While the Government has confirmed that a 14-day quarantine period will be imposed on most people arriving in the UK on or after 8 June 2020, visa application centres are starting to gradually reopen overseas. This is on a country by country basis, depending on what stage countries are in their national lockdowns due to COVID-19. UK immigration centres have also started to re-open from 1 June 2020. However, delays are expected and not all services will be available immediately.
Entry clearance applications submitted from outside the UK
Some services are resuming at overseas Visa Application Centres where local conditions allow. As services are restarting on a piecemeal basis, individuals wishing to apply for a UK visa will need to check the relevant Home Office partner website of the country from which they wish to apply for the latest update on the services currently available.
Applications for leave to remain, settlement and British citizenship submitted within the UK
All of the Sopra Steria UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres closed in late March. Sopra Steria announced a phased re-opening of some of its centres from 1 June 2020. However, initially centres will only be open to individuals who had existing appointments that were cancelled because of the lockdown. Those individuals who had appointments that were cancelled should receive an email explaining how they can now re-book an appointment. Currently no new appointments can be booked.
The following centres are re-opening from 1 June:
- Birmingham Premium Lounge
- London Mark Lane Premium Lounge
- London Victoria
- Manchester Fountain Street Enhanced Service Point
- Manchester Premium Lounge
English language tests
Some English language testing centres are also resuming services, including for IELTS tests. A detailed list of locations where tests are suspended or are now running has been published on the IELTS website and can be viewed here.
In some countries TB tests are also resuming. Again individuals will need to specifically check whether the test clinics in the country they are applying from have now re-opened.