We are pleased to share with you some helpful news from UKVI as regards making life easier via the Online Application Service, which, as of this Autumn is about to be extended to Tier 2 application (main and dependant applicants) applying via the standard 8-week route. Full information below:
|What is the UKVI Online Application Service?The new UKVI Online Application Service is improving the process for customers in the UK and abroad who are applying to enter or remain in the UK. The new service is accessed via GOV.UK and offers a more intuitive online application form, and payment process.|
The new Service is being delivered in parallel to both in-country and out-of-country customers.
- In February 2014, the Service was launched as an alternative to the paper form for Tier 2 Priority Service customers applying for an extension of their Leave to Remain (for main applicants). It was extended to dependant joiners applying separately in May.
- Since October Priority Service customers have been able to use the new Service to switch to Tier 2 or to switch Tier 2 employers.
- Since June 2014, customers in China have been able to use the Service as an alternative to the Visa4UK website to apply for a general, business or child Visit visa.
To date, over 24,000 applications have been submitted through the new UKVI Online Application Service and customer feedback has been extremely positive.
|Who will be next to use the new Online Application Service?From Autumn 2014, the new Service will be extended to Tier 2 customers (main applicants and family groups) applying via the Standard 8-week Route. Customers and their legal representatives will be able to apply for, or switch to, Tier 2 Leave to Remain online via the GOV.UK website rather than using a paper form.|
The new Service will be available to the following Tier 2 customers:
- Single applicants, dependant joiners and family groups
- Priority Service customers (most applicants receive a decision within 10 working days)
- Standard route customers (most applicants receive a decision within 8 weeks)
- Customers in the Premium Sponsor scheme.
The Service will be released in phases:
- Monday 6th October: Priority Service customers already able to use the new Service (i.e. in country main applicants and dependant joiners applying separately) can now use the new service to switch to Tier 2 or to switch Tier 2 employers
- December: Tier 2 customers applying as a family group will be able to use the Service
- Customers in the Premium Sponsor scheme will be able to use the Service
- Tier 2 Standard (8-week) Route customers will also be able to use the Service
- It should be noted that the new UKVI Online Application Service will be offered in parallel with existing application routes (e.g. the paper application form). Customers will be encouraged to use the new Online Service where possible.
The UKVI Online Application Service will continue to be rolled-out to all customers in- and out-of-country.
In the near future (timescales to be confirmed), the new Service will become available to Tier 5 dependant joiners applying separately. It will also become available to Premium Service customers. With Premium Service, most applicants receive a decision on the same day.
|What does it mean for Customers, Legal Representatives and Sponsors?The in country Tier 2 application process will be simpler and more user-friendly, including:|
- Applying online instead of using a paper form
- Fewer, more intuitive questions logically ordered based on customer feedback
- Payment integrated into the online application process
- A single online application form for family groups
- The ability to save and return to complete the application at a later date
- Date of application is the date submitted online.
The new Service is expected to improve service levels thanks to:
- System validation, meaning customer errors and omissions are less likely
- Electronic (instant) delivery of the application form to UKVI instead of postal delivery
- Shorter, more logically ordered application form.