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 (UKVCAS) which is run by Sopra Steria in partnership with UK Visas and Immigration. I have searched the internet, so you didn’t have to! Here is everything you need to know about the changes.

Psstt.. You can read more about the application process and documents I provided for the Indefinite Leave to Remain Visa (Settlement) here.

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

A list of visas can be found here.

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
  • Priority service – get a decision in 10 days
  • Super priority – get a decision in 24 hours

Example of the new application

Visit 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 infomation about; biometric information, healthcare Surcharge, before you start applying, what you need to know, how to apply and application fees.

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 November you will be offered the choice between the existing service or the new UK VCAS. This is still displaying on some applications. You will need to choose the new service as the existing service no longer exists.

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.

Useful Links

Video Update on UK Visa Premium Service Appointments

Let me know of your experience in the comments below!

This Post Has 107 Comments

  1. Hi I’m just wondering about the application form. Mine doesn’t have anywhere obvious to sign? I filled it out online then selected print document

    1. Hi Lydia,
      Sorry a bit of wording mistake from me. The only the only document I signed was the declarations, the form itself I did not sign.

      1. Hi kat,can you please reply to this
        Message urgently please since they don’t really offer information but say on the website but anyways what is the checklist of the documents needed to get to you’re appointment with you?,can you please tell me that ASAP

        1. Hi Dima,
          On the further actions page there should be documents you can download, is it not there? You can see in the screenshots of example application on the last section. It says optional actions.

          You can see what documents I provide in this article but it is based on my application

          Otherwise you will have to call the UKVCAS, I can’t really help with fixing their website.

  2. Hi Kat, This is brilliant – thanks. So glad I found it, you were very generous with your time. I’m a kiwi in UK on Ancestry about to apply for ILR for my self and 3 dependants (husband and 2 teenagers – imagine the cost of that!!). Can i ask a few questions please?
    1. I was issued my visa on 10 January 2014 but didn’t enter UK until 6th February. Am I correct that I put 10 January down as entry date and put the 27 days in between as my first absence or time abroad. Is that right?
    2. This means I am eligible to apply on 13 December being 28 days before 10th January (Visa issue date)
    3. So I should complete my online application and look for premium appointments on 11th October (being 45 days before 13th December)
    4. Can you complete the application Online in advance. I have populated all the questions online and saved it but don’t want to get to the last screen in case I accidentally apply too soon.
    5. I also have a lot of absences (about 60 lines) so they don’t all fit in. I have a spreadsheet showing them all, and they are within the 180 days per year so that should be OK, but I’m confused on evidence on this. I have employment contracts showing my annual leave entitlement – but it seems to want other evidence – letter from employer to confirm this. Did you need anything for this?
    6. I have set up a dummy apt account and have been trying to book an appointment for days at Croydon and every time I go in the system says there are no available apts in next 45 days. This seems crazy. A lot of stuff online about people simply not being able to get them, but you seemed to get yours OK. Did you have any problems with this, and if so was there anything you attempted to resolve it. I’m tempted to go with an agent just to secure the appointment – but that’s ANOTHER £1000 which on top of the huge amount we are already paying is just crazy.
    Thanks again for your really insightful blog. It’s really helped and any further info you can give would be helpful.

    1. Hi Kirsty,

      Here are my answers to your questions.

      1. I was issued my visa on 10 January 2014 but didn’t enter the UK until 6th February. Am I correct that I put 10 January down as entry date and put the 27 days in between as my first absence or time abroad. Is that right?
      Yes, that is how I calculated my leave so my visa was issued on the 10th of September but I didn’t arrive until the 18th of October so I documented this as absences from the UK as it’s within my qualifying 5 years.

      2. This means I am eligible to apply on 13 December being 28 days before 10th January (Visa issue date)
      Yes, you need to either post your application or attend an appointment within the 28 days based on my experience.

      3. So I should complete my online application and look for premium appointments on 11th October (being 45 days before 13th December)
      You can start the application 70 days in advance before they will wipe the application (hope I have remembered that correctly) and you can only get to the appointment pages when you complete the application, as booking will require you to pay and then finalises the application i.e. produces all the documents you need to a company your application.

      4. Can you complete the application Online in advance. I have populated all the questions online and saved it but don’t want to get to the last screen in case I accidentally apply too soon.
      Yes, that’s totally fine to do as above.

      5. I also have a lot of absences (about 60 lines) so they don’t all fit in. I have a spreadsheet showing them all, and they are within the 180 days per year so that should be OK, but I’m confused on evidence on this. I have employment contracts showing my annual leave entitlement – but it seems to want other evidence – letter from employer to confirm this. Did you need anything for this?
      On Ancestry as I understand there is nothing is required from your employer that is only for those on Tier 2 sponsorship. I just provided my passport as evidence as to when I left the country plus the spreadsheet which showed the totals for each year in the rolling period.

      6. I have set up a dummy apt account and have been trying to book an appointment for days at Croydon and every time I go in the system says there are no available apts in next 45 days.
      This was not easy! I spent hours refreshing, trying different laptops and browser until an appointment showed up. I thought it was a glitch on the new website but it could just be that booked out! It was the most stressful 3 hours of my life trying to get the appointment section to work so not an easy task at all. Sheffield is generally an easier office to get an appointment but a trek from London.

      Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions.


  3. That is so super. i’m so glad I stumbled across you! I’m just starting the application online now so will certainly ask if any other questions – but hopefully won’t bother you. Fingers crossed I can get an appointment. I figure I’ll try for a couple of days, and if no luck may have to bite the bullet and pay for an agent to do it – grrrrr. Thanks again!

    1. I hope so too! They make it such a stressful and costly experience. As I understand an agent is £500+ for an application so it might be cheaper getting the train or driving to Sheffield or Birmingham. The only other thing I would recommend is trying in like IE11 or an older internet browser. Something I have learnt working in government is that most of their systems only run properly on IE for some reason. That was the browser that finally worked for me.

      Good Luck!

  4. Kat- what time of the day did you make your appointment? I’ve been trying all hours at all locations and I haven’t seen a single appointment come up, they all say nothing for 45 days and I’m quickly running out of time. Any strategies greatly appreciated!

    1. This was not easy! I spent hours refreshing, trying different laptops and browser until an appointment showed up. I thought it was a glitch on the new website but it could just be that booked out! It was the most stressful 3 hours of my life trying to get the appointment section to work so not an easy task at all. Sheffield/ Birmingham is generally an easier office to get an appointment. I even knew a guy that needed to fly to Glasgow to get an appointment but he left it super last minute.

      The only other thing I would recommend is trying in like IE11 or an older internet browser. Something I have learnt working in government is that most of their systems only run properly on IE for some reason. That was the browser that finally worked for me.

  5. Hello Kat,

    I have applied an appointment for my and son ILR. I have booked/applied for the wrong form, i.e. currently scheduled for Set (m) however, I should/must have booked for Set (o). Please note the fees for both is the same. I looked into the option of cancelling and reapplying for Set (o), but the waiting time and refund time is more than 6 weeks, and my wife and son visa is expiring in 6 weeks time.

    Do you think they will consider or they will be ok if we book for a particular form but apply for some other form? hope my question is clear enough.




    1. Hi Sam, ah I see. So your family is over as PBS dependents? Did you apply using the visa4uk website? If so then the application would be linked to that reference number and not sure bringing a manual form will be ok. If you did it online again to get the documents that you need to print you have to go through the whole process and payment again. I’d suggest calling the home office as they’d know the latest stance on situations like this. Fingers crossed that this gets sorted for you. I can imagine it is super stressful!
      Cheers, Kat

  6. Hello Kat,
    I am planning to apply for FLR(M) Second Extension. I am thinking of using PEO for this. I am I correct that
    All I need to do is Book an Appointment at PEO and at the same time pay my VISA application fee.
    Pay NHS Surcharge.
    Take completed visa application form and all relevant documents to the appointment.? I don’t need to submit visa application form online prior to the appointment anywhere.? just take it with me in-person.


    1. Hi Hannah,
      I had to do an application form online, then once completed the website gave me the ability to chose the type of service and pay my fees after I had chosen the service. My application didn’t have NHS surcharge in it so I am assuming that will just be one of the categories. My understanding is the only way you can book an appointment is via the vis4UK or a company that provides the service. You can always register to the visa4uk website and see what options they give you?

  7. Hi,

    My wife entered UK on 28th January 2014 and her visa was on 6th January 2014 under partner of British Citizen category, on that basis when is earliest I can apply, according to me it should be 28 days prior to entry so that’d be 31st December 2018, please correct me if wrong

    Secondly can I make the online application 1st November and look for a PSC appointment 40 3 days ahead which would mean the PSC appointment is within the 28 days rule or thaat would be invalid and can only apply online within the 28 days qualifying period

    Lastly there is speculation of new rules and PSC’s opening up on 5th November 2018, do we know whether its true or not and if so is there any further information on what the procedure will be and processing times

    1. Hi Mihir,
      I would have said that the 28 days starts on the 1st of Jan as the 28th is the 28th day. You can submit the application before the 28 days, the appointments just can’t be before or after that time period. My understanding it’s meant to be 45 business days in advance that the appointments open up so you could start applying from now as you are in the 45 days in advance currently.
      After a bit of research tonight the articles I read state that there are no new rules but they are rolling out the new system which has technically been in beta for some time now so not sure how they can make it worse than the better version but I guess we will see.
      Hope that helps.
      Cheers, Kat

  8. Hi Kat,

    I am in the process of applying for ILR and I have booked in a premium appointment next month (14 Nov). I now need to fill the online application. But as I have already booked and payed the visa fee when I booked the premium appointment can I able to fill the online application as it have a payment page at the end. In that case do I need to print the STE(O) form and fill it manually and go to the appointment.

    Any advise will be much appreciated.


    1. Hi Sam,
      The online application doesn’t give you the printable versions until you go through all the steps which include paying (from what I remember). You can always register to the visa4uk website and try, see what happens :). Therefore you would have to go through the manual applications. Here is the application

      You will also need the verification check forms, if you can’t find them online I can always send you a copy I had. Then a copy of your booking confirmation, payment and evidence.

      Can I ask you how you got an appointment and paid the fees without going the online route? It would be handy to give other people advice on other options they can take :).


      1. Hi Kat,

        Thanks for the reply. I did contact the home office and they also said the same. As I already booked a premium appointment and paid the full fee beforehand using this website, I need to fill the SET (O) version 7/18 form manually and present at the appointment along with other documents. But do I need a verification check form for ILR?

        1. Hi Sam,
          The Home Office gave me the consent forms as a part of my application and said that I needed to provide it so I would assume that it’s a requirement for people to do so. Here is what the consent for says from the applicant’s permission:
          I understand that the Home Office may check whether the information and documentation that I provide is genuine and correct.

          I agree to the provider of the information and documentation telling the Home Office whether it is genuine and correct or in what way (if any) it is not genuine and correct.

          I agree to the disclosure to the Home Office of any relevant personal data the provider of the information or documentation holds on me for the above purpose. If I have not supplied correct information or documentation to the Home Office the provider may disclose my relevant correct personal data.

          I understand that the information obtained may be used to decide my application and for related purposes.

          I understand that providing information or documentation that is not correct will normally result in my application being refused and may lead to my prosecution for a criminal offence.

          There is one for sponsor and for those who share accounts with partners or family etc.

          Cheers, Kat

  9. Hi Kat
    Thank you so much for the post. It is very helpful.
    I have a question if you don’t mind answer, I am applying through the 10 year route. However I lost my passport that has my stamps between 2008-2013, so how would I prove that I didn’t leave the country for 540 days during the 10 years. Thank you very much, much appreciated.


    1. Hi Richard,
      Here is a helpful document explaining continuous leave for ILR

      The document does start that for the categories below, there is no requirement to give a reason for absences if they do not exceed 180 days in a consecutive 12 month period:

      • Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) • Tier 1 (Investor) • UK ancestry • Retired person of independent means • Highly skilled migrant (applying under the HSMP Forum judicial review) • Points-Based System dependants

      The document then goes on to explain that tier 2/tier 1 need to… Evidence in the form of a letter from the employer which sets out the reasons for the absences, including annual leave, must be provided. Where short visits outside the UK, on weekends or other non-working days have taken place, evidence from the employer should be provided to confirm the applicant’s normal working pattern and show the absences occurred during a non-working period. Tier 1 (General) applicants who are self-employed or in business must provide a letter of explanation of their business-related absences.

      For evidence, you could get your employer to document all your annual leave dates or you write the letter and they provide their approval and signature. Annoying if you have changes jobs but this is what Tier 2 visas have to do so it’s evidence they would be used to but I am not sure if they then need to provide additional evidence along with the letter. In the document, it doesn’t state that you need to though. Then if you didn’t take leave for a trip then look at filling with flight or accommodation evidence. If you can’t get an employer to provide leave dates then you would have to look for flights or accommodation proving leaving the country for that time period to prove this. That’s the only ideas I can come up with proving for those years you lost your passport for but I don’t know what other people have done to prove the leave when they have lost their passport (and if they were approved via this evidence I have suggested).


  10. Hi Kat, many thanks for this valuable information. could you please advise me on my case; I have been in the UK for 11 years my visa ( leave to remain) will expire in 2 years I know it’s still a long time but I have family matters that required me to get my ILR urgently, I have filled in the SET(LR) online application and chose to book a premium appointment. I tried all times of day and night and could not get to see any appointments at any locations, it always shows this message (we don’t have any appointments in the next 45 days ….)
    My question is: is this happening to me because I still have a valid leave to remain for the next two years? what can I do to book the premium appointment? I’m using the E as you advised.
    Many thanks for your help, Kind regards

    1. Hi Iman,
      That message is so frustrating! That’s what it said until a random appointment once showed. It’s strange that there are no appointments at any location. I would give them a bell, with a beta site there is always issues but with Brexit approaching fast it will be jammed packed. It’s prompted a lot of people to apply for visas so it’s a busy time. Without doing the whole application process again I can’t test out the appointments :(.
      Sorry I cannot be more helpful.
      Cheers, Kat

  11. Hi Both,

    I am also on the same page. I understand from 1st of November 2018 ( the paper application form for ILR has withdrawn, we must now apply online. Can we book a premium service via the online application as part of your application process or do we still need to book the premium service separately. In that case, where we need to make the application fee, at the online application form or when booking the premium service separately.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Nal,

      I used the beta application for my IRL so the Basically when you get to step 6 which is pay that’s when you get given the option to choose a premium service and able to book the appointment. Once you select appointment you then pay for the visa and premium service fee and if you have an out of hours appointment this will be added to the total. You can pay using all major debit and credit cards.


  12. Many Thanks Kat,

    I am aware you have explained this above , however to confirm further, I am completing my 5 years on the 10th of December which means I am entitled to apply for my visa on the 12th of November which is 28 days earlier. Thus I can only submit my online application form after the 12th and book my appointment after 12th. Is this correct or can I complete the online application and book my appoint earlier than 12th?


    1. Hi Nal, Yes the 10th of Dec would be the 12th of Nov. The appointments open 45 business days in advance so you could have booked an appointment a month ago but yes you can only submit online applications now. I would complete your application asap as lots of people are mentioning appointments are nearly impossible to come by.
      Cheers, Kat

  13. Hi

    Can someone please advise me on how to get a premium service appointment booking as my visa expires 7th January 2019. I have tried all the centre’s and refresh severally, now the tip of my fingers hurt so bad.

    Please can anyone advise what alternatives I have got getting an appointment please.

    Kind regards

    1. Hi Tina, I would call the Home Office and discuss with them. The only other options is to use a company. Sorry, I couldn’t be more of help, it seems that lots of people are currently having issues with getting an appointment :(.
      Cheers, Kat

    2. Hi Tina. I hope you are able to book by now, but if you haven’t, check now as I have been monitoring since Sunday, and they have just opened a few slots in Criydon, Sheffield , Cardif, Glasgow and also Liverpool. Check now.

    1. Thanks, Nick for the helpful information. I hope it helps others to score appointments 🙂

  14. Hi Kat,

    My mum has an appointment soon and just came across your blog. My mum already has indefinite leave to remain but does not have a biometric residence card so the appointment is to try to get that. The last time we tried to do this we tried using the non-premium service route and they were just so incompitent, losing documents and random document requests, which prolonged the process even further. I would like to know what documents you included with your application along with the requested ones. We have a letter from the GP confirming her registration there, copies of dependants’ passport who already have British citizenship, copies of her husband’s passport who also already has citizenship. Because my mum is not currently working now, we also have a letter proving that she has financial support as well as some payslips as evidence. What other documents do you reckon we should include?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Barbara,
      I didn’t realise switching to a BRP card required so much evidence but with the new service there is a checklist at the end of the application so if you follow the process and application on (I assuming here that is what you are applying for) then at the end (again assumption on using the service). I’ve documented everything I provided for my ILR here which included the checklist they provide as required evidence. I wouldn’t have expected you needed to re-prove everytime why you are a permanent resident as the BRP requires renewal every 5 years. Sorry I can’t be of more help, it’s not something I have done myself. Good luck!

  15. Thanks kat for helping people and your efforts

    My question is my flr m is expiring on 19 january 2019
    And my qualified period is then 22 Dec 2018 right ?
    Can i apply online application ilr set (m) now or does it matter has to be filled by 22 Dec .and really struggle to find PSC appoinment trying since 4 weeks now no luck any advise?many thanks

    1. Hi Kancho,
      You can apply in advance of your 28 days, you just can’t physically or send your application outside of the 28 days. I would have said it is the 23rd of December but yes basically from then :).
      Apart from the tips I recently added from the forums I don’t know of any other tips or tricks :(. There was an emergency number mention in one of the forums which I documented in the post. Maybe try that? If not the only other way is to use a company or just keep trying. Super frustrating I know!

  16. Hi there,
    I was wondering if you could help me out, please. I have paid for the premium service to be seen on Wednesday. However, I couldn’t complete the online form (SET LR) as it wont stop requesting for another payment of £2999.

    Anyone knows how I can let the system know that I have paid £2999, please?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Sam,
      The online application doesn’t give you the printable versions until you go through all the steps which include paying. It’s generally best to book the appointment as a part of the online application, however, as you’ve gone the other route you would have to go through the manual applications. Here is the application I know they are phasing these manual forms out but if they still let you book appointment alternate ways this is the only way you can do your application. Another Sam confirmed in the comments below that this was what the Home Office advised but you can always call them to double check.
      Cheers, Kat

  17. Hi Kat,

    Thank you for your response. I have assessed that link again and again without any good result. However, I managed to do it online but it won’t let me proceed past the payment. On the other hand, there is an option to download and save the application in pdf format at whatever stage you got to.
    Furthermore, considering all of the above, I decided to print the form, but I couldn’t find anywhere on the form to scribble my signature. Do you think this could be a problem?

    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Sam,
      They did announce that they were removing form so seems that has now happened. The online application comes with more than just an application at the end of the process you get a copy of the payment, checklist, biometric enrolment, verification checks and the application which you need to provide with your with your evidence. You would have to speak to the Home Office to see what to do.

  18. Hi there,

    I thought I share. For people who have not used the online application system and are going for their Premium Service appointment till 29 Nov can still go through the old way of application which means you have to bring your completed and signed paper application form with you for your visa application. For example, I are going for my appointment at Croydon centre on Wednesday next week and I still can and have to bring the paper application form (FLRM) for my spouse visa extension application.

    The above information was confirmed by Home Office through email enquiry address

    Hope this helps. Good luck all.

    1. Thank you Sammi! Very helpful for others going through the old way.

  19. Thank you all for your assistance. I was granted ILR on the day.
    Fast forward to what I did, I printed the form in PDF, and it was accepted, although, it says “uncompleted form” on top of it.

    1. No worries, I am glad that it worked out and congratulations!
      Cheers, Kat

      1. Thank you for creating this post, Kat – it’s really helpful!

        Sam, were you able to print out the biometric enrollment and verification check forms before the payment page as well as the consent portion or are they currently accepting the application without it for people in our position? My appointment is on Monday morning.

        Thank you!

        1. Hi Chelsea,
          I have emailed you the PDF for the verification checks as it’s not tailored to individual applications. I can’t help you with the other question but hope Sam can reply.

          1. Thank you so much, Kat!

        2. Hi Chelsea,

          Sorry I have been here since I posted my last comment. Meanwhile, in relation to your question, I didn’t print biometric form, I didn’t see any of that. However, they might have assisted me in completing what was missing, like the proof of payment, I had to email it to them, just couldn’t find it.
          Moreso, I think my previous applications could have helped me too, as I added a letter I had from a caseworker that treated my student visa extension in 2007, thanking me for making her job really easy by arranging documents I had sent accordingly. I also tried to arrange the period of 12 years documents I had with my application for ILR in order, so as not to piss them off, I had about 300 pages documents with copies placed in a separate plastic bag plus a note on sticky pads saying what’s inside.
          Furthermore, I figured out that they didn’t check most of the documents, they probably checked all visas, entry and exit stamps, life in UK cert and a few documents.

          1. Thank you Sam!

  20. Hi Kat,

    It was great to read your tips on premium service.

    I do have a few questions regarding applying for a spouse visa… not sure if you could help me with this?

    My partner and I are getting married and attempting to understand this tedious process. I am American and he is Australian but holds both British/Aus passports (his mom is british). So, we have booked our appointment at our countys Registry Office to ‘give notice’ (which will be next week) and i guess from there they notify the home office? But we are unsure of the process of submitting the spouse application and paying for the premium service. We have done countless hours of research but still have numerous questions.
    Can we submit the application before our notice appointment?
    We saw on the Gov website that we have to wait at least 28 days to have the ceremony but can that happen after the approved visa?
    Since I’m American, will we most likely get called in by the home office and our application/approval will be delayed?

    Any insight on this would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Jess,
      Are you already living in the UK? and if so it seems to depend on your visa what you have to do. It does seem strange if you have a visa and the have to swap to a marriage visa. Personally, the best way is to confirm the requirement with the home office if you are already living here on a spousal visa. If you are not living here then it’s a whole different story and the requirements are clearer.
      Cheers, Kat

      1. Hi Kat,

        yes I am living in the UK on a tier 5 (work exchange) but it is due to end first week of Jan. we have contacted the marriage office and they said that since our notice date is the 27th Nov, the earliest we could marry would be 26th of Dec given that it will only take the 28 days…. but if they choose to call us in the earliest we could marry is around 2nd of Feb… So we were thinking that the fiance visa will give us more time to apply for the spouse visa and I will be able to do it within the UK after granted the fiance visa.
        does the fiance visa application need to be from my home country? we are going back to the US after Christmas for a month or so and thinking we could apply then (asap) and use premium service? or could I do it from another country outside the UK? Do I have to send my passport with the application for fiance visa?

        Thanks for the help!

        1. Hi Jess,
          So the two visa that I am aware of is Marriage Visitors Visa and partner or spouse visa.

          However, you would not be eligible for the Marriage Visitors Visa as this visa is for individuals who wish to visit the UK for the sole purpose of getting married, but who do not intend to settle here.

          Therefore my understanding is that you can only apply for the UK Family Visa for partner and spouse see link here: You would need to prove that you and your fiancé will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving and as you say only giving you 6 months to swap to the next visa.

          The visa application can be made in the UK and a decision will usually be made:
          within 12 weeks if you apply outside the UK
          within 8 weeks if you apply in the UK either online or by post
          on the same day if you apply in the UK in person using the premium service

          With this visa you can apply in and outside the UK, however, you should apply from the country you are a resident in and in this case the UK.

          Yes, you could use the premium service, the appointments are hard to get as you will read in some of the comments but it is possible you could get lucky.

          Yes, you would need to provide your passport with your application.

          Ginger Snap Travels went through this process in Toronto and she seems very active in replying to comment so might be able to help with any direct questions you have about the visa :). Here is the link:

          Cheers, Kat

          1. Hi Kat,

            Thanks for the information. Yes, I am aware of the ‘fiance visa’ or Family of a Settled person visa is different than the spouse visa. To my understanding, you can apply for the spouse visa (if already married) within the UK but the ‘fiance visa’ can only be made outside the UK? But, if it’s the case that I can make the application within the UK for the fiance visa that would be even better as I can start the application asap.
            We are thinking the best route is probably the ‘fiance visa’ for now as we only have about a month left and then leave to travel. We have an appt on the 27th at the registrys office, are they pretty good about answering questions and giving advice?

            Yes! I have seen her page but just have some questions regarding the documents we have to provide because my partner and I have never lived apart or endured long distance. I will try to contact Ginger Snap Travels.


          2. Hi Jess,
            On the website there is no indication that there is a separate rule for ‘fiance visa’ and that you cannot apply in the UK. The website says you must apply online if you meet all of the following requirements:
            prove your knowledge of English – easy via passport
            meet the minimum income requirement – bank evidence both yours and fiances
            currently have permission to be in the UK – your current visa, you would need to do this before your visa expires
            However, the visa rules have changed a lot and keep changing with the likes of Brexit so it’s best to pay the charge and get confirmation from the UK Immigration. I have seen other articles saying that you can only apply outside the UK but nothing from the UK Immigration saying this.

            At the end of the day, your application is not final until you submit it so start filling in the application ( which will give you an idea of the questions. This is for all applications in the UK, outside of the UK they are still using Visa4UK website. I am not sure why living a part of long distance would affect your evidence. It’s actually beneficial if you live together and have evidence of co-living paying bills and rent together. Unlike most pages on Gov UK website there is a great list of requirements and evidence you need to provide For example, it will be easier to prove your relationship like how long you’ve lived together – you’ll need to send proof like council tax bills.

            If you want a concrete answer you can confirm with the UK immigration whether you can apply in the UK, here are the details:
            UK Visas and Immigration contact centre
            Telephone: 0300 123 2241
            Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4:45pm
            Friday, 9am to 4:30pm

            Cheers, Kat

  21. Hi Kat,

    I posted a comment but don’t see it coming up? Not sure it worked?

    1. Hi Jess, to stop spam comments I have an approval process and as this isn’t my full-time job I do this when I have availability. I will reply to your questions today :).
      Cheers, Kat

  22. Hi Kat,

    My tier 2 sponsorship visa was issued in 31st December 2013. Hence I’m due to apply for ILR from 4th December 2018 (28 days before the qualifying period). I’ve booked a premium appointment wherein I will be taking all my original documents via the new service for the 11th December. However I submitted my application online on 27th November. Is there a problem with what I have done? I hope I have not made a mistake with the dates

    1. Hi Anthony,
      That’s fine, you can submit your online application form earlier (otherwise you wouldn’t get an appointment) but you just can’t attend outside your 28 days.
      Good Luck!

  23. hi,

    my visa expires in Feb 2018, I am trying to book Premium appointment however I found out the system is close?. can someone help me with how I can book appointment to get same day decision.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Samira, so you’ve filled out the online application and it’s not giving you three options? They closed the non online application route so no more manual forms, online applications only.
      Cheers, Kat

    2. Hi Samira. The oage for premium service appointment is close. But you can allly still through online. Fill up the approriate application form and at the end of the form you will be asked if you would like to use the new system or the old (old system will allow you to book for premium service, if you are lucky enough to get a slot in any of the premium service centres). So my suggestion is to fill up appropriate application form then it would lead you to the premium service booking. Good luck.

  24. Hi Kat,

    Many thanks for the detailed explanation. My current visa expires in Feb 2019. I’ve completed the online application form and chosen the Premium Service. Yet after getting to the page “Choose a Premium Service Centre”, I find that there are available slot only in Glasgow and the slots are only available from 19 Dec to 21 Dec (9 slots). But I would like to select one in early January. Does it mean that such service is no longer available or the slots have not been released?

    Also do you know when the Premium Service Centre re-open after the new year?

    Thanks a lot!



    1. Hi Ivan, appointments open 45 business days in advance so they’ll be open for Jan and Feb. It just means they are currently booked and you’ll have to keep trying to get one. I’m not sure if their closing times over xmas and new years.
      Cheers Kat

      1. Hi Kat,

        Thank you so much for your reply. By keep trying you mean to refresh the web-page again and again, right? Do you know if they will release additional slots for more recent dates? And will the slot be released again if it is cancelled by other applicant?


        1. Hi Ivan,
          In the forum I mentioned in the post there was a statement saying that he had a feeling that cancellations where around 11am, that’s around the time I ended up getting a random appointment show so try around this time as well. Basically, I refreshed the web page constantly then tried different laptops and browser for about 2 hours until I got that random appointment. If not in the Home Office response they say new appointment slots are released between Midnight and 6 am from Monday to Friday. So try booking around 12am to 1am Mon to Fri. There is also an emergency number if you struggle to get an appointment in the post. Either way all the feedback is it’s not a fun process getting an appointment! Good Luck!
          Cheers, Kat

    2. Hi Ivan. I think they don’t post schedule for more than a week or two from what is available. I just checked now, and they currently have open slots up to the 28th December. They haven’t shown anything for January as yet.

  25. Hi Kat. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. This is very helpful. I would also like to share my experience in booking and securing an appointment. I hope this will enlighten your readers too.

    I filled up my application online and tried to book for Premium Service on the 16th of December Sunday. There were no available slots opened except for the Glasgow branch. Fearing that they would stop offering Premium Service (as they are now introducing and using a new service, provided by a third party Sopra Steria, for more information, see link below) I booked and secured an appointment in Glasgow.

    Since booking up to Wednesday morning, I kept checking other centres nearer to me if they would be opening up some slots, with no luck. Wednesday midday I booked my airline ticket, hotel and airport parking, finally I was decided to go to Glasgow for my appointment.

    A night before my flight, after double checking all the requirements and documents, out of curiosity, I checked again if they have opened slots in Croydon, Birmingham or London Victoria (London Victoria branch was added to the selection on Monday, it wasn’t on the choices when I booked on Sunday). I saw they have opened 3 slots in Croydon for the 24th December Monday. But I didn’t rebook as I was already prepared to go to Glasgow (airplane ticket, hotel and airport parking, sorted). I was going for the Glasgow appointment.

    I was supposed to have my appointment today (21st) December at 9am in Glasgow. But was caught with the drones problem in Gatwick Airport yesterday. I was inside the plane and been sitting and waiting for 3-4 hours when British Airways announced that they had decided to cancel the flight to Glasgow. I have tried to book for train but good thing I remembered that they have opened some appointment slots in Croydon. Luckily, there was still 1 slot available. So I was able to rebooked my appointment to Monday 24th December. I was spared from spending £140.00-train-ticket to Glasgow!!! A blessing.

    Kat, question. Is it permissible to bring food and drinks inside the UKVI office? Planning to bring some, incase I would have to wait long. Thank you again Kat.

    Information on the new uk visa application system/process:

    1. Hi Chellete,
      Thank you for your detailed comment! It’s really appreciated that you took the time to document all of this and help others out. There is a cafe in the Croydon office which serves drinks and food, so I couldn’t see a reason why you wouldn’t be able to take your own food. I took my own water bottle for the day and it was fine. You, of course, can’t eat or drink where they process the applications but that’s not where you wait for your tickets to be called. You can also ask them to call you when your application is ready and leave the center as well.
      What a drama the drone issue has been at Gatwick and lucky there was still an appointment available. Good luck with the application.
      Thank you again.

  26. Hi my name is jaan.
    I was reading through the comments and I thought I might get an answer to my question .
    We have submitted an application 2 weeks ago as super priority service and they said they will send us an email within 24hr but they didn’t I also called them up to find out what happened they emailed me back saying that our application is still in process and they have no idea when will we get a confirmation email .
    We r so confused the fact that we paid over 3k to get a decision in 24hr and they didn’t replie at all please help .

  27. Hi Jaan
    I would assumed you applied under the newly implemented application system which started in Novemeber. I have read some blogs about it and like you they have paid £3000++ for super priority 24hr decision. As it is a new system, maybe they are still trying to enhance the processes (only my opinion). I have read that the ones who paid for 24hr processing, weren’t able to get the decision in the said time frame but instead 4-7days after. Check this link for the thread about this, quit a long thread but worth the read if you are feeling anxious about it. I hope you will get yours at anytime soon. Good luck.

    The link:

  28. Hi Kat,

    Thanks for the blog – been an interesting read and feels like I’m not the only silly person.

    UK visa was issued : 30 January 2014
    Entered UK : 13 February 2014
    Online Application Date : 11 December 2018
    Super Priority Appointment: 21 January 2019

    So after speaking to UKVI and Sepra Sevia they advised that date of appointment was date of application for the 28 day rule.
    Hence booked 21 January 2019.

    However, now they advised that the online application date is the application date in which case I am too early. I calculate that the earliest I could have applied for is 2 January 2019 as this is first day within 28 days of qualifying period.

    Have you heard of a similar problem and do you think its fine?

    Then looked into withdrawing application but apparently don’t get refunded then. However, if don’t submit biometrics and application gets rejected I get refunded according to the T&C’s.

    How complicated and odd is this? Surely, there is someone I can write to / phone to fix this.

    btw: made my application within the UK


    1. Hi Andre,
      That is really weird that it’s telling you that you are too early. It’s within the 28 days, if you wait any longer then you wouldn’t have any time to apply for the visa. My feeling is that its a bug within the new systems if both the UKVI and Sepra Sevia have advised that it was within the 28 days (which it is).
      Yes, it’s really odd and complicated. I’ve not heard of a similar thing but there have been lots of issues with the new service so this doesn’t surprise me. Just for the financial reasons, I would continue with the appointment but UKVI and Sepra Sevia have also confirmed it is within the timeframe. All you can do is raise it with UKVI which costs you money or here is the details of the complaint process UKVCAS can’t really do anything for you.
      Cheers, Kat

  29. Hi Kat,

    I am very soon eligible for ILR via Tier 2 general visa need assistance how to book the premium service, location, how to upload documents, documents required, what is the process for premium service etc?


    1. Hi Kumar,
      If you go to the example of the application in the article it shows you the exact steps the application screen will show you to book the appointment. You need to fill out the application first before you will be presented with the options to book an appointment or upload your documents. I also cover what to expect at the appointment in this section of the article.

      You can read about what I provided for my IRL here Please note that mine is via Ancestry and not tier 2 so you will need to get additional documents from your workplace to support your application.

  30. Hi Kat,
    Can I ask your humble opinion about my case:
    Certificate of Sponsorship Issue Date: 28 April 2014 (Tier 2 General)
    Visa Issue Date: 20 May 2014
    Visa Expiry Date: 28 April 2019
    Prior Visa: Post-study work permit issued 2012
    Since my 5-year visa expiration date is on the 28th April 2019, less than a month short of the 5-Year, can I still apply for ILR? I was calculating that my earliest possible date to apply is around the 24th April. I am I correct with this?

    Thank you. Looking forward for your advise.


    1. Hi Marben,
      If you count back 28 days from the 20th May then it would take you to 22nd/23rd of April which would be the 28 days if your visa was correctly 5 years so there is a chance you could do this. I would double check with UKVI to be sure on what the rules are. It’s a bit of a weird circumstance but it’s so close to 5 years I would assume you could but visa rules can be strange.
      Sorry I couldn’t provide more answers to your question.
      Best of luck, Kat.

  31. Hi Kat,
    Just wanted to ask if I am able to use Super Priority Service to apply ILR set o under bereaved partner route? My current visa expires on Nov 2020, my partner died last May 2018. Please let me know. Thank you.

    1. Hi Kianna,
      You should be able to choose the Super Priority Service under ILR set o. Most people’s experience seems to be a decision in 3 to 4 days and not 24 hours like it’s advertised as they post the decision.
      Cheers, Kat

  32. Hi kat,

    Happy New Year and thank you in advance.

    Do you have any information(mandatory document list) with regards to ILR switch from TIER-2 visa, for reference? I am due for an application and looking for the mandatory list to tick before i start filling the application.

    Cheers, Pranith

    1. Hi Pranith,
      You can read about my IRL application here: The general difference is you will need to provide documentation from your workplace, i.e. a letter from your employer stating your absences from the country, a letter confirming your sponsorship, licenses etc.

  33. Hi, Kat
    Thanks for your helpful blog.
    Is 10 years Long residency ILR starts from the day of visa issuance or the day you entered to the UK? could you please give the reference as well if its possible.

    Is 28 days rule also valid for long residency applicants or just for Tier 2 settlement ? I couldn’t find any reference for it ?

    Thanks for answer.


    1. Hi Amir,
      My visa was issued on the 10th of September and expired 5 years later on the 10th of September so 28 days before the 10th September would be the 13th of August. Therefore My application could only be submitted between the 13th August and 10th September. You cannot apply after your visa expires, it needs to be in the period before.

      The 28day rule is dependent on what route you applying through, for example, EU permanent residency is a different process than UK Ancestry ILR. If you are on a visa then as a general rule the 28 days applies.

      Re the 10 years and 3 months, if you are here legally (no expired visa etc) then applying afterwards should not matter (is my assumption). I highly recommend checking with UKVI or an immigration lawyer as I am not very familiar with long residency.


  34. Hi Kat,
    One more Question about 28days , should application whitin 28 days after your qualifying period for long stay settlement ?

    what if you submit your application after 10 years and 3 month ?


    1. Thanks Kat for your detailed answer.
      My current visa will expire by mid 2020. So I have valid leave to remain so I don’t think there would be any issue.

      Thanks again.

  35. Hi Kat
    thank you so much for this information, I need to apply my husband’s spouse visa (extension). but I have a few questions and it would be greatly appreciated if you could answers
    1) His visa is going to expire in April but we can apply for extension after 30 months of first arrival in the UK so his 30 months will complete on the 29th of January. Can I submit online application in this week or next week and get an appointment after 29th of January? will they calculate 30 months when I submit online application or when we will go to attend an appointment?
    2) For Super Priority Service, will we need to upload all the documents? or can we take original when we go to attend an appointment?
    3) If we pay £100 extra on the top of chosen service can we get decision straight way? for example if we pay for Super Priority and plus £100

    1. Hi Aahna,
      Answers below:
      1. I’m not sure, maybe someone else can answer?
      2. Yes you should upload all the documents before you go. Your appointment will take way longer if you upload at the appointment. I’ve read so many comments on immigration forums that not uploading you documents you could be there for hours.
      3. The UKVCAS don’t have immigration consultants at the centres (as far as I’m aware) so not sure the extra £100 will get you a decision faster. The 24 hour service at the moment tends to take 3 to 4 days to get a decision. Either way, you can still be in the UK whilst you are applying for visas and continue to work.

  36. Hi Kat,

    I am currently in the UK on a fiancee visa which expires April 17, 2019. My husband and I were just married on December 27, 2018, so now I am trying to figure out exactly what goes into switching my visa. I know this may be a bit of a repetitive question because I have read through your entire blog, but it is possible to apply before the last 28 days of my visa? Also, do you know if you are allowed to leave the country while your visa is being decided? Would you recommend doing the standard service or the priority? When I first did my research regarding the fiancee visa, I was under the impression that one could easily switch to the spousal visa and then be able to work within 30 days. However, now I feel that was completely wrong and the process is much longer than I expected. Especially adding in if I must wait until 28 days before my visa expires.
    Also, I know this might be a lot, but my husband and I are currently living in London in a shared townhouse. I read that because we are living in a shared house, it would be beneficial to get a property assessment showing that there is enough space in the house for my hubby and I as well as our two room mates. Have you heard of other couples having to go through this as well? I was also looking into trying to get a bank account to help showcase my proof of address, is this something that you would recommend?
    Honestly, I am just a bit lost with all this. And any help you have will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

    oh, do you know what the current prices of switching to the FLR(M) visa is while in the UK? Is it still 1033? I realize that with the new year, the prices have switched. Does that also mean that it is now more than 200 a year for the health insurance? Again, I saw that you had listed some price points in above responses but I am just unsure as to if that applies to the FLR(M) visa as well.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      The latest fees are here which are £1033, the NHS surcharge went up as of this week so £400 per year for all other visa and immigration applications so it will be around £900 to £1,200 depending on whether they charge you 2.5 or 3 years (I am not entirely sure how they charge it).
      As far as I understand with spouse visas as long as you meet the requirements to switch then you can switch. Reading this the requirement is you’re in a civil partnership or marriage that’s recognised in the UK – by the sounds of it, it’s a yes. I’ve not gone through the process myself so can’t give you a concrete answer. The 28-day rule is dependent on what route you applying through, for example, EU permanent residency is a different process than UK Ancestry ILR which is what I applied for.
      You are advised during your application not to leave the country until you have a decision and BRP card. You do this at your own risk of being refused entry. If you have travel planned and want a quick decision then go for the super-priority or priority. If you are happy to wait 2 to 3 months for your application to be returned then do the standard. All you are paying for is a quicker decision.
      I would always recommend having bank accounts and joint items to show you are both are sharing the cost of living at the same address. I have a joint bank account with my boyfriend for rent and bills, then a savings account to show we are building a life together. We still have our pay go into our own bank accounts and just put agreed funds into those accounts. I’ve been doing this for years in case my boyfriend and I want to move to Australia.
      I’ve not heard of couples getting a property assessment so not sure on that one.
      I think to take a deep breath and ensure that you have all the information stated in this section once you have the evidence sorted come back and look at the application.
      Cheers, Kat

  37. Hi Kat
    Can you help me to prepare this supporting document :
    1. Evidence you have to prove the relationship with Mrs…..(for example marriage certificates), and correspondence addressed either to you jointly, or in both of your names, or addressed individually to you at the same address, to cover the last two years. I found it says 6 pieces of evenly spread documents addressed jointly to your name or 8 documents in your name and your wife !!!!

    This is too much // I can provide payslips for 2 year with council tax as jointly addressed.

    Could you please help me


    1. Hi Amir,
      If it says that you need to provide that much evidence then I would provide that much evidence. You need to be able to prove that your relationship is legitimate. Fo my recent application I provided 50 payslips over 4 years, HRMC document to support that and all my P60 to cover 5 years as an example. It was a lot of documentation but that’s what UKVI requested so I provided it.
      Otherwise I suggest seeking out an immigration lawyer to help you, they are about £90 per hour and will be able to ensure you have a successful application.

      1. Thanks Kat.
        They have not mentioned about number of documents, I just found some information reading diffrent thread. What they asked is as follow :
        Evidence you have to prove the relationship with Mrs…..(for example marriage certificates), and correspondence addressed either to you jointly, or in both of your names, or addressed individually to you at the same address, to cover the last two year.

        did they ask you to submit 6 or they didnt give you the number just they asked you to cover last 2 year or ….


        1. Hi Amir, I’ve never applied for a spouse visa only UK Ancestry and Indefinite Leave to Remain. As I said before you need to be able to prove that your relationship is legitimate. I don’t know enough about your situation but if you have 2 years of living together than surely you have more evidence than 3 documents? Spouse visas can be confusing as it is dependent on how your relationship is structured which is why I recommend an immigration lawyer, for £90 it’s worth the piece of mind to establish the right evidence based on your relationship. For the past three years of my relationship where we have been living together, I have been gathering information in case my boyfriend and I ever decide to move to Australia. I have made sure we have joint bank account paying bills for the house, we have a joint savings account, we have bills in our name and a whole array of evidence we live together to prove our relationship is legitimate. Then I have a list of holidays we’ve been on together, photos of us and our friends/family can vouch we are in a relationship. As a married couple I would expect you would have similar evidence to us that you can provide and more as you are married, have a certificate to prove a legally binding relationship.

  38. Hi Kat

    I just wanted to share my experience here since I feel you’ve done an excellent job for doing this in your blog. I’ve been granted ILR 2 weeks ago today with the premium service. I followed most of the advice you put on here especially the booking system (what a nightmare!).

    I started my application on 18th Nov 2018 and at that time I wasn’t sure about this whole new system that implemented from 5th Nov onwards. Since started my application online I realised that it was more complex than what I expected it would be! I used to do the paper version one in the past and I get it now why they decided to change it to online as I remember that with paper version you need to use the most updated version to bring with you on that day of appointment. Anyway after saving my application numerous times as I needed lots of evidence I felt that I wouldn’t have much time to do everything before my visa expiry date 30/12/2018! As I started a new job in Sept 2018, they need a letter from previous/current employee provided payslips for past 12 months detailing how long the employment was/has been, gross annual salary (as I earn enough to reach the threshold £18,600) and type of employment permanent/temporary.
    Accommodation section was another one that I was having trouble with! They need me to provide the council costs for accommodation (this can be a letter from the council states the costs etc) and the amount paid monthly for rent (I provided them with a letter from landlord with the costs that correspond with the amount deducted in the bank statements).
    Other than that everything was really straight forward.
    As I’ve mentioned earlier the booking system for appointment is another difficult one to get! My time was running out and I didn’t get any appointment date/time until Mon 17th December 2018 (which is again like previous person said earlier in the thread was in Glasgow!). I live in Devon and I would prefer Croydon in London which is my nearest as I’ve been there before. So cut long story short I waited until the next day hoping there will be more dates for Croydon but nothing! I had to book the one in Glasgow. I paid for it on my phone as I was on the train back from Oxford for work (I would suggest you not to do this as £2999 is a lot of money and it wasn’t funny when my phone screen stopped working in the process of paying it!). At this point I was panicking as I haven’t received any confirmation email but I left my phone untouched for good 5-10min! Then I decided to check my bank account and thank God they deducted that amount from my bank so I got an evidence that I paid! I closed the online application completely and logged back in then tada! It said my application was successful! Later that evening I received my confirmation email and I think probably I wasn’t getting good reception on the train and everything was slowing down (again I would suggest you to do eveything with secured connection!)
    I booked flights to fly from Bristol, booked long stay carpark at the airport and out of curiosity I logged back in onto the application at work to check the other appointments as you could change it anytime. To my surprise there were a few appointments opened in Croydon and London area! Oh well…so for future applicants, PERSONALLY I would advise you to accept any appointment available (this is within reasons eg. you would be able to fly/drive to that place just in case the first one didn’t work out!) and be prepared to pay the amount once you got it. I personally think the system would open more chance for you to choose date/time/place after you paid it. I mean it makes sense as before you paid they wouldn’t know if you go ahead with your application but at least they would after you paid and it’s a win win.
    For everyone that is still applying all the best! 🙂

    1. Hi Dean,
      Thank you for the detailed update :)! Glad it was sorted in the end, the process is such a hassle. You’d think paying so much money it would be a smoother process.

  39. Hi Kat,
    I found your post very helpful and it’s amazing how responsive and helpful you are.
    I have a little complicated issue and I would really like your advise.

    I am switching from a tier 4 visa to a tier 2 visa, and I have filled my application, paid my IHS (£1200 ) and just when I was about to submit and pay the application fees. I realised that my CoS states that my job is on the shortage list, while in the application form I have said it’s NOT !!

    I want everything in my application to be consistent with the CoS, and basically I can’t go back and change or edit this part of the application. then I tired using a different email (use same email again for a new application) and starting another application but it asked me to pay the 1200 pounds IHS fee again which I can’t afford at all right now. So basically speaking to my colleges I have been advised to try and make it in my application as Yes not No “for shortage list question” but I am not sure what can I do now, or shall I just leave it as it. Let alone paying more application fees due to missing out on the shortage list deductions.

    Hope I’m clear and that you can help .

    Best Regards


    1. Hi Ahmed,
      I would love to help but this is not something I’ve dealt with previously. I would call the UKVI and see if there is a way you can amend your application or whether they allow supporting evidence to remediate the mistake.

  40. Hi kat,
    I Entirely got confused to go with existing service or new where we have to choose one. Could you please briefly outline the pros and cons of both. I read most of thread but need to decide to choose one. in my pay page there are both option to go with but why do I need to go with new service ? why not premium service as there is an option and price wise the difference is not that much ?

    Thanks for the help.


    1. Hi Mas, The “existing service” no longer exists so it’s the new service. The 29th of Nov was the last time you could use the existing service. I guess either someone has missed it off their release cycle or it’s a low priority feature to be fixed.
      The premium service is the super-priority service now.

  41. Hi Kat ,
    I have find your forum very useful thank you very much it has solve almost all of my confusion . I also want to know something I believe you could help me with this. I am applying for spouse extension visa for second time .My current biometric residence permit expires on 25/02/2019 and I have also plan to visit my native country on 10/2/2019 for a month . So the question is how early could I apply because on website it says that I could only apply before 28 days of expiration date.But just wondering it would be very tight situation for me as the date is due on 28/01/2019 which gives me only 11 days window to apply and submit application with biometric .Is there any suggestion you could give me.

    1. Hi Masroor,
      On Breytenbachs website it says that:
      The initial spouse visa application once collected will be valid for a period of 2 years and 9 months. You will become eligible to lodge your UK spouse visa application once you have been residing in the UK holding that visa for 2,5 years.
      You have to submit your UK spouse visa extension, prior to your current visa expiring.
      However, there is nothing in the website that I can find that supports the above but they are immigration firm.
      If your visa is not 2 years and 9 months and is 2 years and 6 months (i.e. 2.5 years or 30 months) then you would need to wait until your 28 days. You would have to be lucky to get an appointment in time of the 28 day window. You could pay extra to get the out of hours appointment, then you would have to pay for the 24-hour decision which is more like 3-4 days until you get your approval letter and then allow up to 10 days to receive your BRP card. To receive the new BRP card you must also be home at the time of delivery with your passport and sign to say you have received it.
      It’s advised that you don’t travel until you get your BRP card. As your holiday is for a month you would be entering the UK potentially with an expired visa and not had your renewal in time. I highly recommended not trying as there is a good chance of getting turned away and could potentially leave a black mark on your passport which would make it harder to re-enter later. It’s down to the officer you get on the day, however, most will be skeptical you entering with an expired visa. I would say your best bet is to talk to an immigration lawyer and see if there is anything they could do for you. You could also call UKVI but I think they would say something similar as I mentioned above.

  42. Hi Kat
    Thanks for your help
    Can you please comment on this question ?
    ” Do you have any friend in your country of birth, nationality or any other country where you have live for more than 5 years?
    Does any other country include UK or not ?
    Do I have to include my british friend as I am living in the UK for more than 5 years and will apply for Long residency 10 years?


    1. Hi Mas,
      There aren’t questions in the 5 years ILR so I am not sure the exact answers that should be provided. Hopefully, someone else can help provide an example of what they did.

  43. Hi Kat,
    Great finding this article. I have a quick query – when I apply online, until I have had the appointment (to provide evidence and biometrics), would I be able to be on a worktrip abroad for example so that I could make an appointment for as soon as I get back? Seeing as it takes so long to sometimes get an appointment, could I apply 2-3 weeks prior online so that I could get an appointment as soon as I am back for example? I’m wanting to travel again within 2.5 weeks of attending my biometrics and evidence appointment (I will of course pay for the super priority in this instance). Thanks for any advice!

    1. Hi Kristen,
      On the website ( it says do not apply any sooner than 28 days before you complete your qualifying period. As I said to Masroor in an earlier comment you would have to be lucky to get an appointment in the timeframe you need to make the trip. You could pay extra to get the out of hours appointment, then you would have to pay for the 24-hour decision which is more like 3-4 days until you get your approval letter and then allow up to 10 days to receive your BRP card. To receive the new BRP card you must also be home at the time of delivery with your passport and sign to say you have received it.
      It’s advised that you don’t travel until you get your BRP card. I highly recommended not trying as there is a good chance of getting turned away if you don’t have your visa in time and enter with an expired or nearly expiring visa. You could potentially leave a black mark on your passport which would make it harder to re-enter later. It’s down to the officer you get on the day, however, most will be skeptical you entering with an expired visa.

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