 13, 2020. The reopened PACs and ASCs are functioning at limited capacity with limited availability of appointments. But there will soon be more reopening of ASCs in the days to come. However, walk-ins won’t be conducted.
As per official instructions, only the visa applicant can attend a biometric appointment that’s scheduled ahead of time. Even for more than one applicant in a family, individual appointments will have to be booked. A parent may accompany a minor.
Except the VFS Global PACs in Los Angeles and Seattle, all others will reopen. They were compulsorily closed by the order of the federal government.
The appointments affected by COVID-19 lockdown will now be rescheduled by VFS. The new appointment date and time will be informed to the applicants for UK visa.
A per the statement of VFS Centre officials, only Bronze premium services are available now. Silver and Gold packages are suspended indefinitely. Standard services will take 15 business days. This is excluding mail time.
Applications must be mailed to the scanning hub in New York. For this, UPS or FedEx courier service by attaching a return label.
In-person document collection is not permitted. Documents will be sent back to UK visa applicants via UPS. Courier service fees are included in the Bronze package.
VAC appointments have resumed in Canada. 4 centers reopened on July 17, 2020. Applicants must wear face masks and follow social distancing while arriving at VACs in Canada.
Only the applicant will be allowed entry for PAC appointments. Parents can accompany a minor. Others who are allowed entry include:
- Those with a translator
- Those accompanying an elderly or disabled person
Applicants will be issued with a vignette visa upon bringing back their passport from a VFS Centre. It will permit entry to the UK for 30 days. All visas of the UK issued starting on January 24, 2020, or later, is qualified for a free replacement. A 90-day vignette is issued before 2020 ends.
UK Visas and Immigration is expected to announce further details on replacing vignettes in the weeks to come.
Access UK that manages online applications for UK visitor visa is now holding applications for an increased duration of 240 days. This will mean that applications will remain live and valid in support of biometric data once services fully restart.
If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to UK, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.
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