Visa application centres reopen in UK and overseas
By Luke Aldred
In March 2020, immigration into the UK was suspended when the Home Office made the decision to close all UK visa application centres in-light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
Now, months on, UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) is beginning to resume its services, reopening some UK and overseas visa application centres. On 1 June 2020, ‘Phase One’ was launched, and on 22 June 2020 UKVI transitioned into ‘Phase Two’ with the reopening of additional overseas UK visa application centres (where local conditions allowed). ‘Phase Three’ is now underway, with UK visa application centres opening again in four Middle Eastern countries – including Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia – on 28 June 2020.
UK visa application centres are only giving appointments to those who had one booked before the centre closed, and subsequently had it postponed. The Home Office is still attempting to process and clear the backlog of applications that were put on hold. It’s important to remember that those who are submitting applications now are likely to face delays in getting an appointment. More information on visa application centres.
Regarding visa application centres outside the UK, some are only rebooking appointments for existing applicants. We advise checking the latest information for the country where you’re submitting your application.
Application centres both in the UK and overseas won’t be offering priority or super priority services to process applications at this time. VIP mobile appointments – where the biometrics team come to an applicant’s home or office – have also not yet resumed.
The Home Office are making changes on a daily basis. For more information or advice, get in touch with the Sanctuary International team.