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Visas: Applications

Question for Home Office

UIN 86114, tabled on 7 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made an assessment of the performance of UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

14 September 2020

Sopra Steria Ltd (SSL) are our commercial partner who run the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) on behalf of UKVI. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted all UKVI services. On 27 March, Sopra Steria Ltd closed all UKVACS service points to protect the health and safety of both their staff and our customers. This decision was taken in line with Government and PHE advice.

On 1 June 2020 SSL began a phased reopening of the UKVCAS service. Like all public services, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on some visa services, and we had to adapt our working practices to allow social distancing, which led to some understandable delays.

Whilst more of our services have resumed the impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt in different ways across our UK operations. Our priority is the safety of our customers and staff, to ensure we can deliver an effective service that meets public health guidelines and the service customers expect.

UKVI officials meet with Sopra Steria Limited (SSL) on a regular basis to review performance and drive improvements to service standards through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) within the contract: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/ec5031ea-021e-471a-86cf-af540e8d8efa

UKVI monitor UKVCAS performance against set key performance indicators (KPIs) within the contract with the Home Office maintaining oversight to ensure Sopra Steria Ltd adhere to contractual requirements. This has continued throughout the phased restart of the UKVCAS service after suspension of services due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Answered by

Home Office
Named day
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