All of the Sopra Steria UK Visa and Citizenship Application Centres closed in late March. As restrictions lifted Sopra Steria announced a phased re-opening of some of its centres from 1 June 2020.
However, with so few appointment dates being released there is a considerable backlog of applicants still unable to book an appointment. To help manage this backlog, the Home Office has implemented a new temporary process whereby biometric information (fingerprints) previously submitted for an earlier application will be reused for some in-country applicants. This means that some applicants will not have to attend an application centre to enrol their biometrics for their applications to be processed.
The Home Office states that where they will reuse biometric information previously submitted, they will email the applicant with instructions on how to send a facial image and the supporting documents to complete the application process.
This is a welcome development and the hope is that it may speed up processing times for applicants. At the time of writing however, we understand that applicants are still waiting to be contacted by the Home Office for their facial images. Hopefully, this is a teething issue and the reuse of biometrics will help streamline immigration applications going forward.