UK – Implementation of New Visa Application System Creates Delays

What has changed

In November 2018, the UK Home Office implemented new processes for most visa applications. Currently, the new visa application system for foreign workers is in the early stages of implementation, which has led to processing delays and lack of both free and prepaid appointments.

Presently, many of the kiosks that were scheduled to be open by November 29, 2018 are not yet fully operational. The implementation of the new system has created a lack of accessibility to appointment bookings. As a result, very few free-of-charge appointments are available, as well as a lack of appointments in different locations across the UK.

Previously, UK migrants could apply via a paper application, and applicants were required to post original documents such as their passport to the Home Office and attend an appointment at one of a small number of locations. Scanned copies can now be uploaded during the new online application process at one of the new smaller kiosk-style centers at local libraries.

Who is affected

All clients who currently employ foreign nationals in the UK or are planning to send foreign employees to the UK in the upcoming days/months.

What to expect

Due to the difficulties with the new visa application system at the new kiosks, visa applicants are strongly advised to apply for priority level appointments that incur an additional fee of up to £260.00. Applicants may have to travel further distances to attend their appointment.

Once fully operational, the new visa application system via the new kiosk centers is expected to create overall greater access to appointments, less inconvenience for visa applications (no longer necessary to submit original documents) and in the long term, fewer processing delays. Applicants will be able to submit their biometrics and visa applications at any of the fifty-seven (57) service kiosk points throughout the UK.

Emigra Worldwide will monitor developments and keep clients informed about updates related to the implementation of the new visa application kiosks and the impact on ongoing and upcoming assignments.

What you need to do

Clients and employees should take into account the extended processing times which may impact the overall time required to complete visa applications.

Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for additional details on how these updates may impact you or your client.