We wish to inform you that the government made an announcement on 26th May 2020 that they will begin a controlled and phased re-opening of the Biometric and Visa Service Centres around the UK from 1st June 2020. The centres have had time to prepare and be ready in line with the present government guidelines and advice on social distancing.
The first phase of applicants will be those who had existing and confirmed appointments prior to the suspension of the service when the lockdown restrictions were put in place in March 2020. The Home Office and the service providers, Sopra Steria, will be sending emails to all those applicants explaining the next steps they need to take to re-book their appointments.
Unfortunately, if you did not have an existing appointment, prior to the suspension of service, you will not be able to book an appointment at this time.
However, once the initial phase applicants are dealt with, the Home Office will proceed to the next phase by considering applicants who have pending applications but did not have a chance to book any appointment due to the lockdown restrictions. The above is good news and it is a sign that of things moving in the right direction as at least we now have some clarity from the government on the strategies they will use and how they intend to deal with visa applications in the near future.
With regards to visa centres outside the UK, the government will take a similar approach and will be opening some centres from the 1st June 2020 and they will at first aim to deal with the applicants who had existing appointments and then proceed to those with pending applications in a similar manner to the in-country applications stated above. Please note that the services will resume in centres where local restrictions will allow. For updates on the status of a particular centre in your country of application, please use the details below:
• Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East visit: uk.tslcontact.com
• All other countries visit: vfsglobal.co.uk
Please note that some overseas centres will remain closed until they are considered safe to re-open. We will keep you informed as soon as we receive any further updates.
We therefore wish to advise you to consider making any visa applications you intended to make as soon as possible as they will be more likely to be dealt with sooner rather than later, and avoid further delay. Since the initial indication is that they are dealing with this matter on a first come first served basis, the earlier the applications are submitted the better it will be for the individuals concerned and for business continuity purposes.
If you require any assistance with your visa applications, please do not hesitate to contact our team using the details below.