Are you applying for a skilled worker visa, an EEA frontier worker permit or a BNO visa?
If so, you may be eligible to use a smartphone app to speed up your application. It will enable you to prove your identity and to submit your photo, instead of attending a visa centre appointment. In the pandemic situation using an App on your phone instead of travelling to a visa centre may be an attractive option. Most visa centres are located only in the capital and other big cities. So if you are not living close to a visa centre, you can avoid long distance travelling by using the App on your phone.
Skilled worker visa for EEA nationals
From 1 January 2021, all newly arrived EEA nationals may need to apply for a skilled worker visa to take up employment in the UK. If your prospective employer advises you to apply for a skilled worker visa before you start work, you will need to submit your visa application to the Home Office. Also, you will need to provide evidence of your right to work in the UK to your prospective employer.
EEA and Swiss nationals with a current biometric chipped passport can choose to use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to prove their identity and submit a skilled worker visa application. The App should not be confused with EU Exit ID App, which is dedicated to applications under EU Settlement Scheme. Alternatively, you can use the skilled worker visa application form and attend one of the UK visa application centres to prove your identity.
If you can and would like to use the App, you will need to download the UK Immigration: ID Check app in the Google Play or Apple Store. Before using the App, you must enable your Near Field Communication (NFC) function, which is used for contactless payments. Scan your QR code or use your connection code to connect to the app, then you are ready to go. First, take an image of your passport, then place your phone on your passport for information verification. Once your passport information is checked, you need to scan your face then take a photo of yourself. The identity check is then completed!
You can then continue filling in the form on your smartphone or log back into the form using your PC. Once the application form is completed, you can submit it to the Home Office and wait for a decision. The processing time for skilled worker visas is three weeks if you apply from outside of the UK. Unfortunately, you can only use the priority service to make your application to get a faster decision within five working days if you are attending in person. The priority is not available for those using the App.
A digital status will be issued if your application is successful. You will be sent a digital letter explaining the next steps and how you can collect your long-term visa card from the UK. You can then share it with your prospective employer to prove your right to work in the UK. Check HERE for acceptable evidence to prove your right to work in the UK.
Frontier Worker Permit for EEA nationals
Frontier Worker Permit is a new route opened on 10 December 2020 and is required for all EEA and Swiss nationals from 1 July 2021. The permit allows EEA nationals to come to the UK to work while living in a different country. You can read HERE for more information about the Frontier Worker Permit.
The identity checking process is the same for Frontier Worker Permit and Skilled Worker visa applicants. After the application is processed, you will receive a digital permit that is linked to your passport. You can then show this at the border control when travelling to the UK.
British National (Overseas) (BNO) visa
The BNO visa route is another new visa route as part of the new points-based system. Opened on 31 January 2021, BNO passport holders and their family members can apply under this route and settle in the UK after five years, providing residence, and other requirements are met.
Applicants with a biometric chip in their Hong Kong BNO or EEA passport will be able to use a smartphone app to prove their identities. Available from 23 February 2021, the digital ID checking process will provide a faster and easier process for applicants. Instead of travelling to a visa application centre, which may have limited availability depending on your location, applicants can easily prove their identities at home within a few steps. Another advantage of using the ID check app is that applicants will receive a digital status instead of a vignette. This allows applicants to travel anytime to the UK rather than within the validity of your vignette (30 or 90 days).
Need help with your visa application?
Taylor Hampton’s immigration solicitors have assisted numerous clients in securing their UK visas. If you need legal assistance with your applications or wish to know more about each visa type, please contact Taylor Hampton’s immigration today on 020 7427 5972 or submit an enquiry HERE.