On Monday I attended my biometrics appointment
for my UK citizenship application. And I thought I would just run you through my experience
of setting up an account, booking appointment, uploading my documents and attending the biometric
appointment itself. So this is just my experience. If you do have any questions, make sure you
reach out to the UKVCAS who will be able to answer those for you. If you’re new to my
channel, I’m Kat from Kat’s Gone Global and I do videos on moving to the UK, London and
travel. This is the third video in my series about UK citizenship. However, the biometric
appointment process does apply to other visa types and applications. This one is about
applying within the UK, so if you’re applying outside of the UK, there are different processes
and I can not comment or give you my experience on those. So make sure that you check out
your country’s website if you’re not applying in the UK.
And if not, like I said previously, reach out to the UKVCAS. There will be a few more
videos in this series, but they will come out a bit later. So make sure that you hit
the notification bell to see what it’s like to go through a British citizenship ceremony,
if I’m approved hopefully. And applying for my British passport and my experience during
that. Before we get started on the biometric process, let’s just cover off the difference
between UKVI and UKVCAS. So UKVI is the United Kingdom Visa and Immigration department. They’re
the ones making the decision on your application. They’re the ones that are providing all the
documents and information so that you have the support to fill out that. They’re the
ones that you should be calling if you have any questions about your application so they
can guide you in the answers. And most importantly, if you want a faster
decision and your visa is eligible for it, then that’s where you want to be paying the
money for a super priority. Now, not all visas are eligible for this. Like naturalizational
citizenship, which I’m applying for right now, doesn’t have this option. So that and
only and that, that’s the only option that you’re provided. But if your visa is lucky
enough, you will see a few options and I will show you that quickly in the payment screen
in a moment. UKVCAS is the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service. This is run by a third
party company called Sopra Steria and this is where you will book your biometric appointment,
you will upload your documents and you’ll attend to one of their facilities to upload
your biometric information and they will officially submit your application.
So if you have any issues with booking biometric appointments or any technical issues on their
website, make sure you give them a shout, I’ll leave their information in the description
below. That’s basically where you’re booking all your appointment and going through all
of that fun process of your picture taken and your fingerprints and stuff like that.
Before we jump over to the UKVCAS side, I just wanted to cover the UKVI side. So when
you get to the payments page of your application, you will be presented with options. Now these
options will depend based on your visa. For example, let’s jump over to my screen and
I’ll show you. So as you can see, the UK citizenship application doesn’t have any additional options.
You’ve got this one service which is standard. If you’ve got a visa that has more options
for decision making, this is where it will be in the application. So it’ll either say
standard or super priority. I’m not aware of any other options and you’ll be able to
choose which one you want here. I’ll leave a link in the description below of the UK
processing time so you can see what to expect for your visa type and if they update it.
But yeah, this is where making a decision is important if you particularly want to know
your answer sooner rather than later. Unless you’re like me, I don’t have an option. When
you have paid for your application, you will then be sent to this payment confirmation
page and it’ll just give you the details saying that your payment has been confirmed. At the
bottom there will be another green box which you click. I’ll put the screen recordings
on top of this and then it will take you to a further actions page.
The further actions page is where you can download the declarations, which you could
do in some of the previous steps but also has the button to book your UKVCAs appointment
or your biometric appointment. So once you get to this screen, just press the book appointment,
it will say that you’re leaving the website or something like that. It’ll redirect you
to the third party website as you can see on my screen and then from that you will be
redirected to the UKVCAS website. The first page that you’ll be presented with is get
your access code. So this is where you get the code to start the setup of your account.
So you press that button and this will send you to your email address that you registered
your application with and then wait for the code. Once you’ve received your access code,
go back to the screen. You put in your access code with your password
that you want and then it’ll establish a password for your email address. Once you’ve done that,
it will take you to a log on screen or at least did for my case. And I put in my details
and then put the password in and then logged on. You were then taken or at least I was
taken to a home page which explained the booking of the appointments, the extra services and
stuff they offered. And if you keep scrolling through you’ll get the book appointment button
at the bottom. I just pressed that and then that took me to the booking appointments page.
So once you’re happy, just press book and appointment and then you’ll get choose a service
point or location and it’ll give you some details here and then enter your post code.
It will give you some of the closest centers here and these ones that are available to
book. And then it goes down to say, please select
a service point. Sorry, these are all the service points that you could potentially
select. So you choosing a service appointment will be based on your location. So when you
get here, depending on where you live, it’ll alter it for that. So if you live in Cardiff,
it’ll give you details for Cardiff for example. So there are seven core centers around the
UK in different cities and the one core center in London is Croydon. So I’m going to try
and get an appointment there, but if I can’t then I will see what the other applications
centers look like. So we then go back to the screen and select a service appointment. Choose
your appointment. So I really don’t want one next week. So maybe Thursday the 29th. Okay.
So once you go through, it’ll then tell you if there are appointments available and it’ll
give you a price if there is additional prices associated to this.
So as you can see, Thursday the 29th of August has a £50 one, £100 pound one. I know ideally
what I want to spend my money on. So let’s see if there are any free appointments. Okay.
In September they look to be some free appointments. So depending on what you want to do and how
quickly you want to get your application done, then you could check a few weeks in advance.
Once you click check out, you will get taken to the upload documents page, which I will
go into detail in a second, but that is booking the appointments. So make sure that you upload
your documents before your biometric appointment comes along so you don’t have to pay any of
the additional fees. I have finished uploading all of my documents to the website so I’ll
show you what I’ve done in a second. But one of the biggest things that I found
a bit confusing is there is no guidance from the UKVCAS or UKVI on where you’re supposed
to put them. So these are all assumptions that I have made. I assume that they are pretty
much correct because I know the process in and out quite well, but it might not 100%
meet what they expect. I’m not entirely sure is what I’m saying. But let’s jump over to
my screen and I will show you what I’ve done. Okay. In mandatory documents I have got my
proof of application, which is just my passport because that’s what it States that I need
to put here. And so that’s what I’ve done. Okay. And other documents I have put my referees,
I won’t show you the documents because I’ve put their names in there but that is just
where I thought they went. There’s residence in the UK. I have put my letter which was
my approval letter for my indefinite leave to remain and then I put my BRP card with
my indefinite leave to remain there. Finances, I have put my pay six days from
2014 to 2019. Proof of business, I don’t have any proof of business. Life events same, medical
information same. Employment. So here I have put two employment letters and also one HMRC
letter from 2018 from my indefinite leave to remain application, I decided not to get
another one. And then proof of identity and travel history, I put my Excel Spreadsheet
that covers all of the dates I’ve had outside the UK, my current passport and my old passport,
which includes all of the pages from the passport. So it’s the front page and then all of the
stamps within them. And then the next one I have is educational and I put my life in
the UK pass notification in there. So yeah, that’s basically all of the documents and
the upload format. Hopefully that’s helped you kind of think about where yours should
go. And let me know in the comments below if you’ve
done something different. Once you finish booking the appointment and you’ll receive
two emails. One will be the tax invoice and one will be the booking confirmation. You
need to take the booking confirmation to your appointment with you. And this will be the
number one thing that will track you through your biometric appointments. So it’s really
important. You can either print it or you can take it on your phone, but you do need
to have a copy available. So I’ll just quickly show you what it looks like. As you can see,
it has a QR code and information about you and your appointment and that’s basically
it, so nothing too exciting. Apart from that you need to take the documents
that are required within your application. So for this one I took the UK citizenship
documents that I did in this video and that was basically all I took to the appointment
with me. When I arrived at the biometric center, I was greeted by a security guard an he requested
that I give my booking confirmation and my passport. I provided both of these to him.
Once he was happy, I was sent to the receptionist. The receptionist then used the bar code and
told me what floor I needed to go to. Once I had done that, I had to go through security.
So I just took off my jacket, put my phone and wallet and stuff into a container and
then walked through the metal detectors. And I went to the floor that my appointment was
at and I was advised to go your to. And then I was greeted by another staff member who
gave me a ticket number and that ticket number was to be used during the process.
So once I got my ticket number, I was asked to be seated and there’ll be two phases of
the ticket. So basically you go off and do your biometrics and then you sit back down
and then you go and do your documentation. So when I was called, there was a couple of
people called out with me. And basically, they have these booths that record your biometrics
with no human interaction. So the other way that I can describe them is like the passport
e-gates. So when you go through the e-gate and you scan your passport and takes a photo
and then lets you through, that’s basically how these biometric systems were, except they
just took a bit more information. So he stood there and explained how it worked. So he grabbed
one of the ladies’ confirmation with the QR code, and then that was scanned in the passport
section. That brought up the details of her biometric appointment.
And then mine when I did mine. And then you press continue. From there, it asks you to
put in your passport, so you slide in your passport and you hold it down until it gets
copy of your passport. You then press next and it will take a photo of you. The photo
process is probably the lengthiest process of all of it. It basically takes forever to
get a photo. It’s very picky. So it goes through all of these things being like, “I’m not happy
with this. So I’m not happy with that.” And then you look down and then it’s going red
all over the place because it’s not happy that you’re looking down to see what you’re
doing wrong. And then eventually you’ll get a photo. Then next thing is to record your
fingerprints. So you record your fingerprints first and you press down until it’s happy
and then you record your thumb print and you do that for both hands.
Once that’s done, you then sign on this signing thing. It doesn’t record you a signature that
well, but the home office apparently accepts that it doesn’t. So yeah, that’s fine. Once
you’ve done that, you walk back out to the waiting room until your number is called again.
Then another representative will come and collect you and they will be the person or
one of the people that will go through your application and your documents and your biometrics.
So the first thing again they ask for is that confirmation sheet with a QR code and your
passport. So they will scan that in, it’ll bring up all the details of that and your
application. So from that he then went into discussing my fingerprints. So apparently
I have a scar on this finger, which I had no idea and I had to document that I have
a scar on this finger. So if you have any issues with your fingerprints,
so you’ll have to explain what it is. The next thing he did was scan my passport again,
so my current and passport and uploaded that to my application. And then he just quickly
scrolled through what I had put in there. So he’s like you’ve put a life in the UK test
on here and a few other documents, but he didn’t check a single one of my documents.
Then it was, “Are you happy with the application and the documents you’ve put in your biometrics?”
And you have to state yes and then they will submit the application for you. And that will
be the process that triggers your application to start being approved. When I approved,
I mean a decision being made. I’m hopeful that my application will be approved, which
is why I say approved. But you never know because each application is different. And
if you do have any issues, making sure that you reach out to an immigration lawyer or
UKVI if you have any questions about the application processes because immigration law can be complicated.
Hopefully my experience has given you an understanding of what you could potentially expect. Maybe
it should let you keep up with the UKVCAS and UKVI websites to see if there are any
changes. And don’t forget to hit the notification bell as I will be doing more videos as part
of this miniseries, which is about UK citizenship. To watch the videos that’ve already come out,
they will be popping up now and I will be covering my UK citizenship ceremony and my
UK passport application that’s if my application is approved. Fingers crossed. Give me like
if you think I will be approved for citizenship. And until then guys, I will see you in the