Biometrics Appointment for UK Visas (UKVCAS Process Explained)

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There have been a lot of changes over the past year with the visa process and you may have been wondering – UKVCAS how does it work? I will run through:

  • How to book the biometrics appointment online
  • The biometric appointment locations
  • How to check UKVCAS appointment availability
  • UKVCAS upload documents and categories
  • What to expect when you attend the biometrics appointment.

Disclaimer: This is based on my experience of going through the process (I’m not a lawyer or immigration advisor). If you have any issues make sure you contact UKVI or UKVCAS.

As things are changing (due 2020 events) with UKVCAS service please keep up to date with UKVI latest information and UKVAS.

Difference between UKVI and UKVCAS

Before we get started on the process, let’s cover the difference between UKVI and UKVCAS.

UKVI – UK Visa and Immigration

Here’s a quick summary:

  • UKVI are the ones making a decision on your application
  • If you have any questions about the application they are the department to call
  • Most importantly if you want a quick decision (i.e. super-priority) on your visa and you are eligible for it, this is where you want to spend the money!

Read more about the service here: UKVI Services and UKVI Information About UKVCAS.

UKVCAS – UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services

Here’s a quick summary:

  • It’s a third-party service run by Sopra Steria
  • Their website is where you book to have your biometric information taken
  • Upload your supporting documents for your application
  • Attend your biometric appointment at one of the centres which fingerprints, photo, signature and submitting your application.

UKVCAS website.

Choosing Standard or Super Priority Service?

When you get to the payment screen you will be potentially presented with two options. This is the most critical part of the application, especially if you wish for a faster decision. They are:

If your visa is eligible for super-priority, then you will have the ability to choose this during the payment screen. This will give you a decision within 24 hours. Just to note this doesn’t give you a faster biometric appointment.

In this example, you can see there is only one option and unfortunately, UK citizenship is not eligible for super-priority.

Payment screen on UKVI
Payment screen on UKVI

The type of visa’s service is offered to are:

  • Tier 2 or 4 visa
  • Tier 2 or 4 dependant
  • Tier 1 or 5 dependant
  • Remain in the UK with family – applying in the partner, family life as a partner or private life in the UK routes
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain
  • And a few more.

The price of super-priority is currently £800. Here is the price list from UKVI.

Step by Step Guide to Biometrics Appointment for UK Visa (UKVCAS)

To complete your application, you must attend a UKVCAS service point to have:

  • your identity confirmed
  • any required biometric information enrolled
  • any required supporting documentation digitised and checked
  • confirm you are happy to send your application sent to UKVI

I will show you the steps I completed to create my account, booking an appointment, uploading documents and what to expect during the appointment.

UKVCAS has no bearing on the decision process, all it does if you choose to pick a premium appointment is to provide you with an appointment quicker, after hours etc. There are a few options. If you want a quick decision, then you need to choose this during the application process as stated above.

If you prefer watching the step by step process here is a video version.

UKVCAS Account Setup

Once I reached the further actions page on the application I was presented with mandatory actions, one of these will be ‘book appointment’, I clicked this button to commence the set-up for the UKVCAS site.

Further actions screen on UKVI
Further actions screen on UKVI

Please note: if you have any issues with setting up your account you will need to call UKVCAS.

Next, I was presented with a screen to ‘get your access code’. This will be sent to the email address you registered with UKVI.

UKVCAS screenshot of access code
UKVCAS screenshot of access code

In my inbox I received an email like this with 6 digits, you have 30 minutes to use the code.

Email from UKVCAS that provides access code
Email from UKVCAS that provides access code

Finish the sign-up process I added the code and created my own password for the UKVCAS website.

Setup UKVCAS account with password
Setup UKVCAS account with password

That’s it, my account was all set-up with the email I registered my UKVI application with.

Book Your Biometric Appointment

You can book an appointment in two ways:

  • On the UKVCAS website
  • by phone by calling the UKVCAS Premium Support Line on 0900 165 6600 (Calls cost £2.50 per minute)

Personally I did all of this myself via the website.

Once I set-up my account and then logged on, I was taken to a home page which explained the booking of the appointments, the extra services and stuff they offered. I kept scrolling through until I got the book appointment button at the bottom of the page.

Choose a UKVCAS appointment
Choose a UKVCAS appointment

Next was choosing a service point location. The tool gave me the closest centres near me or I could search by using a postcode.

Choose a service point location for biometric appointment
Choose a service point location for biometric appointment

If you wish to get a free appointment there are 6 core service centres offering free appointments – Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast and Croydon.

Once I was happy with the location, I clicked on select this service point which gave me the available appointments.

Example of UKVCAS service points
Example of UKVCAS service points

Next was the choose your appointment screen which showed me the appointments for the first week and you can keep pressing next for further dates. When I clicked on the dates it told me if there are appointments available and the price if it was a paid appointment.

As you can see below there is a range of free and paid appointment between £50 to £100. Read more about the fees here.

Choose a UKVCAS appointment
Choose a UKVCAS appointment

I was happy to wait for an appointment but it is dependent on what you want to do and how quickly you want to get your application done.

I selected a time I was able to make and then went to the checkout screen which gave an order summary. As I had a free appointment it states 0 but if you have a paid appointment this is where you would enter the payment flow. You can also add additional services here like document checking.

UKVCAS checkout screen
UKVCAS checkout screen

Once I finished booking the appointment and I received two emails. One was the tax invoice and one was the booking confirmation.

The booking confirmation is a must to take to your appointment and this will be the thing that will track you through your biometric appointments. It’s really important. You can either print it or you can take it on your phone but you do need to have a copy available.

It has a QR code and information about me and my appointment and that’s basically it, so nothing too exciting.

UKVCAS Upload Documents

Remember that checklist from the application? Well, that’s your guide on what you need to upload document wise! You do have the option of paying UKCVAS to do this for you but I just did it online at home for free.

You can upload documents in stages right up until you attend your appointment. When uploading your documents, there are a few guidelines.

  1. Document type:  The documents are marked as either mandatory or other documents. A description of the mandatory documents required for each category is provided in the tabs.
  2. Category: Your supporting documents need to be submitted under the categories. Some are easier to determine than others – see categories below.
  3. File Format: PDF is the preferred format, JPG and PNG format. If you don’t have a scanner just search for an app in the Google Play or Apple Store, there will be quite a few available.
  4. File Name: needs to be as simple as possible e.g. bank-statement-Apr-2018.pdf. Do not use filenames having special characters, #,ë, or bank.statement.apr.2018.pdf
  5. File Size: maximum file limit is 6MB. You can separate your documents into parts if your file is too big and there is no limit on the number of documents/files you can upload.
  6. Scan in Greyscale or Black and white: This helps with controlling the size, although I didn’t end up reading this part before I scanned all my documents and they were fine in size. In fairness, there wasn’t as many as my ILR application.
  7. Password: Make sure there are no passwords on the files and they are fully accessible. I know it can be worrying by not protecting your information but it can delay a decision if they are unable to access any of this.

How to Upload Your Documents on UKVCAS

Depending on where you are ready to upload documents, you can either do this straight after booking the appointment or whenever you’re ready.

I did this before my appointment so when I logged in you will be presented with a welcome page that had an upload your documents button.

UKVCAS Manage your service screen
UKVCAS Manage your service screen

Once I clicked the button I was presented with visa applicants, as it just me, it’s only my details. I clicked the blue action link which took me to the next page.


There is some information about the files and formats which I have summarised above and you will reach the upload section. This example just covers the mandatory document.

All I did was upload the named file I had and added a description which basically Katherine’s Front Page of Passport. Just to note I also uploaded a copy that had every page that was stamped in my passport in another section.


Once uploaded my document there was a status to say how many files were added.

Uploading files to UKVCAS
Uploading files to UKVCAS

That’s it! I kept repeating until all my files were uploaded.

UKVCAS Document Upload Categories

One of the biggest things that I found a bit annoying is there is no guidance from the UKVCAS or UKVI on where you’re supposed to put them. I made a few assumptions and added information where I thought it suited best.

This is all based on UK Citizenship to give you an example, if you are applying for other visas like Spousal Visa then chances are you will have documents such as life events. Just make sure you include all the documents that your checklist states in the visa application.

Mandatory Documents

Statement from UKVCAS website in the document upload section: Below is a list of mandatory document categories for your application. Each category tab contains a description of the documents required. Please ensure that you provide a document in each of these categories.

Proof of Application – I only added my passport here because that’s what it stated I need to put here.

Optional Documents

Statement from UKVCAS website in the document upload section: Below is a list of optional document categories. Please ensure you check your Access UK document checklist before including documents in the categories below. For some application routes, ‘Optional’ documents offer you the ability to provide evidence in a number of categories at your discretion to satisfy immigration rules.

  • Other – I included my referees in this section.
  • Residence in the UK – I included my approval letter for my indefinite leave to remain and then I put my BRP card with my indefinite leave to remain there.
  • Finances – I included six P60’s from 2014 to 2019.
  • Proof of Business – I didn’t include any proof of business.
  • Life Events – I didn’t include any Life Event documents.
  • Medical Information – I didn’t include any medical information.
  • Sponsors / Employment – I included two employment letters and also one HMRC letter from 2018 from my indefinite leave to remain application.
  • Proof of Identity / Travel History – I included my Excel Spreadsheet that covers all of the dates I’ve been outside the UK, my current passport and my old passport, which includes all of the pages from the passport. The front page and then all the pages with stamps on them.
  • Educational – I included my life in the UK pass notification.

What Happens at the Biometrics Appointment?

When I arrived at the biometric centre, I was greeted by a security guard and he requested that I give my booking confirmation and my passport. The next step was speaking to the receptionist who my booking barcode to confirm what floor I needed to go to.

Once I arrived at the appropriate floor I was greeted by another staff member who gave me a ticket number which was to be used during the process. They advised me that there will be two parts phase of the appointment.

Part One: The Biometrics.

Basically, they have these booths that record your biometrics with a computer system. The only way that I can describe it is like the passport e-gates at an airport. When you go through the e-gate and you scan your passport and takes a photo and then lets you through, that’s basically how these biometric systems were, except they just take your signature as well.

You will be explained the process before you register your biometrics. The photo process is probably the lengthiest process of all of it. It’s very picky and can take a while to get a photo it likes.

Once I did that, I walked back out to the waiting room until my number is called again.

Part Two: Checking of Documents and Submitting Your Application

Another representative came and collected me. This is the stage that they went through my application, documents and biometrics. The first thing again they ask for is that confirmation sheet with a QR code and your passport. They will scan that in, it’ll bring up all the details of that and your application.

My biometrics was reviewed which just double-checks your photo, signature and fingerprints are ok. I had to explain any scars or markings on my fingerprints which was recorded against my biometrics.

The next thing he did was scan my current passport again, I did previously have both my latest and older passport uploaded to my application.

Next he just quickly scrolled through what I had put in there, for example, you’ve put life in the UK test on here and a few other documents, but he didn’t check a single one of my documents.

After that, he asked, “Are you happy with the application and the documents you’ve put in your biometrics?” You must state yes and then they will submit the application for you. That will trigger the decision process for your application.

Next Steps

The waiting game! There is no ability to track your application through UKVCAS or UKVI, you just have to wait for a decision to arrive. You can call UKVI to discussion your application if you want further confirmation.

Hopefully, my experience has given you an understanding of what you could potentially expect. Make sure you keep up with the UKVCAS and UKVI websites to see if there are any changes.

169 thoughts on “Biometrics Appointment for UK Visas (UKVCAS Process Explained)”

  1. Hi Kat
    please can you advise how soon you can start with filling your application, is it possible to start with filling online application 6-7 months prior to your visa expiry or not
    Im only concerned about the process of submitting documents and dont know list of documents i need to start saving in pdf format along with length of duration
    Do you provide personal consultation if yes please let me know

  2. Hi Vikrant,

    You can fill in the form whenever you want but the data will be lost filling it in so early. The time frame is generally 10 weeks or 70 days in advance before you plan on applying to start filling in the form.
    The process for submitting is covered in this article, it’s not more complicated than that. You will be able to get a general idea of the information you need by reading through the documents UKVI issues.

  3. Hi Kat
    Noted that i can start to fill in a time frame of 70 days prior to my application submission and is it correct that i can submit my application 30 days before the expiry of my visa ?

    Please can you give me summary on list of scan documents i need to upload so i can start to arrange them in correct format
    As you have already been to this stage and would be much helpful if you can share your experience. going to any legal advisor is very expensive so your help will be much appreciated.

    Looking forward for your detail response

    Many Thanks, Vikrant

  4. Hi Vikrant,
    The window is normally 28 days.
    You get the document checklist at the end of the application, I can’t provide you with a list of documents to provide. This article to explains what I did end to end for my latest application and these articles are just a guide of my experiences.
    If you need help with this then an immigration advisor is the route you should go.

  5. Hi Kat,

    I tried to upload the documents & did upload quite a few of them ,but when I logged out & logged back in – there were no documents showing as uploaded & saved. I tried again & same thing happened. Could anyone please guide me on how to save the documents once i upload them

  6. Hi Chinebuli, I did exactly what I stated in my post. Sounds like there is a technical issue and you would have to talk to UKVCAS why this is happening. Sorry! Kat

  7. Hi Kat!

    Everything explained perfectly well.
    THANK YOU SO MUCH! Your post reassured me that I was doing things right.
    Just curiosity.. did they ever get in touch with your referees?


  8. Hiii

    How can i get the acces code from the UkVI…
    I look for everywhere and i can find them..
    Can you help me please

  9. Hi Kat,
    I have try to book apointment with southampton enhand so they will scan docoment for me for free as i will pay 60£ and other thing is it doest let me pay online. I need your advice please. Thank you very much.

  10. Hi Kat
    Thank you for the step by step guide, it was really what I needed b4 my application. One thing I want to ask is, I have submitted my application through UKVCAS and just curious if I want to add one or two documents to my account for UKVI in my UKVCAS account is that possible? would UKVI automatically see the new documents or I will have to book another appointment with UKVCAS?
    Because I can still access all my documents in the UKCVAS account.
    Also If I remove my documents now after submission to UKVI before a decision is made would that harm my application?
    Any Ideas?

  11. Hi Yusuf,
    I am not sure what will happen if you add extra evidence, it’s best to call UKVI to confirm. Sorry I can’t give a better answer. Kat

  12. when I booked an appointment, how to see the other dates or location for availability,
    Can anyone advise how to change the date or location without cancelling the current appointment.

  13. Hi Kat.
    This is such a brilliant article – thank you very much!
    Can you advise how long it took for you to get a decision on your application?

  14. Hi Kar, Can I upload a color scanned document if the size of the file is less than 6MB ? My file size is in MB’s though. Or it is must to upload documents in Greyscale or black and white ?

  15. Hi Kat
    Iam in spousal Visa and will be applying for ILR, please can you advise what do you mean by documents such as life events?
    This is mentioned in requirements for documents.

  16. Depends on how organised the centre is – the appoint itself shouldn’t take more 10/15 minutes but you may have to wait around between each part.

  17. Hi Kat
    Thank you for taking us through the whole process.
    Do I have to take passport photos with me as part of the application and do referees have to sign these or they will take me a picture at the centre?

  18. The referees fill the passport photos with your name and DOB. Then you scan this as a part of your documents you upload. The centre will also take your photo.

  19. Hi kate I’m European and I have 3 child under age. I want to apply online only for my child which form I have to fill AN or MN1

  20. Hi Kat,
    when you attend the appointment at the UKVCAS centre , do they take your hard copy passport and submit it for you or they just scan it or use it to process your application and give it back to you?

  21. Hi Kat I applied for the indefinite leave to remain and wants to choose a priority payment option towards the end of the application but I am only left with standard payment option. What could be the reason why please.

  22. There are only limited priority slots available now. As I understand that they release a new set each day at some point.

  23. Hi Kat,

    Firstly, I would like to say thank you for your article its really useful, I just realised that you can get a free appointment after paid 110 pounds for my appointment a bit disappointed, also I would like to know what is the best option for proof of living in the UK ?? ( bank statement??bills?) not sure how it can be and how many? could you please advise me.

    Many Thanks

  24. Hi Ricardo,
    Depending what you’re applying for but this is generally what I have provided for proof of living:
    All my P60’s since living in the UK (6 in total). If you do not pay tax through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) arrangements, then provide your most recent HM Revenue & Customs Self-Assessment Statement of Account.
    HMRC Letter stating the tax I paid from my ILR application.
    Two employment letters, one from my ILR and a new one.

  25. Hi Kat,
    One more question for you. I have only just noticed that the form that is supposed to be filled out by both my referees states the following:
    ‘For an adult application, one referee should be a person of any nationality who has a professional standing, eg minister of religion, civil servant, or a member of a professional body eg accountant or solicitor (who is not representing you with this application).’
    Now that is something that’s really confused me as in my application I have used two British friends who have known me more or less since I first came to the UK and are happy to be my referees so I have also got them to sign this form however neither of them is a person who has a professional standing? Who did you use?

  26. Hi Kat,
    it is really brilliant, thank it helps a lot.
    Regarding to upload documents, so far I just added the mandatory documents- my case 1) proof of identity (biometric residence permit) 2) proof of application (passport issued by my country).
    I am not sure if I should add ‘Optional’ documents as well. Do you think is it not sufficient to upload the ‘Mandatory’ documents? please let me know what do you think.


  27. Thanks for answering Kat!
    For me, there are only two in the UKVI checklist- please see below:

    You have agreed to include the following documents in your application. Tick the box beside each document to confirm that you are providing it.
    Mandatory documents
    The passport issued by xx(my country) for Miss xxx (my name)
    The biometric residence permit for xxx (my name)

    Then UKVCAS, I found multiple optional documents list that makes me confusing.

    There is another questions, I found my job is now a shortage occupation since last October, I didn’t know that when I applied so I already applied as normal and paid.
    Do you think is there any chance I can change the application and refund as difference? Thanks a lot for your help!


  28. Hi kat
    I have been trying to get appointment for last 4 days. But i couldn’t. I tried different ways example through iPhone laptop Samsung but nothing. The problem is when i put all information in UKVCAS website and slected appointment date. Gave them my banks details after that next step doesn’t work.

  29. Hi Jin, I am sure you’ve gone ahead with this. As long as your evidence matches the UKVI checklist that’s all you need to do. UKVCAS is set-up to take multiple visa/citizenship routes so not all will apply to you. Kat

  30. Hi Kat,

    Such a great summary and so helpful during what is such a vague application! Quick question. I know the finance documents are suppose to be within the last month. Do you know whether this is one month prior to application date or the appointment date?

    Thanks for all your work!

  31. Hi Kat, very useful video. Are you allowed to take someone with you within you attend the appointment? Also, do have to get the documents scanned and stored as a file before you upload them, or can the documents be scanned by your phone camera and uploaded in one go?

  32. Hi, i uploaded my documents for UK Visa but I discovered that I didn’t upload my sponsor bank statement, can I upload it again? Or what can I do.

  33. Hi Steve, I did see other people go in with an additional person but I would say it depends on the centre and some may have been lawyers. As long as the files aren’t bigger than the size limit, in the right format, readable and in the right sections then you can choose how you want to do it. Kat

  34. Hi Kat, this is indeed very informative piece on UKVCAS. I have a question if you or someone can help me with. My UKVCAS appointment got cancelled due to on-going COVID crisis. I had got this ‘free’ appointment after almost a month since I submitted the application to UKVI and I won’t get free appointment for another month at least. My question is: how much time is permitted between applying to UKVI and submitting bio-metrics? Will my UKVI application (which is paid for) get cancelled after sometime because no bio metrics are received? I can see some paid appointments available, but would rather go for a ‘free’ one if there is no problem? As such, I have plenty of time left on my current leave to remain. Any thoughts on this will be helpful. Thanks!

  35. These are different times and there have been statements allowing people to extend their visas due to this so I would hope that there is more time allowed. Normally you should book an appointment within 15 days of submitting. But have never read that there is an elapsed time, as you can see it’s not very helpful: I would book the next appointment so you have it and then give them a call or email to confirm.

  36. Hi Kat!

    I do not have all my P60/P45-s but I do have a letter from HMRC with my employment history confirming where I’ve worked, the amount I’ve earned and how much tax I paid. I also have letters from all my employers for the past 6 years. Do you think that’s enough to confirm the financial and employment aspects?


  37. Hi Kat!

    I do not have all my P60/P45-s but I do have a letter from HMRC with my employment history confirming where I’ve worked, the amount I’ve earned and how much tax I paid. I also have letters from all my employers for the past 6 years. Do you think that’s enough to confirm the financial and employment aspects?


  38. Hi Jenn,
    If you have evidence for each year and the HRMC letter (which helps cover missing evidence) it should cover it but this is your decision. Unfortunately, I can’t say whether it’s enough because it’s your application. In most cases, I have seen that if the home office isn’t happy with the evidence then they will request more before taking any further action.

  39. momodou sabally

    Hello kat,
    I was reading through your experience very helpful to me and many others. Just ON THE PROCESS of my wife’s application for ILR, completed the application form make payment and i was on further actions you must complete page so i downloaded the declaration form next is to book appointment but beside they wrote- attend an appointment to provide your documents and Biometric by July 3rd . I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT because i am trying to book appointment can you explain if you know i also saw on your own one it indicate like 19 August.

  40. Hi Kat,
    In case of a spousal ILR visa, does the sponsor need to be present at the biometric appointment or any other appointment after the ILR application is submitted?
    Me and my wife are submitting soon, but I (the sponsor) will be out of the country for some time afterwards.

  41. Hey Kat,
    i hope so you’re doing well.First i really appreciate to you about your good deeds to helping others, And Secondly i have two questions about my Referees and employments Gap.
    1- i have one Referee and he is my friend & British Citizen but he never had/have continuously employment history(he worked 6 monts after he had break for 6 months ).So he’ll be ok as Referee ? And 2nd Referee is my job colleague and he is also British citizen, my Security Duty Manager because i’m Security officer.So.he will be fine as Professional Referee?
    2- I received my Employment History Letter from HMRC Which is showing i have/had gap for few months in various years, it happened that time whenever i was looking for another job or i was working Off licences shop where they never register me as employee with HMRC and just pay me wages in Cash.Your valuable Advice will be appreciate.
    Kind Regards,

  42. Vikrant Tandon

    Hi Kat
    please can you advise how many reference you need for naturalisation and also what other formalities are required

  43. Hi Mo,

    It doesn’t sound like one of your referees meet the requirements, they are:
    One referee should be a person of any nationality who has professional standing.
    One a British citizen passport.
    Over the age of 25.
    Known you for over 3 years. (To read more about the 3-year requirement, read page 10 of this document).
    Willing to give their information such as passport, three years of addresses etc.

    You can find all the links in this article:

    The other point I can’t comment on.


  44. Hello Kat,
    Firstly, this article is so clear and extremely helpful. Thank you!

    At one point you mentioned that you uploaded all stamped pages of your passport and elsewhere that you had two passports (I’m guessing you had to renew at some point in that time frame). I have two passports as well and am trying to figure out how much I need to scan to upload.

    I’m guessing:
    -Every stamped page of my ‘active’ passport (renewed in the last 2 years)
    -But how much of my expired passport? It had a lot of activity, much of it before the dates my naturalisation application is interested in. If it was just me, I’d probably just do it all. But as it’s a family application, I’m dreading copying every single stamped page of every passport we’ve held since living here.

    I have other ways of proving we lived here in the UK during these years. Plus our passports don’t reflect a good deal of our travel as our home country didn’t stamp us in.

    Curious of your thoughts/recommendation.

  45. I uploaded every page that was stamped in both passports. I couldn’t be bothered with finding all the stamps within the past 5 years as they are all over the place. that’s why I provided other evidence for proof of living as not all countries stamp you so sounds like you are on the same thought process.

  46. Hi Kat,

    I hope you are well.
    Can I upload supportimg documents in stages? Like uplod 1st batch on Monday and return to the website week later and upload more documents? I’m asking just in case 🙂

    Stay safe and thanks for decent guide 🙂

  47. Vikrant Tandon

    Hi Kat
    Please can you advise on any covering letter we need to send during naturalisation application if yes please can you share information on this

    Many Thanks

  48. Dear Kat,

    Many thank for putting together these very useful videos!
    I am trying to figure out one thing: you need to have been physically present in the UK on the day 5 years before the date of your application. What is the date of application: the day you submit it online or the day it is submitted by UKVCAS?

    Many thanks,

  49. Greetings Kat,

    Many thanks for the advice on your page, it helped massively.
    Just to confirm that I’ve had my app in Croydon on the 10th of June 2020, due to this pandemic security and social distance have been highly respected, before entering into the building have been advised to clean my hands with hand sanitizer supplied by them. The appointment went well and my uploaded documents (as per your advice) have been excellent and there was no need to check the originals.
    On the 15th of June 2020, I have received the decision letter via email saying that my application for British Citizen has been successful and been advised
    “The next step is to attend a British citizenship ceremony.
    However, due to Government advice relating to Coronavirus (COVID 19),
    ceremonies are not currently taking place. I am sorry for the delay this will
    cause to you acquiring British citizenship and ask for your patience at this time.
    We are keeping the situation under constant review and will provide updates on when advice is updated.”
    Thank you so much

  50. Hi Kat, I’m confused. When you apply online and submit your application. Do you still have to take the supporting documents to the biometrics appointment, even though your sending them or taking them to london or Birmingham centre? Also do you have to print the application after submitting it online.

  51. Hi Nikki, I took the documents to the appointment just in case they were needed. My passport was double-checked and re-uploaded during the appointment. You can download a copy of your application at any point, I did mine after payment. Kept in my documents folder just in case I needed it. Along with payment, checklists etc.
    Sending your documents only applies if you are completing the paper form, otherwise it’s just uploading to the portal.
    You will need to take your biometric QR code thing with you.

  52. Hi Solene,
    The day you pay is that last time that you can change your answer to the question so if you were still out of the country then it could be hard to prove you’ve not been out for the last 90 days.

  53. I uploaded mine in batches. Mainly as I was trying to film and upload haha. I just made sure they were all there before my appointment.

  54. Hi kat
    I have given my biometric last week.they didn’t see my other document which I uploaded online. They jus scanned my passport. Do I have to send my originals to home office the one I uploaded online?? And how long does it take for decision after giving biometrics? And another question what if I changed my address after submitting my application how do I tell them or change it soo I can get my posts on my current address.

  55. Hi Kat,

    Thankyou so much for this article. I am book marking it.

    Please can you help me with this query:
    When is the application considered submitted?. On the pay date? Or after UKVCAS checks my docs?
    So, if I pay, say 35 days before my visa expires, will it be applying before the 28 day mark?

  56. On the date you pay UKVI. UKVCAS only job is to register your biometrics and offer a few services. They don’t make the decision on your application. You want to pay on the 28 day mark.

  57. No need to send documents, it’s all online as long as you uploaded them to the UKVCAS website. Re changing address you will need to call them about that as I am not aware of the process.

  58. Hi Kat,
    Thanks for the post. It’s really nice and informative.
    I just applied for my first FLR M spouse visa application. I have a fiance visa now. I made payment for UKVI yesterday and was directed to UKVCAS for an appointment but because of COVID 19, I am not able to book an appointment. My visa expires in 2 weeks. Some people say you would not be an overstayer if you made a payment but I have not received any confirmation or bridging visa from the Home Office. Do you know if I was supposed to get an email from Home Office?


    I’m trying to book an appointment online but i dont see the dates available till 23th Aug. Do we have any specific time slot will be opened for booking an appointment?

    Past one week i’m checking frequently but I dont find date opened for online booking.
    Please advise.

  60. Hi Kat,

    Thank you very much for sharing your experience and the way you have described the process is very clear and helpful.
    I have been looking online but cannot find the answer anywhere: how long do we have to book the biometrics appointment, once the application has been filed?
    For instance, we are today July 20th. Do I have to go for the biometrics appointment within the next 30 days, 45 days days, 2 months???

    Thanks a lot

  61. Dear Kat,
    Your advice to people is amazing. You are truly one in a million.
    My partner”s visa is due to expire on 30th July.
    He made the flr m application last week. The application is in-time right? We have now uploaded the documents but we don’t wait to click on the “submit to UKVI” button yet, we want to wait so these can be checked at the biometrics but there are no appointments available until august ? Till when do we have the time to submit all these documents please , if there are no biometric appointments currently available ?
    Thanks so much

  62. Hi Yesham,
    You’ve applied before the visa end date which is what you need to do. There is a massive backlog of appointments at the moment due to less centres, being closed over COVID etc so August doesn’t sound too bad if that’s when they are available. They are looking at a new process of reusing fingerprints / submitting a digital facial image which you will be contacted about if your application fits into this. They are very vague on the process in all articles: and

  63. Hi Sandy,
    Last year it was 60 days from submitting the form but there is a massive backlog of appointments at the moment due to less centres, being closed over COVID etc. They are looking at a new process of reusing fingerprints / submitting a digital facial image which you will be contacted about if your application fits into this. They are very vague on the process in all articles: and

  64. Hi Makesh,
    There is a massive backlog of appointments at the moment due to fewer centres, being closed over COVID etc so August doesn’t sound too bad if that’s when they are available.

  65. Hey Kat,
    Your deducation to this is unreal, so thank you in advance 🙂
    My question is just around timings really. I will be applying for ILR post a 5 year ancestry visa.
    My ancestry visa expires Sep 19th 2020 and I currently have some travel plans for Europe, in which I won’t arrive back into the UK until 16th or 17th Sep (not set in stone but just trying to understand if I can pull it off haha). What are my obligations before Sep19th? i.e. what do I have to have submitted before the 19th? Is it just the application and payment on Or should I have also completed some stage in the process on UKVCAS website / had my appointment? If I understand the process correctly, I do the online application and make the payment on and then move on to UKVCAS where I upload supporting documents and do the biometrics and then they submit it to UKVI. Correct me if I’m wrong?
    Thank you so much

  66. Hi Paul,
    There are a few articles online like this one from citizen advice that explains more about what overstaying is but basically that’s what happens if you don’t apply before the end of the visa.

    Re the ins and outs of travelling while applying I personally wouldn’t do it as I get worried that it could impact my decision and what not. However, you’re choice on how you want to go about the application process.

    The applying part is when you pay for the visa and the rest is just the process around getting a decision.


  67. Hi Kate,
    Great Info,
    Who do I contact for missing files from biometrics for ILR, they didn’t scan my life in UK test form. Silly me..


  68. Hi Kat,
    Jumping to this thread. Although we haven’t yet received an email from UKVCAS, it appears that some people have received communication giving them the opportunity to opt out of reusing biometrics and get an appointment at a service point instead (potentially at great cost – I have seen standard appointments costing up to £540.00). If the applicant is still eligible for the reuse of biometrics, they are given the option of continuing down this avenue but there are no concrete dates for when the app will be ready to upload the facial image.

    I’m not sure of the etiquette of posting a link to another forum (guessing you will moderate anyway), the link below has some useful information for people who are still waiting for appointments or the new IDV app.


  69. Hi Barnaby, Thank you so much for keeping this thread up to date! It’s so crazy the prices they are charging for appointments! Kat

  70. Hi Kat,
    Thank you for directing me to your website. The videos are fab… But your website is just icing on the cake!
    my question is about employment. I have P60s/payslips/letter from HMRC I am planning on requesting letters of employment as well. Who should these be addressed to? I think in your videos it was UKVCAS… where do I find the right address?
    Also, Did you provide your employer with a template that could just sign and send back?

  71. Hi Kat

    Firstly thanks for the information, it’s very useful. Hoping you can help answer a couple of questions I have please.
    Firstly you mention I can apply 28 days before the end of visa. My visa ends in April but it’ll be 5 years since entering UK in February. Can I apply 28 days before the 5 years date in the UK (Feb) and not end of my visa(Apr)?
    Secondly when is your application considered submitted? The date you complete and pay UKVI online or when UKVCAS submit your application?
    Lastly is anyone allowed to accompany you at the UKVCAS appointment, like my partner?
    Thank you in advance

  72. Hi Kat
    Sorry 1 more question
    Do I have to provide finance information for the previous 5 years or just last 6 months wage slips where I am currently working?

  73. Hi Kat,
    Yes, appointment prices are off the chart. We have now received the email from UKVCAS. In summary:
    1) my wife is still eligible to reuse biometrics and the IDV app, but she has also been given the option to opt out if she would prefer to go for an appointment (need to opt out by 07th Aug at the latest).
    2) no real idea of when the IDV app will go live – ‘an invitation will be sent for you to use the IDV app within the next few weeks.’
    3) those who opt out by the 07th Aug will receive an email during the week commencing the 10th Aug inviting them to book an appointment at a service point (no indication of long it will take to get either a free or paid appointment).

    So it’s still anyone’s guess as to whether one should opt out or not!

  74. Hello,
    Applying for tier 4 visa, do we scan all pages of the passport for upload, or only a select parts. Please advice.

  75. Hey, I’m not sure what it says on the Tier 4 checklist but in the cases I have applied for visas in the UK it’s to prove my travel history. I always include every page that has a relevant stamp and of course the cover pages with my details. Kat

  76. Thank you Barnaby for the constant updates! I definitely owe you a beer! Maybe when we finalise opening our brewery 🙂

  77. I am assuming that you are applying for IRL? Double-check the checklist, I provided 5 years but had other successful with 6 months.

  78. For visa that are 5 years and go through the set o applications, it’s 28 days. Other visa’s vary depending on what they are so Tier 2 you can get 3 + 3 years or 5 year visa. Your visa start date should be what you base your details on and not entry into the country.
    Your application with UKVI is submitted when you pay and then when you get a biometrics appointment it can be processed. You need to do the UKVI part within the timelines.
    Re the appointment, depends on the COVID rules.

  79. At the moment it’s pretty hard to get a free appointment and I’ve been told some are like £500 :/. Best to check with UKVCAS and see if they have any tips.

  80. I have not gotten a date for the biometric enrolment hope it wont affect my status because my visa is about expiring?

  81. Hi Kat
    Great website .
    I have submitted and paid for my online application for FLR ( M) on 7/8/20 .
    We have registered on Sopra site , but not yet received email as to whether my biometrics can be reused . Do you know how long we have to wait for this email ?
    Do you advise me to upload my supporting docs OR to OPT for appointment and have them scanned by staff ?
    How long are these appointments taking ? And at what cost ? We were told it was only £60 at a Service Point ….!??

    Any more latest news on the APP ?

    Can I travel abroad pending the Application??

    Many thanks


  82. Hello kat,
    i applied for my partner live to remain in Uk since july 1th 2020, but up till now, we have not receive any email on how to book for her biometric appointment, it is only saying the UKVCAS department will send you an email to book for the appointment.
    please advise us on what we should do?
    Many thanks

  83. Hi Kat,

    I’ve just completed my UKVCAS biometrics appointment and am now waiting for the decision for naturalisation. This site and your info was unbelievably helpful.

    Thank you!

  84. There are delays with getting appointments and they have been releasing these slowly to applicants. I would keep checking if any come available.

  85. There are delays with getting appointments and they have been releasing these slowly to applicants. If you read Barnaby comments he’s been keeping us up to date on the app and process:
    I would go ahead and upload your documents so you are ready.
    Appointments will range in cost, depends on the centre, time, availability etc. I have seen comments that some appointments have been up to £500.
    It depends on what you are applying for whether you can travel, visa decision no, citizenship yes. There are a few articles online like this one

  86. There are delays with getting appointments and they have been releasing these slowly to applicants. I would check with UKVCAS when they plan on releasing July dates.

  87. Paa Kwesi Akrofi

    Hi Kat,
    I’ve been trying to book an appointment since Friday. When I get to the page, all I see is “no appointments available.” I am unsuccessful with reaching them on phone. Please can you help get into contact with a customer agent there??

  88. Hi Kat

    So I’ve got an issue with my ukvcas app. I clicked the submission button by mistake before submitting all documents, only 3 documents were uploaded by the time i clicked the submission button. However, i was able to still upload the rest of the documents. I’m scared because the submission button is not there anymore and i dont know what to do. Please help if you have an idea.

    Narman Shahid

  89. Hi narman
    You must submit all the mandatory documents that you ticked when you filled you application online. The documents that uploaded and not submitted yet the UKVI caseworker can’t see them until they got submitted to them. Uploading documents on UKVCAS don’t mean you submitted to decision makers. UKVCAS is only an agency to prepare you application and submit them the UKVI. If the rest of your document are mandatory. You have to contact immediately the UKVI or UKVCAS and them or you book an appointment to UKVCAS and they will submit them. Don’t panic but try to submit them to UKVI. It’s them making decisions not UKVCAS.

  90. Hi Kat I’v applied and paid for a fiancé visa while I’m in the uk but my fiance is in thailand do I post my documents for scanning to VFS first and then make an appointment for the biometrics as she can’t take them to her appointment or do I make the appointment first

  91. Hi Omar

    Thanks for the help. How do i submit them to UKVI. Thing is I’ve tried contact UKVCAS but no one picks and haven’t received a reply either coz i emailed them too. There aren’t any appointments available to book. I have called homeoffice they said he will probably won’t have to go for appointments due to covid they will use his previous finger prints and eyes, and that he might have to submit picture instead. So i will receive email regarding all that but i haven’t yet.
    Do you by any chance know how i can contact UKVI?


  92. Hi NARMAN
    If you want to contact UKVCAS just send DM (direct message) on their Twitter account with your UNA number it’s 16 digits number. You can’t book appointment unless you receive an email from UKVCAS asking you to book. Go to UKVI website and you will find the phone number of the visa you applied for and contact them about your unsubmitted documents. Don’t worry too much caseworkers normally ask to submit the missing documents before making a decision but that also can delay your application. If you applied citizenship tell me. I will send you their email address. Good luck

  93. Hi Omar

    Well it’s my husbands application. He will apply for citizenship after 2.5years coz he came in this country through spouse visa. I have tried contact them numerous time but no one has replied. Their phone number is useless too no one picks.


  94. Hi narman
    I don’t understand what you mean. If he’s going to nationality in 2.5 years u just wait till that time. Explain clearly so I can give advise. Who did you contact and they are not picking up the phone?

  95. Hi Kat, I confused what should I do before my permanent residence card finish? It will be on October. I applied for biometric.
    Thank you Tina.

  96. Hi Omar

    Thanks alot for the help. They got back to me so i managed to submit his documents and biometric picture.

    Thanks again

    Narman Shahid

  97. Hi Kat, great video really helpful (we used the VFS service from Japan when applying for the initial visa so need to use this new system for the extension so this helps us “bridge the gap” regarding the differences now this is all from within the UK).

    It looks to me as though we apply and pay (including IHS surcharge) through the UK GOV site firstly and then setup the UKVCAS account to upload the supporting documents and arrange our appointment for bio-metrics. We therefore just need to ensure that all the documents are uploaded before that appointment by the sounds of it. Looking at the image you included of the payment page though it shows step 3. Documents – is this something else?

    We’re looking to apply before 1 October to avoid the increased IHS amount…. but we’re also picking up something from the embassy on 30 September and so will be looking to apply/pay on the 28 September (the soonest we can) and then submit all our documents a day or so after… appreciate you can’t advise, but you have seen the steps and any info would be much appreciated.

    (Sorry for the long message but nobody has put out as clear a video as this showing all the steps!)


  98. Hello
    I am applying for a BRP replacement.
    I have uploaded all my 21 years of residency documents and ID’s (in colour by mistake). IDs were submitted but all residency documents are just uploaded. Is this ok?
    And I am not sure where to upload the consent form.
    At the moment, I upload them to “other document” of optional, but it’s not submitted.
    Can you tell mel?

  99. Hi Kat,
    Thank you for your precious information. I have my appointment in just 40 hours, I uploaded all my documents but apparently I’m a bit late for submitting them, is there any problem?? Or I can present myself with my documents and they will submit for me once I’m there?

  100. Hi Kat,
    Thanks for this. It helps a lot.
    So I originally submitted my visa application on July 31st and was searching ever since for appointments. However, the place where I live does not have available slots, then I found out that I can actually book elsewhere, which I did, after 9 weeks from submitting my original visa application! Is this ok?

    How long until they send you a confirmation email for your Brp appointment? and will it be for all applicants (my children) or should I book different slots for each one of us?

  101. Hi Kat,
    fantastic post, thank you so much, it really clarified many of our doubts.

    We want to apply for Permanent Residency (EEA PR) and then apply for citizenship. We are from EU countries, but we do not want to do it via applying for settled status first as this means that we would need to wait for one more year before we can apply for citizenship…

    However, I’m concerned about time, as after 31st Dec EEA PR documents will not be valid any more (only for applicants from EEA)…

    My questions are:

    1. Do we need to attend a UKVCAS centre to take our biometrics twice, one for EEA PR application and one for citizenship application? Or can they use for the citizenship application the same biometrics submitted for EEA PR application (which would save us precious time)?

    2. Assuming we get EEA PR, and apply for citizenship… after submitting an application for citizenship, how long do they normally take to process the application (and give an answer)?

    Many thanks!


  102. Re: bank statements: does very single page of the statements need to be scanned or just the pages in which the salary is shown entering the account?

  103. Hi Kat ,thanks for your marvelous work.Please my question is should I send my supporting documents to UK Visa Application center after they have been uploaded to their websites.Or I should ignore it.

  104. Hi Kat,
    Would you please advice if I can upload JPG files with documents (which will be simply photos of these documents been taken by mob phone camera)?
    Or they only accept scanned documents?
    Thank you for your answer in advance.


  105. Did they ask you to post them? UKVCAS is just the 3rd party that provides biometric appointments and UKVI is who makes the decision.

  106. Hi Kat,

    Your website is so helpful – thank you !

    Just wondered if you know whether documents with digital signatures are acceptable? UKCVAS and UKVI have no information about this…

  107. Hi Kat,

    That’s one detailed post. Thank you very much. I have uploaded the documents on UKVCAS website now. I have made an enhanced appointment for 29th Oct. Its past 48 hours window before appointment now but I don’t see an option to submit my application. Will there be one or once uploaded it will automatically lock for submission in due course today.
    Could you please let me know if I am missing anything?

    Also, I noticed someone asked about digital signatures in previous comment. Thought will share my experience. For my first spouse application from India, I used a few documents that had digital signatures from my husband and his employer and it was accepted.

    Many thanks,

  108. Hey Kat,

    I’m in the process of applying for Uk citizenship and would be helpful if you could respond to my below questions :

    1)What additional documents are required if applying through settled status ? I do have a letter from home office to confirm settled status but it clearly states this document is not proof of your status it’s a digital login to confirm status

    2) can I take photos from my phone of some documents to digitally upload? Or do they need to be scanned from a scanner specifically?


  109. Hi Kat you’re a star honestly. Kat I have got an e mail that my citizenship has been successful but I have to wait for the invitation letter from home office for the ceremony. it’s been 4 months still no response . I have heard that ppl are still getting invitation to attend the ceremonies. I check my e mail every day .so worried that thay might have forgotten me.
    and the other thing is my husband has been to biometrics appointment and it’s been nearly 4 months still no reply any suggestions how long would they take as his mum really poorly at back home .
    regards and best wishes from me .

  110. I always get confused with the settled status documents as it’s different than having a biometric permit but the only confirmation you have (as I understand) is the letter/log on details.

    Re document format, there is a whole section in this post that explain that.

  111. Hi Kat,

    I have just uploaded a lot of supporting documents onto the UKVCAS sit, but when I logged out and then logged back in to finish the uploading I couldn’t see any of the documents I had previously uploaded. Should they have disappeared or do you think I will need to upload them again? Has anyone else had this problem?


  112. Hi Kat,
    this is such a useful blog, thank you for posting about your experience. I do have a quick question – I have contacted HMRC for a letter of employment history but I need to wait for that to arrive. The question is: can I book my UKVCAS appointment and still upload documents after I have had the appointment, or is the appointment the time everything has to be uploaded for as that’s when things get submitted for decision making?
    I know that’s probably a silly question, but I don’t want to book an appointment and not have all my documents together.
    Thank you again for your blog and sharing your experience!

  113. Hi kat,
    Iam long time waiting for Biometric appointment, more then 4 month’s. What can i do? Have any enquiry email address ? Please let me know? It was fee waiver application, has been granted.
    Many Thanks

  114. Rahman

    UKVCAS realise slots every day, all you have to do is to be very quick to book it, as soon as it’s midnight, not even one minute late. I submitted my application, and the next day I booked the biometric. Hope this will help.

  115. Hi,
    Regarding the Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), Could you please let me know how long it will take to get the decision from the Home Office after completing the biometrics?
    Thank you

  116. Hey

    Did u receive your biometric letter after the appointment?
    It has been over 3 months but I still havent received any letter but my Brirish citizenship was granted.

    Thank you

  117. You need to upload all your documents before the appointment but as it’s hard to get one I would book as soon as you find one.

  118. Hi Kat,
    Would you please advice witch categories of documents are better to upload my husband’s passport and our marriage certificate for my citizenship?


  119. Hi Kat,
    I have government job back home as teacher. This is mentioned in the passport as well. Will this can affect my ILR application next year?

  120. I’m not sure, I just write about my experience and point people to documentation I found. It’s best to chat to an advisor.

  121. Hello there Kat,

    Thank you so much for providing such a useful and informative article on the process of application and appointment with UKVCAS.

    I’ve only recently attended my appointment, however I am now concerned because whenever I log in onto UKVCAS my documents appear as uploaded. Should’ve been showing as submitted since I already attended my appointment? I don’t suppose the agent has made a mistake, right? – Would you be able to advise whether or not I should be worried about it or is it just normal?


  122. Hello Kat,

    I have just completed my application to update my residence card to ‘settled’ status. According to the UKVI, I need to book an online appointment and upload my documents via the UKVCAS but after logging in , I could not locate any link in the entire website to upload my documents or book an appointment.
    I called them, I was 18th in line, my credit soon ran out. I emailed and still waiting for a reply.
    Should I just wait? I feel like there’s something not quite working right on their UKVCAS website .

    Please advise 🙂
    Thank you!!!

  123. Does anyone know what time of the day/night new appointment times are uploaded on the UKVCAS website? Trying to find a free one!

  124. Hi Kat, many thanks for your very interesting and useful website and info. One question please? do they keep your current (non-uk) passport or is it just scanned and then given back to you on the day of the visit ?….i am asking because i may have to travel abroad for business and will find it tricky to give away the passport. ….MANY THANKS r

  125. No they no longer keep any of your documents. Just take your passport to the appointment and then it will be handed back. However, the only application you are allowed to travel on is naturalisation. If you are waiting for any other you will need to wait for your approval.

  126. Free ones are hard to come by but my sister got an appointment at 12am in the morning. I would say try early in the morning or call UKVCAS to see when they are opening up the latest set of appointments.

  127. Ganesh Deenadayalan

    Hi Kat,

    I have the biometrics appointment tomorrow. Last week I had a cut in my thumb (not a deep one and probably within a centimeter in length)and it has healed very well. However I can still see the scar and I believe it will obstruct the thumb impression recording. Would it be wise to go ahead with the appointment tomorrow? I read in one of the UKVI policy docs that 5/10 fingers are enough to be in good shape to record the finger prints. What are your thoughts please?

    Ganesh D

  128. Hey Kat,

    Hope you’re staying safe in this pandemic and thank you so much for this post.
    I have one quick question which may sound silly. I have uploaded all my documents so do I have to click on ‘submit’ before I attend my appointment or is this something that’s done at the appointment after they double-check the documents?


  129. You can either submit before or at the apppointment. If you hit submit you can’t change your documents before your appointment.

  130. Hello Kat,
    Its a great post so Thank you very much and i hope you are keeping well during this difficult time.
    I have today submitted my citizenship application, now looking to book appointment for biometric 🤞🏼.
    My question is when i go for the biometric do they keep my passport or do i get my passport back straightaway after getting scanned.
    This is really important for me as i need to travel soon after i give my biometric.
    I called home office today and asked and they told me that i can request to get my passport back online. They probably were referring to people who make post applications.

    Keep helping each other and keep smiling 😁


  131. Hello Kat,
    Firstly I appreciate your help and i wish you good health.

    I have submitted my citizenship application yesterday. I would like to ask that on my biometric appointment do i get back my passport straight away after scanning or do they keep my passport.
    I need to travel soon after my biometrics so its really important for me to know if get back my passport .
    I would really appreciate if you can tell me about this.

  132. Hello Kat,
    Thank you very much this post really educate about the whole process.
    I have submitted my citizenship application and now i am trying to book biometric appointment.
    I would like to ask that on my biometric appointment day do i get my passport back straightaway or do i have to submit along with the application. Please advice me on this its really very important for me.
    Thanks for your help once again.
    Take care

  133. hello, Kat thanks a bunch I hope you are doing well.
    can you please tell me how long did they take to give your BRP after you submitted your application. was it 6 months or sooner or later than that.
    thank you

  134. I applied for all my visa’s before COVID so my timelines aren’t going to match the current backlog. There are so many factors involved but most people will get their decision within 2 months.

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