The phased re-opening of UK visa application centres – What you need to know


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From March of this year, immigration to the UK came to an abrupt halt when the Home Office made the unprecedented decision to close all UK visa application centres (‘VACs’) and globally suspend immigration services.

Phase 1 & Phase 2

On 1 June 2020, UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) entered into ‘Phase 1’ of resuming their services, thereby making the decision to re-open certain UK and overseas VACs. On 22 June 2020, UKVI transitioned into ‘Phase 2,’ with the re-opening of additional overseas VACs, where local conditions allowed.

Phase 3 & Phase 4

‘Phase 3’ consisted of an additional wave of UK VACs (also known as Service Points in the UK) re-opening on 29 June 2020. ‘Phase 4’ begins with the opening of 8 brand-new UK VACs / Service Points in Bath, Guildford, Croydon, Luton, Maidstone, Norwich, Nottingham, and Sunderland the week commencing 13 July. UKVI is resuming services in certain Asian countries, with the Colombo (Sri Lanka) VAC, Jakarta (Indonesia) VAC and 10 VACs in India due to re-open on 6 July.

USA

The much anticipated re-opening of VACs in the USA will begin shortly. In normal circumstances, UK visa applicants in the States have the option to book their biometric appointments at either a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Application Support Center (ASC) or a VFS Global Premium Application Centre (PAC).

VFS Global PACs remain closed across the USA with no planned re-opening date, however certain ASCs across the States are scheduled to re-open on 13 July, with additional ASCs to re-open in fortnightly waves (where local conditions allow). USCIS has advised that biometric appointments at ASCs can only be booked over the phone once the respective ASC has officially re-opened.

However it is advisable for those applicants who have submitted their online applications and have not yet been able to book their biometric appointments, to continue to monitor the online booking portal in the coming weeks, should appointments start to open up.

List of visa application centres in the UK and overseas

The following comprises a list of all in-country and overseas UK VACs that have re-opened or are due to re-open, arranged by region of the world.

Please continue to monitor this page and sign up to receive our email alerts to receive notifications of changes as and when they occur.

UK Date opened / Anticipated opening date

Aberdeen w/c 20 July
Bath – new VAC w/c 3 August
Bedford Autumn 2020
Belfast 22 June
Birmingham (Core) 1 June
Birmingham (Premium Lounge) 1 June
Bournemouth w/c 20 July
Burnley Autumn 2020
Cambridge Autumn 2020
Canterbury w/c 20 July
Cardiff (Core) w/c 6 July
Cardiff Bay (Temporary Core) 22 June
Chelmsford 1 June
Coventry w/c 3 August
Edinburgh 22 June
Exeter 1 June
Glasgow (Core) 22 June
Gloucester w/c 27 July
Guildford – new VAC w/c 13 July
Hemel Hempstead (Library) w/c 6 July
Hull w/c 6 July
Ipswich w/c 6 July
Leeds 1 June
Liverpool Autumn 2020
Llandudno w/c 20 July
London – Croydon (Core) 1 June
London – Croydon 2 – new VAC w/c 13 July
London – Edmonton Green w/c 6 July
London – Enfield w/c 6 July
London – Mark Lane (Premium Lounge) 1 June
London – Mark Lane (ESP) 1 June
London – Stratford w/c 3 August
London – Victoria 1 June
Luton – new VAC w/c 13 July
Maidstone – new VAC w/c 13 July
Manchester (Core) w/c 6 July
Manchester (Temporary Core) 22 June
Manchester Fountain Street (ESP) 1 June
Newcastle w/c 27 July
Newport w/c 20 July
Norwich – new VAC w/c 13 July
Nottingham – new VAC w/c 13 July
Peterborough w/c 6 July
Preston Autumn 2020
Reading w/c 20 July
Sheffield 1 June
Southampton 1 June
Stockport Autumn 2020
Sunderland – new VAC w/c 13 July
Swindon w/c 20 July
Swinton (Yorkshire) Autumn 2020
Taunton w/c 6 July
Wakefield Autumn 2020
Wolverhampton w/c 3 August

EU/Europe Date opened / Anticipated opening date

Albania (Tirana) w/c 29 June
Austria (Vienna) w/c 29 June
Belarus (Minsk) 1 June
Belgium (Brussels) 22 June
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo) w/c 29 June
Bulgaria (Sofia) w/c 29 June
Cyprus (Nicosia-South) w/c 29 June
Czech Republic (Prague) w/c 29 June
Denmark (Copenhagen) w/c 29 June
France (Paris) 22 June
Germany (Berlin) 1 June
Germany (Dusseldorf) 1 June
Germany (Munich) 1 June
Greece (Athens) w/c 29 June
Hungary (Budapest) w/c 29 June
Iceland (Reykjavik) w/c 29 June
Ireland (Dublin) w/c 29 June
Italy (Rome) w/c 29 June
Kosovo (Pristina) w/c 29 June
Macedonia (Skopje) w/c 29 June
Montenegro (Podgorica) w/c 29 June
Netherlands (Amsterdam) w/c 29 June
Norway (Oslo) w/c 29 June
Poland (Warsaw) w/c 29 June
Portugal (Lisbon) 22 June
Romania (Bucharest) w/c 29 June
Spain (Barcelona) 22 June
Spain (Madrid) 22 June
Sweden (Stockholm) w/c 29 June
Switzerland (Geneva) 22 June
Ukraine (Kiev) 1 June

USAUSCIS ASCs Date opened / Anticipated opening date

Alabama (Birmingham) 27 July
Alaska
Anchorage 27 July
Phoenix 20 July
Tucson 27 July
Yuma 27 July
Arkansas (Fort Smith) 27 July
California
Bakersfield 27 July
Bellflower 27 July
Buena Park 27 July
El Monte 20 July
Fresno 27 July
Gardena 27 July
Imperial 27 July
La Brea 27 July
Los Angeles 20 July
Modesto 27 July
Oakland 13 July
Oxnard 27 July
Pomona 27 July
Riverside 20 July
Sacramento 20 July
Salinas 27 July
Santa Rosa 27 July
San Diego 27 July
San Fernando 20 July
San Francisco 20 July
San Jose 13 July
San Marcos 27 July
Tustin 20 July
Colorado
Denver 20 July
Grand Junction 27 July
Connecticut (Hartford) 27 July
Delaware (Dover) 27 July
Florida
Central Miami (formerly Hialeah) 20 July
Ft. Lauderdale 20 July
Fort Myers 27 July
Jacksonville 20 July
Kendall 20 July
Miami 13 July
Orlando 13 July
Tampa 20 July
West Palm Beach 20 July
Georgia (Atlanta) 13 July
Guam (Guam) 27 July
Hawaii (Honolulu) 27 July
Idaho
Boise 27 July
Idaho Falls 27 July
Illinois
Chicago – South 27 July
Naperville 20 July
Norridge 20 July
Waukegan 27 July
Indiana (Indianapolis) 20 July
Iowa (Des Moines) 27 July
Kansas (Wichita) 27 July
Kentucky (Louisville) 27 July
Louisiana (New Orleans) 20 July
Maine (Portland) 27 July
Maryland
Baltimore 20 July
Salisbury 27 July
Wheaton 20 July
Massachusetts
Boston 13 July
Lawrence 27 July
Michigan
Detroit 20 July
Grand Rapids 27 July
Michigan City 27 July
Minnesota
Duluth (1 week per month) 11 August
St. Paul 20 July
Mississippi (Jackson) 27 July
Missouri
Kansas City 27 July
St. Louis 27 July
Montana (Helena) 27 July
Nebraska (Omaha) 27 July
Nevada
Las Vegas 20 July
Nevada 27 July
New Hampshire (Manchester) 27 July
New Jersey
Elizabeth 13 July
Hackensack 20 July
New Mexico (Albequerque) 27 July
New York
Albany 27 July
Bronx 20 July
Brooklyn 13 July
Buffalo 27 July
Happauge 20 July
Jamaica/Queens 20 July
Long Island 20 July
Manhattan 20 July
Port Chester 20 July
St. Albans 27 July
Syracuse 27 July
North Dakota (Fargo) 27 July
North Carolina
Charlotte 20 July
Raleigh 20 July
Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) 25 August
Ohio
Cincinnati 27 July
Cleveland 27 July
Columbus 20 July
Oklahoma (Oklahoma City) 27 July
Oregon (Portland) 20 July
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia 13 July
Pittsburgh 27 July
York 27 July
Puerto Rico (San Juan) 27 July
Rhode Island (Providence) 27 July
South Carolina
Charleston 27 July
Greer 27 July
South Dakota
Rapid City 27 July
Sioux Falls 27 July
Tennessee
Memphis 27 July
Nashville 20 July
Texas
Austin 20 July
Dallas North 13 July
Dallas South 27 July
El Paso 27 July
Fort Worth 20 July
Harlingen 27 July
Houston Northwest 20 July
Houston Southeast 20 July
Houston Southwest 13 July
Laredo 27 July
Lubbock 27 July
McAllen 27 July
San Antonio 27 July
U.S. Virgin Islands
St. Croix (1 week per month) 25 August
St. Thomas 27 July
Utah (Salt Lake City) 20 July
Virginia
Alexandria 13 July
Norfolk 27 July
Washington
Seattle 13 July
Spokane 27 July
Yakima 27 July
West Virginia (Charleston) 27 July
Wisconsin (Milwaukee) 27 July
Wyoming (Casper) (1 week per month) 18 August

Africa Date opened / Anticipated opening date

Angola (Luanda) w/c 29 June
Botswana (Gaborone) w/c 29 June
Cameroon (Yaoundé) 22 June – passport return only
Ethiopia (Addis Ababa) w/c 29 June
Gambia (Banjul) 22 June
Kenya (Mombasa) w/c 29 June
Kenya (Nairobi) w/c 29 June
Madagascar (Antananarivo) w/c 29 June
Malawi (Lilongwe) w/c 29 June
Morocco (Rabat) w/c 29 June
Mozambique (Maputo) w/c 29 June
Namibia (Windhoek) w/c 29 June
Nigeria (Abuja) 22 June – passport return only
Nigeria (Ikeja) 22 June – passport return only
Nigeria (Victoria Island) 22 June – passport return only
Rwanda (Kigali) w/c 29 June
South Africa (Cape Town) 22 June – passport return only
South Africa (Durban) 22 June – passport return only
South Africa (Johannesburg) 22 June – passport return only
South Africa (Port Elizabeth) 22 June – passport return only
Tanzania (Dar es Salaam) w/c 29 June
Tunisia (Tunis) 22 June
Uganda (Kampala) w/c 29 June
Zambia (Lusaka) w/c 29 June
Zimbabwe (Harare) w/c 29 June

Other countries Date opened / Anticipated opening date

Armenia (Yerevan) w/c 29 June
Australia (Brisbane) 1 June
Australia (Canberra) 1 June
Australia (Melbourne) 1 June
Australia (Perth) 1 June
Australia (Sydney) 1 June
Azerbaijan (Baku) 22 June
Bahrain (Manama) 28 June
Brunei (Bandar Seri Begawan) 22 June
Cambodia (Phnom Penh) 22 June
China (Beijing) 1 June
China (Changsha) 22 June
China (Chengdu) 22 June
China (Chongqing) 1 June
China (Fuzhou) 22 June
China (Guangzhou) 1 June
China (Jinan) 22 June
China (Kunming) 22 June
China (Hangzhou) 22 June
China (Nanjing) 22 June
China (Shanghai) 1 June
China (Shenyang) 22 June
China (Shenzhen) 22 June
China (Wuhan) 22 June
China (Xi’an) 22 June
China SAR (Hong Kong) 1 June
Egypt (Alexandra) 22 June
Egypt (Cairo) 22 June
Fiji (Suva) 1 June
Indonesia (Jakarta) 6 July
Georgia (Tbilisi) w/c 29 June
Israel (Tel Aviv) w/c 29 June
Japan (Osaka) 22 June
Japan (Tokyo) 22 June
Jordan (Amman) 22 June
Kazakhstan (Almaty) w/c 29 June
Kazakhstan (Nur Sultan) w/c 29 June
Kuwait (Kuwait City) 28 June
Lebanon (Beirut) w/c 29 June
Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) 1 June
New Zealand (Auckland) 22 June
Occupied Palestinian Territory (Jerusalem) w/c 29 June
Russia (Ekaterinburg) w/c 29 June
Russia (Moscow) w/c 29 June
Russia (Novosibirsk) w/c 29 June
Russia (Rostov) w/c 29 June
Russia (St Petersburg) w/c 29 June
Saudi Arabia (Al Khobar) 28 June
Saudi Arabia (Jeddah) 28 June
Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) 28 June
Serbia (Belgrade) 22 June
Singapore 29 June
South Korea (Seoul) 22 June
Thailand (Bangkok) 1 June
Thailand (Chiang Mai) 22 June
Taiwan (Taipei) 1 June
Turkey (Adana) 22 June
Turkey (Ankara) 22 June
Turkey (Antalya) w/c 29 June
Turkey (Bursa) 22 June
Turkey (Gaziantep) 22 June
Turkey (Istanbul) 22 June
Turkey (Izmir) 22 June
United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi) 28 June
United Arab Emirates (Dubai) 28 June
Vietnam (Danang) 22 June
Vietnam (Hanoi) 22 June
Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) 22 June

South Asia
India (Ahmedabad) 6 July
India (Bengaluru – Global Tech Park) 6 July
India (Chandigarh) 6 July
India (Jalandhar) 6 July
India (Kochi) 6 July
India (Hyderabad) 6 July
India (Kolkata) 6 July
India (Mumbai – Mahalaxmi) 6 July
India (New Delhi – Shivaji Metro Stadium) 6 July
India (Pune) 6 July
Sri Lanka (Colombo) 6 July

The ‘fine print’

At this time, application centres both in and outside of the UK will not be offering priority or super priority services to process applications. VIP mobile appointments (where the biometrics team come to an applicant’s location) have also not yet resumed.

Application centres in the UK:

  • In the first instance, UK application centres are giving appointments only to those applicants who had appointments booked before the centres closed, and subsequently had their appointments automatically postponed. UK Visa & Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) will be emailing these applicants explaining the required next steps to rebook their appointments. The Home Office is still attempting to process and clear this backlog of applications that were put on hold when the pandemic first occurred. It is therefore important to note that those individuals submitting applications now are likely to face delays in obtaining an appointment.
  • Further information on UK visa application centres can be found on the GOV.UK website and the UKVCAS website. If an applicant’s nearest centre is closed, they may be offered an appointment at an alternative one. If an applicant does not want to travel to a different application centre, they can ask to wait for an appointment to become available at their local centre. This should not negatively impact their immigration status, however this may result in a significant delay in obtaining an appointment.

Application centres outside the UK:

  • Some application centres are only rebooking appointments for existing applicants, while others are booking appointments for new visa applications. We advise checking the latest information for the country where you are submitting your application; on the TLS contact website (for Europe, Africa, and parts of the Middle East) and the VFS Global website (for all other countries).

The Home Office are making changes on a daily basis. It is therefore important to ensure that decisions made are based on up-to-date guidance. Please do not hesitate to contact the Withers UK Immigration Team with any queries or concerns you may have.

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