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New procedures for UK settlement visas from tomorrow


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UKVI have introduced (with their usual forewarning) new procedures for UK settlement visa applications from tomorrow.   It looks a little complicated, but essentially all settlement applications will now be processed in the UK.  So, it's a matter of getting the documents scanned (by VFS, at a cost form May), or by sending everything by post to Sheffield ( and providing a pre-paid return envelope ....hmmm).  The passport will not go to UK, but will remain at the Embassy (in the hope that a visa is authorised from the UK).

 

I understand, from someone who has tried, that all of the appointment slots are "booked" until after the free scanning period expires near the end of May.  I cannot confirm if that is true or not

 

See the attached.

settlement-visa.pdf

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Nice little earner for VFS in future? Cannot see too many people wanting to pay for courier and return postage plus be at the mercy of postal systems.

Does this mean ECO/ECM jobs will go locally? Plum posting in Bangkok for the chop?

Brilliantly short notice and very short 'free' period.

Should make the process cheaper for UKVI and increase the profit!

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10 minutes ago, bobrussell said:

Nice little earner for VFS in future? Cannot see too many people wanting to pay for courier and return postage plus be at the mercy of postal systems.

Does this mean ECO/ECM jobs will go locally? Plum posting in Bangkok for the chop?

Brilliantly short notice and very short 'free' period.

Should make the process cheaper for UKVI and increase the profit!

 

As I understand it, UKVI only get the visa fees.  VFS can charge anything they like for their services, and the profit is theirs. Maybe that's why there are no available appointment slots until the free scanning period ends ?

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Hi Tony,

 

4 hours ago, Tony M said:

I understand, from someone who has tried, that all of the appointment slots are "booked" until after the free scanning period expires near the end of May.  I cannot confirm if that is true or not

I have only just submitted the application a couple of days ago (18 April) and when I checked the appointments, the first date available was 26th April but all dates after that were available all the way through May. I think you can only book up to 3 or 4 weeks ahead.

 

Also, where did you get the attachment from? This is the first time I seen this and there was no mention on any of the UKVI website nor the visa4uk website when submitting the application online.

 

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3 hours ago, Tony M said:

This is for PBS applications. Your spouse settlement visa application is not a PBS application.

Sorry, you are correct. I should have read the first paragraph! I was getting in a bit of a panic. :shock1:

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8 hours ago, Tony M said:

It's on the VFS Thailand website :

 

http://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/thailand/

 

 That page currently says

Quote

The Visa application process for all categories of Transit, Visitor, Short-term Students (not Tier 4 see above), Overseas Domestic Worker and all other non-PBS short-stay categories remains unchanged.

 Any ideas, Tony, as to whether that will change? I ask because my step son and his wife will be applying for visit visas in July to visit us in August.

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13 minutes ago, rasg said:

It doesn't apply to visit visas.

Yes, I know it doesn't currently apply to visit visas; and said so!

 

I was asking about the possibility of that changing.

 

Perhaps you should have read my post before commenting?

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1 hour ago, 7by7 said:

 That page currently says

 Any ideas, Tony, as to whether that will change? I ask because my step son and his wife will be applying for visit visas in July to visit us in August.

 

I'm sure it will change, but not this year, I think.  I also think they will want to see if this system works before considering introducing it globally for visit visas. The numbers (settlement/visit) are completely different, of course. The logistics involved for visit visas will be enormous.   Australia does it successfully, but their applications numbers are a lot less.

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Will this new process mean that we don't need to supply copies of documents anymore - and even more hopefully, not certified copies, since the scans will all be done from the originals?

 

For example, as a sponsor, I would be able to provide my own original passport, get it scanned in, and take it home with me? As it stands I'm unsure whether I need to go to the trouble of finding a place to get a certified copy of the passport in Bangkok. This may now be unnecessary?

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Reading through the VFS page, it seems that documents that are not A4 sized have to be copied beforehand. That raises the possibility that when the document size is not A4, instead of being able to provide an original, we would have to copy it and then get the copy certified? Or perhaps you can show the original document in person at the appointment for verification?

 

I guess we'll find out the details once it starts being implemented. 

Edited by athousand
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For example, as a sponsor, I would be able to provide my own original passport, get it scanned in, and take it home with me? As it stands I'm unsure whether I need to go to the trouble of finding a place to get a certified copy of the passport in Bangkok. This may now be unnecessary?
You've never needed to get a sponsors passport certified, at the most all you are expected to do is self certify a copy of your passport.



Sent from my iPhone using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app
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  • 2 weeks later...

I visited the VFS office on Wednesday. I wanted to find out some details about the scanning process, specifically what the cost is and how can I check that all the documents I submit have been correctly scanned. I'm concerned that with such a large number of documents it would be easy to miss one, and that missed one (such as a key bank statement) could easily result in an application being rejected. I also wanted to know about their service, shown on their own website, to photocopy a passport and verify the photocopy for 70 baht per page. 

 

The first point of contact was downstairs, and I was told to go up to floor 28. I was given a ticket number and after a short wait went up to the counter. The person didn't speak any English and couldn't answer any of my questions. We were passed to one supervisor and then to another. None of them spoke any English so my fiance translated to the best of her ability. I was still not able to get any kind of answer to any of my three specific questions (1. What is the cost of the scanning process? 2. How can I check that all the documents have been correctly scanned? 3. Can I get my passport copied and verified, as advertised).

 

After this experience, I won't be trusting them with the scanning process, especially this soon after its introduction, and will send the documents direct to Sheffield via courier. I haven't investigated the cost yet so hope it's not too shocking. 

 

Maybe once the process has been going for a while it might run smoothly but for now it seems a little risky to me, when there is so little information forthcoming, and also considering the low level of English spoken by the VFS employees - pretty poor considering the £1495 cost of the visa, and that they are employed to deal with English speaking customers. It's also extremely unhelpful that they don't even have a phone number to call to get information.  Not a good impression of VFS at all, and I'll do what I can to keep their involvement in this application to a minimum.

Edited by athousand
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8 minutes ago, athousand said:

........there is so little information forthcoming, and also considering the low level of English spoken by the VFS employees - pretty poor considering the £1495 cost of the visa, and that they are employed to deal with English speaking customers........

To be fair to VFS, they do not set the visa fee and their 'customers' are visa applicants, most of whom in Thailand are Thai and speak Thai!

 

(Being pedantic, their customer is UKVI.)

 

14 minutes ago, athousand said:

It's also extremely unhelpful that they don't even have a phone number to call to get information

Indeed; it is appalling that if one has a query VFS cannot be easily contacted and UKVI can only be contacted via a premium rate phone number to a (un)help(ful)line in the UK! 

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1 hour ago, athousand said:

I visited the VFS office on Wednesday. I wanted to find out some details about the scanning process, specifically what the cost is and how can I check that all the documents I submit have been correctly scanned. I'm concerned that with such a large number of documents it would be easy to miss one, and that missed one (such as a key bank statement) could easily result in an application being rejected. I also wanted to know about their service, shown on their own website, to photocopy a passport and verify the photocopy for 70 baht per page. 

 

The first point of contact was downstairs, and I was told to go up to floor 28. I was given a ticket number and after a short wait went up to the counter. The person didn't speak any English and couldn't answer any of my questions. We were passed to one supervisor and then to another. None of them spoke any English so my fiance translated to the best of her ability. I was still not able to get any kind of answer to any of my three specific questions (1. What is the cost of the scanning process? 2. How can I check that all the documents have been correctly scanned? 3. Can I get my passport copied and verified, as advertised).

 

After this experience, I won't be trusting them with the scanning process, especially this soon after its introduction, and will send the documents direct to Sheffield via courier. I haven't investigated the cost yet so hope it's not too shocking. 

 

Maybe once the process has been going for a while it might run smoothly but for now it seems a little risky to me, when there is so little information forthcoming, and also considering the low level of English spoken by the VFS employees - pretty poor considering the £1495 cost of the visa, and that they are employed to deal with English speaking customers. It's also extremely unhelpful that they don't even have a phone number to call to get information.  Not a good impression of VFS at all, and I'll do what I can to keep their involvement in this application to a minimum.

If the application is made in Thailand, is it possible to bypass VFS and send everyhting direct to Sheffield?

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10 minutes ago, brewsterbudgen said:

If the application is made in Thailand, is it possible to bypass VFS and send everyhting direct to Sheffield?

 From the OP

On ‎20‎/‎04‎/‎2017 at 0:03 PM, Tony M said:

  It looks a little complicated, but essentially all settlement applications will now be processed in the UK.  So, it's a matter of getting the documents scanned (by VFS, at a cost form May), or by sending everything by post to Sheffield ( and providing a pre-paid return envelope ....hmmm).

 

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1 hour ago, rasg said:

It will almost certainly be cheaper to buy a cheap scanner and do it yourself. An all in one scanner. printer and fax starts at £35 in the UK.

 

How can you do it yourself ?  Where are you going to scan (or email) the documents to ?   They will be directly scanned to a Home Office server from VFS.  You will not have any access to that.

 

With reference to post #22, Thai Post do a parcel service to any country (in a box) for 900 THB .  Getting the documents back (the pre-paid envelope) is a problem we haven't solved yet.  I don't see how you can know the cost of that return post ?  There's probably a simple solution, but I can't see it yet !

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The scanning service is, apparently, up and running in South Korea.   VFS charge per application (not per document), and the current charge is the equivalent of around 1,700 THB per application.

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My wife will be applying for a settlement visa at the end of this year. I alone will be visiting the UK in September. Will it be possible for me to take her application and documentation, and submit them to the office in Sheffield during my visit. They would then be able to confirm that everything was in order. Or would this be too uncomplicated.

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