Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Legal Updates

Covid-19 and UK visa application centres

13 May 2021 #Immigration

With the Covid-19 vaccine being rolled out on a global scale, on the whole, immigration to the UK appears to have resumed, with exceptions. Within the UK, visa application centres (UKVCAS Service Points) are classed as an ‘essential service’ and therefore remain open despite any Covid-19 measures in place.

UK visa application centres (VACs) overseas are open and taking biometric appointment bookings, however this is very much dependent on local Covid-19 restrictions. Please find below a list of the current status of UK VACs both within and outside the UK.

UKVCAS Service Points

New appointments at UKVCAS Service Points are released each day, with appointments available up to 4 weeks in advance. Free appointments are released into the booking system at 9 am every day, which go very quickly.

UKVCAS Core Service Points (CSP) offer a range of free and chargeable appointments, in addition to out of hours appointments.

UKVCAS Enhanced Service Points (ESP) offer chargeable appointments.

UKVCAS Premium Lounges offer chargeable appointments with extended hours. Document scanning is normally included within the cost of an appointment.

When are the UKVCAS Service Points open?

• Aberdeen (ESP): Open M-F
• Bath: Open 7 days
• Belfast (CSP): Open M-Sat
• Birmingham (CSP): Open 7 days
• Birmingham – HMP: Open M-F
• Birmingham (Premium Lounge): Open M-F
• Bristol – Kingswood: Open M-F
• Cambridge: Open M-F
• Cardiff: Open M-F
• Cardiff Bay (CSP): Open M-Sat
• Chelmsford: Open M-F
• Edinburgh: Open M-Sat
• Exeter: Open M-F
• Glasgow (CSP): Open 7 days
• Gloucester: Open M-Sat
• Guildford: Open M-F
• Hemel Hempstead: Open M-Sat
• Hull : Open M-F
• Leeds: Open 7 days
• Liverpool: Open M-F
• London – Croydon (CSP): Open 7 days
• London – Edmonton Green: Open M-F
• London – Enfield: Open M-F
• London – HMPO : Open M-F
• London – Lansdowne Road (Temp CSP): Open 7 days
• London – Mark Lane (ESP): Open 7 days
• London – Mark Lane Premium Lounge: Open M-F
• London – Stratford: Open M-F
• London – Victoria: Open M-Sat
• Luton: Open 7 days
• Maidstone: Open M-F
• Manchester: Open M-TH
• Manchester Premium Lounge: Open M-F
• Manchester (CSP): Open 7 days
• Newcastle: Open M-Sat
• Norwich: Open 7 days
• Nottingham: Open M-F
• Peterborough Open M-F
• Reading: Open, closed Wed + Sun
• Sheffield: Open 7 days
• Southampton: Open M-F
• Sunderland: Open M-F
• Swindon: Open M-Sat
• Wolverhampton: Open M-F

UK VACs overseas

Please note, VAC opening times are subject to change, so always check availability when booking an appointment for the latest list of locations and opening hours.

To check when a UK VAC is open in your country of residence, please visit the TLScontact website for Europe, Africa, and parts of the Middle East, and the VFS Global website for all other countries.

UK visa applicants in the USA may attend their biometric appointments at a VFS Global Premium Application Centre (‘PAC’) or at a USCIS Application Support Centres (‘ASC’). There are 130 ASCs in the USA, and notifications of any closings, find out more. 

Countries by Region

The UK has implemented a colour-coded system to categorise and determine which countries are safe to accept travellers from.

Red list countries: you are only allowed to enter the UK if you are British/Irish, or you have residence rights in the UK. In all cases, quarantine is required in a government-managed hotel upon arrival.

Amber list countries: you may enter the UK if not British/Irish or do not have residence rights in the UK. In all cases, 10 day quarantine at own accommodation is required.

Green list countries (will be published and in force from 17 May 2021): quarantine not required if only been in a green list country in the 10 days prior to entering the UK. No need to quarantine if have a negative Covid-19 test on second day of arrival.

The Red/Amber/Green list status of a country should not have a bearing on the opening status of their UK VACs, as UK visa applications are being processed from all countries despite there being entry restrictions to the UK.

Find out more on the UK government website.

UK Visas & Immigration are making changes on a daily basis in reaction to the unpredictable nature of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is therefore important to ensure that immigration decisions are based on up-to-date guidance. Please do not hesitate to contact the Clarkslegal immigration lawyers with any queries or concerns you may have.

Clarkslegal, specialist Immigration lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Immigration matter please contact Clarkslegal's immigration team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Rebecca Hone

Rebecca Hone

T: 020 7539 8019
M: 0792 014 4780


Immigration team
+44 (0)20 7539 8000