9 Jul 2020

Sustainable biometrics – the Home Office will be reusing biometric information for new applications

Since March visa application service points in the UK have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. This has prevented visa applicants from being able to submit their biometric information (fingerprints and photograph) to complete their visa application process.

Visa applicants have therefore been unable to receive decisions on their applications and have new visas issued. Even now, with service points reopening, there is a considerable backlog of applications. Applicants must now wait until the Home Office invites them to book an appointment to submit their biometric information, which it is doing in phases according to the date the applicant submitted their application form.

For individuals who have already submitted their biometric information in a previous UK visa application, waiting months to re-submit it at an appointment seems unnecessary. And finally, the Home Office appears to agree.

UKVCAS, the official visa application point partner of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), announced last week that UKVI is introducing a new policy whereby those who have already submitted their biometrics in a previous application in the last five years will be able to use those biometrics in subsequent applications. Applicants will be simply required to upload a photograph of themselves to complete their application process, rather than book and attend an appointment to re-submit their photograph and fingerprints.

UKVCAS has advised that the new process is still in development, and further information will be released in the next few weeks.

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