Australian nationals who want to come to the UK as the spouse or partner of a British citizen, or someone settled in the UK, will need to apply for a visa before coming to the UK. Any other non-EU nationals living in Australia will need to follow the same process. Below we examine the second stage of the submission process for all applicants applying for a UK family visa from Australia and provide some helpful pointers in navigating the heavily criticised VFS Global website.
All spouse and family visa applications are commenced through the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website. Once the correct application has been filled in, paid for and submitted with UKVI, the applicant will be redirected to the VFS Global website to complete the second stage of the submission process – booking a biometric appointment and providing supporting documents. VFS Global is the commercial partner assigned to help administrate the submission of UK spouse visa applications in Australia. For more information about the 2 commercial partners who administrate all UKVI applicants please see here and here.
Having navigated our way through the process numerous times before, we summarise and provide useful guidance on the submission steps below.
After you submit the application on the UKVI website, you will also be given a 16 digit Unique Application Number (UAN) and you will be redirected to a confirmation page asking you to complete the ‘next steps’ of submission. It is at this point where you will be required to register with VFS Global and book your appointment. You can do this by clicking the button below.
The submission procedure thereafter differs depending on where in Australia you are applying from.
If you are applying from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra you will need to book an appointment at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).
If you are applying from Adelaide or Hobart you will need to book an appointment at the Australian Department of Home Affairs Offices located in Adelaide or Hobart.
If you are applying through a VAC, you have 3 options for providing your supporting documents:
You must then attend your appointment at the VAC on your chosen date where you will be asked to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and photograph). If you have self-uploaded your documents, you must attend with a copy of your online application form as well as your original current passport.
Your passport will be retained by the VAC until a decision is made on your application. You will then be asked to uplift your passport from the VAC. If your application is successful, your passport will now contain your new entry clearance vignette valid for entry to the UK.
Applicants should attend their appointment on the chosen date to provide their biometrics. All applicants should bring a copy of their application form and their original current passport along with them. In terms of submitting the remaining supporting evidence, the same 3 options apply, but the procedures differ slightly:
Your passport will then be returned to you (using a pre-paid shipping label). If your application is successful, your passport will now contain your new entry clearance vignette valid for entry to the UK.
Our immigration solicitors have assisted with many applications for family visas from Australia and we have a wealth of experience navigating the tricky submission procedures. If you would like help applying for your family visa from Australia, please do not hesitate to contact us for expert advice and assistance.
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