Frequently Asked Questions
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 is a Visa Application Centre (User Pay)?
A Visa Application Centre (User Pay) is a visa application centre which opens on a part time basis. For an additional VAC (User Pay) service fee, you will be able to enrol your biometric information and submit your application in a more convenient location.
In Canada, the User Pay Visa Application Centres are: Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Halifax, and St. John’s.
If I am applying in Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Halifax, or St. John's, how do I pay my additional service fee of GBP 55?
Applicants who elect to apply in Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Halifax, and St. John's are subject to an additional fee of GBP55, which is payable in local currency. Prior to October 01, 2014, applicants had to pay this fee on the VFS website in addition to paying their visa fees on the AccessUK website. However, if you booked your appointment on October 01, 2014 or later, your fee will now be paid on the AccessUK website at the time of paying for your visa fees. This additional fee will appear as a separate line item on your payment page as a “User Pay Fee". This simpler process means you will only need to make one payment prior to visiting our Application Centre.
You do not have to pay this fee to submit an application at the centre (VAC), if you are exempt from the visa application fee. However, the courier service and other optional services you may opt for will need to be paid.
Do I have to apply in a Visa Application Centre (user-pay) and pay the extra fee?
No, you are free to travel to the nearest ‘Free-to-use’ Visa Application Centre, which is in Toronto. If you wish to apply at any of the other Visa Application Centres in Canada, you must be the user-pay fee.
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. Here, you will 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 would like to request a refund of my VFS Service Fee. How do I submit this request?
If you are eligible for a refund of your VFS service fee, you must request your refund through our website. To initiate this request, please click here. Here, you will see a drop-down menu entitled Quick Links. Select “Refund” and enter your GWF number and Last name. After submitting these details, your refund request will be submitted.
Please note that applicants who purchased Priority Visa service through the VFS payment gateway will only be eligible for a refund if the visa has not yet been processed. A refund cannot be granted after the visa decision has been completed.
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?
The “how to apply page” of the VFS Global website contains more information about how to make your appointment. You will be provided with the full address and operating times when you receive your appointment confirmation email.
Firstly, complete a UK visa application. All applications must be completed on line on the following website – AccessUK. The appropriate visa fee must also be paid on line at the time of application.
You must also pay a service fee for using the VAC (User Pay).
What will happen when I attend my appointment?
When you attend your appointment, you:
- Should arrive 15 minutes before your appointment ( if you are late you will need to reschedule your appointment ); and
- Provide your biometric data.
- Deposit your passport, application form and supporting documents in a drop box ready for collection by a courier.
The application will then be sent to UK Visas & Immigration.
What supporting documentation do I require?
What should I bring with me?
When you attend your appointment, you should bring
- Your appointment confirmation (this can be an electronic copy on your phone, tablet or a hard copy),
- Visa fee receipt and user pay visa application centre service fee receipt.
- A valid passport or travel document with at least 1 page that is blank on both sides (with at least 6 months validity remaining).
- For applicants who are exempt from giving biometrics: 1 recent passport-sized (45mm x 35mm) colour photograph of your face, which meets the requirements of UKVI’s photograph guidance
- A printout of your online application form, signed and dated.
- If you are applying under the points-based system, a completed self-assessment form, signed and dated.
- Payment receipts for any pre purchased user pays services
- All supporting documents (please ensure documents are removed from any bulky folders such as ring binders as these cannot be accepted as part of your application)
- Supplementary application forms.
How will my passport be returned to me?
Your passport and supporting documents provided will be couriered back to you once a decision has been made on your application by UK visas and immigration. You will be required to provide a complete address for a return courier delivery. The courier return is included in the VAC (User Pay) service fee.
What should I do if I cannot attend the Visa Application Centre (User Pay) on the appointed date?
If you need to cancel your appointment and apply for a full refund, you are required to provide 48 hours’ notice. Please refer to Terms and Conditions and refund policy. Refunds are at the sole discretion of VFS Global and will be in line with the refund policy outlined in the VAC (User Pay) Terms and Conditions. Refunds will not be given if the cancellation is made less than 48 hours before the appointment.
What will happen if the Visa Application Centre (User Pay) is cancelled on the stipulated date?
If VFS Global cancels your appointment due to unforeseen circumstances, it will aim to give advance notice of one week and an alternative appointment will be offered. The next available appointment may be during the next scheduled VAC (User Pay). If no alternative slot is available, VFS Global will provide a full refund. The notice period does not include public holidays and weekends.
If the Visa Application Centre (User Pay) is cancelled through no fault of VFS Global or the applicant, VFS Global will aim to offer an alternative appointment during the next scheduled date. If the alternative appointment is unacceptable or you wish to apply for a refund, please follow the instructions outlined in the terms and conditions.
How much does it cost to use the Visa Application Centre (User Pay)?
You pay a fee of £55 to use the VAC (User Pay) in addition to the visa fee.
I would like to request a refund. How do I submit this request?
Who can attend the Visa Application Centre (User Pay)?
For security reasons only applicants with an appointment will be permitted in to the VAC (User Pay). In special circumstances, should an applicant require assistance, exceptions may be made on compassionate grounds. Minors under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the enrolment process. While this cannot be a member of the VFS Global staff.
How long will my application take?
This depends on the category of visa application, but UK visas and immigration aims to return 90% of visit visa applications within 15 days. Full details of the processing times can be found on the UK Government website for visas and immigration.
How do I know if I need a visa to travel to the United Kingdom?
Please visit the following website to get information if you need to apply for a UK visa: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa
Is it necessary to come personally to present my visa application?
Yes, every applicant must attend to the visa application appointment (Including children, irrespective of their age).
Do I need to submit my previous passports?
All documents that verify your travel records should be included in your visa application.
Who may I contact if I have any questions regarding my visa application?
All UK visa customers are able to use the paid international enquiry service to find information about their visa application process. The service is provided by Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS).
The cost of this service is of: £1.37UK Sterling per minute. For further information please visit: https://ukvi-international.faq-help.com/
If my visa application takes longer than the advertised standard processing times, who can I contact to know about my visa application status?
UKVI cannot inform you regarding your visa application status.
Please verify your e-mail regularly if you have received any requests to provide additional documents from the UKVI. Also, please check your junk e-mail folder.
Please note that the estimated processing times for non-settlement visa application is 15 working days. In some cases the assessment may take longer depending on the complexity of your visa application.
Can I enter the VAC/Embassy accompanied?
You can do so in the following cases:
- In case the applicant needs assistance due to physical, mental or psychological disabilities.
- In case the applicant needs an interpreter.
- In case the applicant is underage he/she MUST be accompanied by parents or legal guardian.
My visa application was refused, how long do I have to wait to apply again?
There is no time limit between a refusal and a new application. However we strongly recommend that you carefully read the refusal notice before re-applying for a visa.
Can I appeal a refusal decision?
Only the applicants who applied for a Settlement visa are allowed to appeal their refusal decision. All appeals are received by the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal in the UK. For further information please visit the following website: www.gov.uk/immigration-asylum-tribunal.
If you are not entitled for an appeal, please verify if you are allowed to request an administrative review which is available for Point Based System (PBS) applicants only.
How long before my trip can I apply for a UK visa?
UKVI can receive applications within three months of your travel date.
Useful answers to common questions raised in regard to making an overseas citizenship application – appointment
Applicants who do not present a valid booking confirmation and visa application centre (User Pay) service payment receipt will not be permitted to enter the premises or make an application.