Frequently Asked Questions
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 should I do if I am unable to book an appointment?
If you have been unable to find information which can help you, click here
Visa application centre
What does VFS Global do?
VFS Global manages visa application centres for UK Visas and Immigration, where you should submit your completed visa application form, passport, supporting documents and biometric data.
Who decides if I will get a visa?
Your visa application will be processed and decided by UK Visas and Immigration staff. VFS Global does not, play any part in or influence the outcome of your visa application.
How do I pay my Visa fees?
During the process of filling your online application in the UK government website for visas and immigration you will be prompted to pay the fees directly to UK Visas and Immigration via World pay. No visa fees will be accepted in the VFS Global Visa application centres, Visa applicants from Bangladesh and Nepal can pay cash for their application fees at the Visa Application Centre in Dhaka, Sylhet and Kathmandu.
When am I eligible for a refund of my visa fees?
Effective 1 October 2014 the Visa fees are not refundable after biometrics have been taken. Fees will also not be refunded after capture of a live image at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) for children under the age of 5. The visa fee will be refundable only if the application is withdrawn in writing prior to the biometric submission, or if the applicant refuses to provide biometrics. User Pay Visa Application Centre fees will be refundable only if the appointment is cancelled 5 days before the scheduled appointment date.
I would like to request a refund. How do I submit this request?
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, which includes a photograph and a digital scan of your fingerprints. 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.
Should children come to the VFS Global Visa application Centre for applying for a visa?
Every applicant who is submitting a visa application must attend the visa application centre in person. Children less than 5 years need to attend, but are not require to provide their biometric data. Children less than 18 years need to be accompanied by an adult and this cannot be a member of VFS Global staff.
When can I make my application?
Applicant can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK. We strongly advise you not to confirm your travel arrangements until you have received your visa.
What documents do I submit for a visa application?
When you attend your appointment, you should bring
- Your appointment confirmation (this can be an electronic copy on your phone, 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.
- 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 Premium services
- Any supporting documents relevant to your application (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.
- If you are applying for a settlement visa, a completed self-assessment form, signed and dated;
Do I need to attend an interview?
If you are a student applying under the points based system (Tier 4) General, you may be required to attend a short interview at the visa application centre. When selecting your appointment during the online application process you should select a PBS Tier 4 appointment.
For non-student applications, UK Visas and Immigration staff may conduct interviews if this is required during the processing of your application. You might need to attend an interview when you submit your application at the visa application centre.
How long will it take to process my application by UK Visa and Immigration?
This depends on the category of visa application, but UK Visas and Immigration aims to return 90% of non-settlement visa applications within 15 working 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. Therefore you are requested to wait until a decision on the application is taken since VFS Global does not have any control over the processing times. The processing time for a settlement application is 95% within 12 weeks.
Is there a way of getting my application processed sooner than the regular?
Super Priority Visa Service
The Super Priority Visa service is an optional service and costs INR 82,406 in addition to the standard visa fee. Our target is to process super priority visa applications on the same day that they are received. To use this service, you must book an appointment on-line via the AccessUK website, and attend our New Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai visa application centres, between 08:00 – 09:30, Monday to Friday. You will be required to provide biometric information as part of the application process.
Eligibility: This service is available to the following applicants -
- All visitor visa applicants (excluding overseas domestic workers).
- Tier 2 General and Intra Company Transfer applications – as well as Tier 2 dependants applying at the same time as the main applicant or any time after providing the main applicant already has a valid visa;
- Tier 5 Sportspeople and Entertainers – as well as Tier 5 dependants applying at the same time as the main applicant or any time after providing the main applicant already has a valid visa.
Priority visa service
You can pay for a Priority Visa service for your visit, work or study application (‘non settlement’). This will put your application at the front of the queue at every stage of the decision-making process. The cost of this service is in addition to your visa application fee and is non-refundable if the visa application is refused, or in exceptional cases, if it takes longer to process. Using the Priority Visa service does not guarantee that your application will be successful. All visa applicants must meet the requirements of the UK Immigration Rules.
How long does a Priority Visa application take?
UKVI aims to make a decision on your Priority Visa application, and contact you to let you know that your passport is ready to be collected within 5 working days from when you submit your biometric information.
However, every application is unique, and if your application is not straightforward, it may not be possible to meet this timescale. If this is the case, your application will still be put at the front of the queue at every stage of the decision-making process, and UKVI will aim to process your application within global customer service standards. Your application may not be straightforward if you have:
- been refused a visa for the UK, and/or;
- been refused leave to enter the UK, and/or;
- been deported, removed, or otherwise required to leave the UK, and/or;
- overstayed a period of leave in the UK, and/or;
- had leave to remain in the UK curtailed by the Home Office, and/or;
- been refused leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office, and/or;
- been refused a visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States of America, or the Schengen countries, and/or;
- you have been interviewed, detained, or prosecuted by the police for any offence in the UK or elsewhere, and/or;
- you have an unspent criminal conviction in any country, and/or;
- you have committed a criminal offence in any country.
If you fall into one of these categories, you may not want to use the Priority Visa service, as UKVI may be unable to process your application within the 5-day timescale.
Who can use this service?
- All customers may apply for the Priority Visa service apart from applicants who are applying for visas to visit other Commonwealth countries, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies (the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man).
What does it cost?
The priority visa service is optional and costs GBP 184 (INR 16,499 as per the local currency equivalent to latest consular rate of exchange) in addition to the standard visa fee.
How do I check the status of my application?
Please note that the status of your application shall be informed to you via SMS (if the same has been opted for during application submission) or via email on the ID that was provided during submission of application.
How do I collect my documents and passport back?
When you attend the VFS Global visa application centre, while submitting the application you can either ask the staff at the counter to courier (optional) the documents and passport back or collect the documents and passports in person from the VFS Global application centre where you submitted your visa application.
What is Administrative Review?
If you're outside the UK you’ll be told in your application refusal letter if you can ask for the decision on your visa application to be reviewed. This is known as an ‘administrative review’.
You can only ask for an administrative review if all of the following apply:
- you’re outside the UK
- you applied outside the UK
- your application was refused on or after 6 April 2015
- you don’t have a right of appeal against the refusal
- you didn’t make an application as a visitor or a short term student
All Administrative Review requests now need to be sent electronically to Administrative.email@example.com. We will no longer accept hard copy request notices sent to post.
In order to lodge an Administrative Review you need to complete a request notice which can be found at: Click here and send it to the email address above within 28 days of receipt of this letter. A request for a review must be made on the Administrative Review Request Notice. Further guidance can be downloaded on our website at: Click here
What are the security procedures that I have to undergo in the VFS Global Visa application Centre?
Please note that access to the visa application centre is restricted to visa applicants only. The only exceptions to this policy are:
- Children less than 18 years of age need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. This cannot be a member of the visa application centre staff.
- Elderly, medically infirm or disabled applicants who require assistance in order to submit their applications. Applicants who fall into these categories should advise the security staff on arrival at the VAC.
Mobile phones are permitted in the visa application centre, but they must be switched to silent or vibrate mode. They should be switched on before entering the VAC. Devices that cannot be switched on cannot be taken into the visa application centre.
Under no circumstances is photography, filming or audio recording permitted. Mobile phones have to be put away when you are dealing with our staff.
Only one airline cabin size bag 45 cm x 30 cm x 20 cm (18” x 12” x 8”) per applicant is permitted in the VAC . Larger bags cannot be taken into the visa application centre and must be stored elsewhere.
For security reasons the following items will not be permitted inside the visa application centre.
- All battery operated or electronic items such cameras, tablets, audio/video cassettes, compact discs, MP3s, floppies, laptops, or portable music players ,hard disk drive (HDDs), pen/thumb drives, spy devices, audio recorders, or other devices which can hinder the centre’s functioning
- Sealed envelopes or packages.
- Any inflammable item such as matchboxes/ lighters/ electric cigarettes /fuel.
- Any sharp objects such as scissors, pen knives or nail filers.
- Weapons, weapon - like objects or explosive material of any kind.
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 these belongings before they enter the visa application centre.
If I am applying in Goa user pay visa application centre, how do I pay my additional fee of GBP 55 ?
The UK has expanded the visa service offered in Goa and the UK Visa Application Centre ( VAC) will now open on the second Wednesday of each month. Customers will be able to apply for their visa on all routes. The VAC is located at Gera Imperium – 1,Office No 301,3rd Floor,Patto,Panjim,Goa Customers will need to pay GBP 55 (Rs.4950 ) on top of the cost of the visa to use this more convenient application centre, which is inclusive of courier services to return documents. The VAC will be open from 09:00 until 17:30 on the second Wednesday of each month.
Isn’t this another example of UKVI putting money before customer service?
- No. User Pays VACs allow us to offer application points in locations where it might not otherwise be cost effective to operate a service. They also prevent customers from having to travel a long way – or even to another country – to apply for a UK visa.
- This will benefit all our customers worldwide.
Will other VACs in other locations become User Pays centres?
UKVI regularly reviews the reach of all its global application centres.
Do I need to have a TB test to apply for a visa?
You will need to have a tuberculosis (TB) test if you’re coming to live, work or study in the UK for more than 6 months and are resident in any of these listed countries. Applicants living in India will need to get a test certificate, from an approved hospital, if applying for a visa on the applicable routes. Visit visa applicants do not need to get a TB test. More information, including the locations of the test centres is available at Tuberculosis Testing In India.
It’s important to read this critical information before your travel to the UK.
What should I do if there is a need for emergency visa?
- Before contacting UKVI check if you qualify for any of the Premium services such as super priority or priority visas that have quick turnaround times and apply as per guidance. If you do not meet the conditions, please apply for the standard visa category and pay the relevant fees.
- You may then email/ contact the International Enquiry service with the application details (case reference GWF number, complete name or passport number). Should your case qualify as an emergency, the team will get in touch with you. All other cases will be dealt with as normal.
- Please note this service is available only in case of a serious medical emergency or an unfortunate event in the family that requires immediate emergency travel. This service is not available for business emergencies.
Note: All applications will still need to meet the immigration rules in order to be granted a visa.
Where can I find information on Biometric Residence Permit?
Applicants will receive a letter which provides detailed information about how to collect their BRP on arrival. Further information for overseas visa applicants is at click here and full guidance is at click here.
If you have lost a valid BRP please follow the advice at this link.
UKVI changes minimum age with immediate effect.
Now, children less than 18 years of age who arrive at the visa application centre to apply for a visa need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. This cannot be a member of the VFS Global staff.