New Application system - UKVCAS

Immigration topics relating to unmarried/civil partnerships, same sex marriages, or cross border partnerships in general. If you have already studied the immigration rules page on the uklgig website, but still have unanswered questions, post them here or in the EU/EEA forum below.

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New Application system - UKVCAS

Post by uklgig » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:05 am


Updated section from our "Immigration Rules" page ... hin-the-uk

Applying from within the UK

The Further Leave to Remain application must be filed before the existing Leave to Remain or “proposed civil partner /fiancé/fiancee” visa expires to ensure an applicant remains lawfully in the UK.
  • An application may possibly still be successful if made while an overstayer in very limited circumstances under paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules or, under Section EX of Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, where the applicant can show that there are ‘insurmountable obstacles to family life with [the British based partner] continuing outside the UK”. The applicability of these exceptions can be very hard to prove. Applicants should not, therefore, rely on them.
So long as you have made the application before your leave to remain expires, you continue to be legally in the UK with your existing visa status, until such time as a decision has been taken and any appeal against a negative decision has been resolved. If you had permission to work before you made the application you will continue to have this permission to work whilst the application is being considered. If you did not have permission to work when you made the application this continues to be the case until you receive a positive decision.

Note: An application is considered as ‘made’ as soon as you submit it online and pay the relevant fees (or as soon as the form is received by the Home Office if you have opted to print the online form and send it by post).

It is now only possible to complete further leave to remain (FLR) and indefinite leave to remain (SET) application forms online. The paper application forms have been withdrawn.

Application fees are payable at the end of the initial online ‘application form’ stage. On top of the standard application fee, there is a biometric enrolment fee and if you wish to take advantage of the Super Priority 24 hour service there will be an extra £610 to pay. For further leave as opposed to indefinite leave applications, you will also need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

As at March 1st, 2019, once you have paid your fees you will still be given the option of choosing the ‘old system’ or the ‘new system’ for the next steps.
  • If you opt for the old system, you will then have to print out the application form and post it to the Home Office address shown on the form, together with a complete set of the documents required to be submitted with the application (this list will be automatically generated after you have completed the application form). You will also be asked to print out a letter telling you about attending a post office to give your biometric data.
  • If you have opted for the ‘new system’, after payment of the fees you will be directed to the Sopra Steria – UKVCAS website to book an appointment to enrol your biometrics and have your documents processed at a UKVCAS centre, at a basic cost of £60. You can then choose whether to purchase added-value services (such as same day, next day or out of hours appointments) which start at £100.
The key change in procedure with the ‘new system’ is the scanning and uploading of supporting documents. This can be done before, or during an appointment at the Sopra Steria – UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) centre you have chosen for your biometric appointment. If you do the uploading yourself beforehand, you will need to bring with you a complete set of the originals for the Sopra Steria staff to review before sending the uploaded documentation to the Home Office for consideration. If you opt for Sopra Steria themselves to upload the documentation you should bring with you complete sets of both originals and copies of your application package, all on A4 sized paper which can be easily scanned and uploaded. Do NOT forget to bring with you the appointment confirmation with QR code as they will not let you in without it !

The UKVCAS centres have now opened across the UK, with all locations scheduled to be opened in early 2019. The new service is described by the Home Office as being intuitive, offering a ‘streamlined digital’ process which will ensure ‘peace of mind’ for applicants who are able to retain their original documents and in most cases their passports while applying.
  • Of the 57 UKVCAS centres, 6 will be core service centres which will offer free appointments up to 4 weeks in advance. The 6 core centres will be in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast and Croydon.
  • 50 enhanced service points will be accessible in several cities across the UK and will charge for appointments, up to 2 weeks in advance. Services available will also include same day, next day or out of hours appointments, documentation checking and an on-demand VIP service.
You should present your evidence in a way that it is easy for the Home Office to read. They are under considerable pressure of time and you should therefore prepare an index and list your documents under logical headings. Subdivide ‘mandatory documents’ from ‘additional documents’ as specified in the list of documents generated on completion of the application form and include a scan of any covering letter and/or index at the beginning of each section. There is no magic formula for how to present your evidence – use your common sense. Remind yourself of the type of evidence required using our evidence page and compare this with the list of documents generated by the application process. If in doubt, be over-inclusive rather than under-inclusive. Many of the items included in our list may not be mandatory, but will create a much stronger application.

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