As of the 5th of November, the whole service has changed and it’s no longer the same Premium Service offering by UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI). There is a new service called UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (
Disclaimer: This is based on my research and you should seek professional advice if you are unsure. Go to GOV UK to check if there have been any changes to the visa rule & fees.
5th November 2018 Changes to Appointments
With the rollout of the UK Visa and Immigration new streamlined services there have been several changes introduced which include:
- a streamlined online journey for most application types, with an intuitive form making it easier to apply and the option to purchase additional services;
- a modernised, digital and more secure process to submit key evidence and personal information, with most applicants able to retain their passports and other valuable evidence rather than sending them separately to UKVI;
- fast and convenient self-service with the ability to make applications and upload evidence directly;
- more flexible on-demand, mobile application services accessible at third party premises;
- enhanced support for vulnerable customers through a range of financial support for travel costs and mobile services.
You can read more of the details UKVI issued on this here.
Timeline of the changes
- From 5th November: the new UK VCAS centres will open and slowly rolled out until the 29th of Nov. They are opening 57 locations across the country to make the process easier.
- During the period of 5th November – 29th November, the old and new service will run which means there will be access to the new biometrics/document upload centres and Premium Services.
- 29th November: Premium Service Centres will close
- January 2019: Service and Support Centres will open, for use by a small number of customers who require more support with their application. These customers will continue to use the current process until January and the UKIV will issue more information on this process shortly so look out for it.
Premium Service Appointment Booking
In order to book the premium service appointment you need to complete the online application (for my ILR I used the new visa immigration website), it will be the last stage of the online application process providing you with three options to submit your application. The three options are Standard, Priority and Super Priority service and the type of visa’s this service is offered to are:
- Tier 2 or 4 visa
- Tier 2 or 4 dependant – applying on your own
- Tier 1 or 5 dependant – applying on your own
- Remain in the UK with family – applying in the partner, family life as a partner or private life in the UK routes
What does this mean for you?
This changes the way the visa appointments used to work so instead of the appointments opening 45 business days in advance they now open within 5 working days of making your application. They encouraged to go to an appointment as soon as possible and will receive a reminder after 15 working days if you have not attended an appointment.
If you want to visit one of these service points you can book an appointment:
- up to 28 days in advance
- the same day
- the next day
- outside of standard office hours
If your application included family members or dependants you will need to attend the appointment at the same time.
What are the Decision Timelines for the New Premium Service?
The changes have introduced a new timeline for when a decision is made on your application, the choices are:
- Standard service – get a decision within 8 weeks to 6 months
- Priority service – get a decision in 10 days
Super priority– get a decision in 24 hours
- Read more about processing times here.
Example of the new application
Visit Gov.uk to commence your application, depending on the visa type you will be directed to the appropriate form you need to fill out. Once you commence the application you will be presented with an information page about your visa which will detail
Once you’ve completed the application and declaration you will get to the payments section.
The first step of this process is providing your evidence and biometrics information. Between 5th November and 29th
The next step is choosing the service, to recap the decision timeline is:
- Standard service – get a decision within 8 weeks
- Priority service – get a decision in 10 days
- Super priority – get a decision in 24 hours
The moment of spending your money is now here! Put in those card details.
The last page is further actions will cover booking appointment, downloading the checklist and application.
What locations can you get a Premium Service Appointment?
Before the changes there only used to be 7 Premium Service Centres now there is now 57 UKVCAS centres across the UK:
- 6 core service centres offering free appointments
- 50 enhanced service centres offering charged appointments
- 1 premium lounge
To find your closest centre use the location tool here. When you are booking the appointments the location tool will also appear providing you with the 4 closest centres. If you wish to find another location then enter the postcode of that area and it will show you the centres to that area.
For example, my closest centres in London are:
- Croydon Core Service Point – Bedford Point, 35 Dingwall Road Croydon
- Wimbledon Service Point – Wimbledon Library, 35 Wimbledon Hill Road London
- Victoria Service Point – Regus, 52 Grosvenor Gardens London
- Premium Lounge Service Point – 20 Mark Lane London
Indefinite Leave to Remain Premium Service Fees
The fee structure for the Premium Service was £610 which has now been transferred to Super Priority service (new arrangements). Additionally, you can purchase the following services:
Enhanced service points
Basically, this is scanning and evidence checking services and cost £60 per person. I suggest doing this yourself instead of paying for the third party to do this on your behalf.
Out of hours appointments
This service was previously offered and is just appointments out of the core hours. Prices start from £100 per person on top of any other appointment-based fees.
Next day appointments
As the title states, they now offer next day appointments for £100 per person on top of any other appointment-based fees.
Same day appointments
For urgent applications you can now get a same day appointment. Prices start from £100 per person on top of any other appointment-based fees.
How Long Does a Premium Visa Appointment Take?
Previously I would allow 3 to 5 hours for the appointment. However, with all the changes and no decision being made at the super priority service it will just the enrolment of your biometrics and a check supporting evidence has scanned correctly. If you have uploaded/scanned the documents, then it will be simply getting you biometrics done and you will be out the door.
Therefor it should be between 10 to 60 minutes to get this done.
Preparation for the Appointment
The preparation before the appointment is just ensuring that you have your application completed, booking confirmation, checklist (ticked) and all the documentation prepared. Make sure have certified translations of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.
With the new service you will be told what you need to bring to your appointment when you submit your application, this will include:
- appointment confirmation
- passport or travel document
- supporting evidence (unless you choose to self-upload)
When I submitted mine there was no electronic way of uploading the information, so I brought mine all neatly separated into different files and categories to make it easier for the caseworker. It was all just placed in one folder, so it wasn’t necessary to prepare this. I would still put the documents in order as per the checklist to make it easier when someone is reviewing your case if you are bringing physical documentation.
I’ve read horror stories with the new appointment service that their paper scanners didn’t work. Upload all the docs *before* the appointment and take the original documents to the appointment. No need to take photocopies of docs or passport photos.
What to Expect During a Premium Service Appointment at the Visas and Immigration
Since my appointment the process has changes (I have included that below), the new process will be:
- show your appointment confirmation (you will get this as an email containing a QR code) and ID documents to confirm your appointment
- enrol your biometric information (fingerprints, photograph) and digital signature
- submit your supporting evidence (unless you choose to self-upload this)
- show your passport or travel document and have your identity checked
- speak to a member of staff who will check that your biometric information has been successfully enrolled and your passport and supporting evidence has scanned correctly
Afterwards you are supposed to get an email confirming your biometric was enrolled but there are currently issues with people not receiving this at the moment.
Later, depending on the service you choose you should get an email from Home Office on that your application was approved or denied. If approved then you will received by post your BRP and approval letter.
- New UK visa and citizenship customer journey presentation
- UKVI’s new front end services: what you need to know
- Immigration forums on people’s experience – Post 1 and Post 2
Video Update on UK Visa Premium Service Appointments
Let me know of your experience in the comments below!