21 August 2020 #Immigration
The UK Visas & Immigration service continues to face a backlog owing to the COVID-19 lockdown. Since the reopening of centres in June certain customers have been advised of their eligibility under the ‘biometric reuse’ policy. The UKVCAS IDV app allows these customers to provide their facial image to complete the application process.
The UK immigration system requires most applicants to provide their biometrics (fingerprints and facial image) as part of the application process. This process is normally conducted through an appointment with Sopra Steria at their UKVCAS (UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services) centres.
The UKVCAS centres were also closed as a part of the COVID-19 lockdown in March this year. The centres began a phased reopening, offering appointments first to customers whose appointments had been cancelled.
As a part of the second phase, the UK Home Office and Sopra Steria have introduced a biometric re-use policy. The biometric re-use policy allows certain customers to have their fingerprints reused from a previous application. However, these customers must still provide their facial image, which will now be done through the UKVCAS IDV app.
According to the Home Office, all customers who applied prior to 31 July 2020 should now have either received either of the following:
The UKVCAS IDV App
The UKVCAS IDV app is now available on the Apple iOS and Google Play stores. Eligible applicants will receive an email inviting them to download and use the app.
The app must be used by the eligible applicant as they would be required to take the following steps:
The applicants must also ensure that prior to using this app the relevant supporting documents for their immigration application have been uploaded on to the UKVCAS website. Once the application is submitted through the app, the application consideration process will begin.
Opting out of the UKVCAS IDV App
If an applicant does not want or is unable to use the app, they can contact the UKVCAS team to opt-out of this service. They will then be asked to book an appointment with an appropriate UKVCAS centre.