Useful answers to common questions raised in regard to making an overseas citizenship application – appointment
Am I eligible for a refund after I have taken an overseas citizenship application appointment?
No, once the applicant takes appointment, then you will not be able to initiate refund from the online application. You need to cancel the appointment in order to get the refund initiated from online OR have the refund request initiated from the VAC.
How do I change the VAC location for submitting my biometrics for overseas citizenship application?
Login with the registered credentials, click on ‘Manage my account’ link. This will allow you to edit your country or residence and preferred visa application Centre location. This option will allow you to create a new application with the same login credentials but for a different location.
Only the new applications created after making the change will be created with new VAC location and Country. The existing applications will not get affected.
How do I reschedule or cancel my appointment for overseas citizenship application?
Login with the registered credentials, click on ‘My Application’ link. Select Re-schedule Appointment option from the Quick Link menu.
You can reschedule or cancel your appointment any time prior to 24hours of your booked appointment time.
What does VFS Global do?
VFS Global manages 5 visa application centres in Australia for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Sydney and Melbourne are free to use, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth are user pay. After making an online application, you should book an appointment to attend one of our visa application centres to enrol your biometric data and submit your completed visa application form, passport and supporting documents. Once you have completed this process VFS Global will forward your application to UKVI for processing.
Customers applying in Adelaide can use the biometric enrolment centre there which is operated on behalf of UKVI by Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection. For more information on the Adelaide service visits the UKVI website.
If I am applying in Brisbane, Canberra or Perth, how do I pay my additional fee?
Applicants who elect to apply here are subject to an additional user pay fee of £55, which is payable in local currency. Prior to 1 October 2014, applicants had to pay this fee on the VFS UK website as a separate transaction from their visa application fee on the AccessUK website. However, if you booked your appointment on 1 October 2014 or later, your user pay fee will now be paid on the AccessUK website at the time of paying for your visa application. This additional fee will appear as a separate line item on your payment page as the User Pay Fee. This simpler process means you will only need to make one payment prior to visiting the Visa Application Centre. If you elect to purchase additional services, such as Priority Visa or Premium Lounge, you need to visit our website to make these additional purchases by clicking here
What is a user pay visa application centres?
A user pay visa application centre is one where you have to pay an additional fee to use the centre. The fee is to cover the cost of having a centre in a particular location which we would otherwise not be able to provide due to cost.
Do I have to attend a visa application centre in the town where I live and pay the extra fee?
You are free to use any visa application centre in Australia regardless of where you live. If you choose to use one that is user pay you must pay the additional fee. You do not have to pay a fee if you choose to use one that is free to user.
During the payment process, I received the error message, “GWF number already exists in the system.” How do I complete my payment?
If you have received this message, your payment did not go through. To try your payment again, please click here. You will next see a drop-down menu entitled Quick Links. Select “Track Previous Order” and enter your GWF number and email address. After submitting these details, you will be able to attempt your payment again.
I never received an email with my receipt of payment OR I forgot to print my receipt.
To generate a copy of your receipt, please click here. Here, you will see a drop-down menu entitled Quick Links. Select “Reprint Receipt” and enter your GWF number and Last name. After submitting these details, your receipt will appear on the screen to be printed or emailed.
How do I apply?
Step 1: Go to AccessUK to complete and submit your visa application form, pay your visa fee and book an appointment to attend the visa application centre.
Step 2: Prepare your application package including a printed and signed copy of your application form and any supporting documents you require along with your passport.
Step 3: Visit the visa application centre at your scheduled appointment time to submit your application and biometric data (fingerprints and digital photo).
You will receive an appointment confirmation email when you book your appointment including details of the visa application centre.
Who decides if I will get a visa?
Your visa application will be processed and decided by UK Visas and Immigration staff at the British Embassy in Manila, The Philippines. VFS Global does not play any part in the decision making process, nor can we influence the outcome of your visa application.
Does my passport have to be valid for the length of my visa or for more than six months?
If you are entering the UK as a visitor, UK visas and Immigration recommends that your passport is valid for longer than your intended visit. This is not necessary if you are travelling on a long stay visa valid for more than six months. However, applicants should be aware that some airlines may not allow you to board the plane, and some countries will not allow you to enter if you have a passport valid for less than six months.
How do I pay my Visa fees?
Once you have completed your online application form, you will be prompted to pay the fees directly to UK Visas and Immigration via World pay. If you do not pay the fee within two hours of making your online application your appointment will be cancelled and you will have to reschedule. You will not be able to print your application form until you have paid the visa fee online. VFS Global visa application centres cannot accept payment for visa fees; however, we are able to take payment for additional services such as the priority service at all our centres with the exception of Adelaide and Hobart.
I would like to request a refund. How do I submit this request?
Should children come to the VFS Global Visa application Centre to apply for a visa?
Every applicant who is submitting a visa application must attend the visa application centre in person. Children less than 18 years need to be accompanied by an adult and this cannot be a member of VFS staff.
Do I enrol biometrics in a VFS Global Visa application Centre?
When you attend the visa application centre, you will need to provide your biometric information. We will take a digital scan of your fingerprints and a photograph. If you have temporary injuries on your fingers, please wait until the injuries heal before your appointment date. You should also remove any henna on your fingertips, or allow it to fade, as this may prevent us from getting a clear scan. Please note that children under 5 will only have their photo taken.
What do I do if I have to change my appointment?
You can visit AccessUK and change the appointment date and time. Appointments can only be changed up to 5 days before the day of appointment.
When can I make my application?
You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK. We strongly advise that you do not confirm your travel arrangements until you have received your visa.
What documents should I submit with my visa application?
You will find details of what supporting documents are recommended for each visa category on the UK Visas and Immigration website under the specific category of visa.
What should I bring with me?
When you attend your appointment, you should bring
Do I need to attend an interview?
UK Visas and Immigration will conduct interviews if deemed necessary. Interviews will generally be conducted over the phone and not at the visa application centre.
How long will it take to process my application?
This depends on the category of visa application. UK Visas and Immigration aims to process non-settlement visa applications within 15 working days and settlement visa applications within 60 days. UK Visas and Immigration cannot guarantee the outcome or the length of time an application takes to process; neither can it guarantee the return of passport and documents within a certain timeframe. This is due to the fact that visa applications are assessed individually and individual circumstances can mean processing times may vary and result in longer decision times.
Is there a way of getting my application processed more quickly?
Yes, there is a priority visa service. For an additional fee, UK Visas and Immigration will expedite the processing of your visa application. There are no restrictions on who can use the priority service, however, we do not normally recommend using the priority service if you have previously been refused a visa or you have a criminal conviction as we may not be able to meet the priority service deadline.
There are two priority visa services:
Non – Settlement priority service aims to process your visa within 5 working days. While we aim to meet that processing time, we will not guarantee it. The fee for this service is £150 (local currency equivalent to latest consular rate of exchange) in addition to the standard visa fee. Non-settlement applications include all visit, work and study visas as well as certificates of entitlement to the right of abode and returning resident visas.
If you have opted for our settlement priority visa service, your application will be put at the front of the queue and the decision expedited. The fee for this service is £450 (local currency equivalent) in addition to the standard visa fee. Settlement applications include all applications from partners; children and grandparents who wish to join or accompany a British Citizen or a permanent resident to live in the UK.
Using the priority visa service does not guarantee that your visa application will be successful. All applicants must meet the requirements of the UK’s Immigration Rules. The priority visa service fee will not be refunded if the visa is refused or, in exceptional circumstances, takes longer than the processing times set out above.
What do I do if I wish to withdraw my application?
If you wish to withdraw your visa application, you should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting a withdrawal. It will then take 4 working days to return the documents. Please note that the visa application fee will not be refunded Do not use this email address for any other enquiry as your email will not be answered.
How will my documents and passport be returned?
If you apply in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane you can collect your passport and documents from the visa application centre. If you wish to have it returned by courier, you will have to pay an additional courier fee. You can pay this fee online or when you attend your appointment. If you apply in Canberra or Perth, your application will automatically be returned by courier. If you apply from Adelaide, you will have to provide your own self-addressed return envelope. Please note if you are using the non-settlement priority service your passport and documents will be returned by an express post traceable envelope and this cost is included in the priority service fee.
If I need to ask a question, who do I contact?
If you are unable to find what you need on this website or the UK Visas and Immigration website, you can contact UKVI’s visa enquiry service by phone, email or web chat. You will find contact details at www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-outside-uk
What can I or can’t I take to the Visa Application Centre?
For security reasons the following items will not be permitted inside the visa application centre all battery operated or electronic items such as cameras, audio/video cassettes, compact discs, MP3s, laptops, or portable music players.
Other items may be prohibited based on security staff discretion.
Please note: The visa application centre is unable to store prohibited items. Applicants should make other arrangements to store their belongings before they enter the visa application centre.