Online appointments required
From 15th August 2011, all applicants seeking to submit visa applications to enter the UK from Singapore must book online appointments. Applicants will not be permitted to submit their visa applications without having obtained an appointment first.
Sponsorship payment methods to change from October
As of 1st October 2011, the UKBA will no longer accept cheque payments for certificates of sponsorship, CAS and sponsor applications. UKBA will be switching to online payments for these transactions on the basis that they are more efficient and less expensive to process smaller payments. The payment facilities remain unchanged for the Highly Trusted Sponsor applications and for renewals and sponsor action plans.
Online application forms only valid for 30 days
On 10th August 2011, the UKBA reminded applicants that online applications that they complete are only valid for 30 days from the date when the applicant began the application process online. Therefore, applicants must ensure that they prepare their documents in advance and make the necessary visa payment as well as book an appointment before the application expires.
At Ergen & Sharif, skilled staff can assist with the completion of online applications and in obtaining appointments at the entry clearance posts overseas. Applicants can contact us on 0207 569 3035 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Changes to restricted certificate of sponsorship (RCoS) applications
The UKBA recently announced changes that will come into place as of 1st October 2011 which will affect the sponsorship management system (SMS) and the way in which applications are made for RCoS in Tier 2 (General) applications. The new changes will allow sponsors to:
Ø Submit and withdraw applications for restricted certificates of sponsorship
Ø Track the progress as well as outcome of applications for the above
Ø Make a new application for a restricted certificate of sponsorship based on the details provided in a previous application
Ø View the allocation of restricted certificates of sponsorship (including the number assigned)
Transitional arrangements will be in place for moving from the current online system to the SMS. This will affect applications for RCoS made between 6th September 2011 and 9th October 2011. The transitional arrangements will also affect the dates by which RCoS’s granted before 30th September 2011 should be assigned.
Sponsors who are granted restricted certificates of sponsorship which are not assigned before 1st October 2011 will not be able to assign the certificate without taking further action to reclaim it using the SMS. The UKBA strongly advises sponsors to assign such certificates before the 1st of October to avoid any difficulties or delays.
The Transitional arrangements have been summarised on the UKBA website however, further details are expected to be published later this month.
Changes to visa applications submitted in Chisinau
The UKBA announced that visa applications submitted in Chisinau are to be decided at the UKBA regional hub for Central and Eastern Europe at the British Embassy in Warsaw as of 15th August 2011. The process will not change for applicants in Moldova who can continue to make online applications through the visa4UK website and book appointments at the British Embassy in Chisinau.
The UKBA announced that the changes will not adduce additional costs to applicants and will not affect processing target times. The centralisation of the decision making at regional hubs is part of a worldwide programme to offer a higher standard of service for applicants according to the UKBA.