To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of trends in the availability of appointments at UK Visa and Immigration biometric services in each year from 2016 to 2019.
4 July 2019
It is not possible to assess trends in availability of appointments at UK Visa and Immigration biometric services in each year from 2016 to 2019. In 2016, applicants to UKVI did not make an appointment to provide biometrics to UK Visas and Immigration. UKVI sent a letter to customers which asked them to attend a branch of Post Office Limited at a convenient time, within 7 working days.
From November 2018, the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) was launched. This new service requires applicants to make an appointment. Appointments are available for free in 6 major cities, and there are an additional 56 local user-pay service centres located in libraries, and 1 premium lounge.
In March 2019, the Service and Support Centres (SSCs) began capturing biometrics, again requiring an appointment to be made. There are seven SSCs located in major cities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.