3

I need to apply for a UK visitor visa for a scientific conference I am attending at the end of June 2017. I am an Indian citizen (Indian passport holder) with a US green card and a valid H1-B visa stamp as well.

On perusing the UK visitor visa information page, it would seem that I need a biometric scan and a visa appointment at likely two different locations.

Given that I am a college professor I cannot miss multiple days of work (as is the case for many other professions, of course) from my remote town in Michigan to travel to different application support centers for (1) biometric scan (2) visa interview. The application support centers (ASC) and their locations are different from UK visa centers/consulates and their locations. Several hundreds of miles separate my residence with the ASCs and the visa centers.

The nearest application support center is two states away (Milwaukee, WI) for me and the nearest visa center is also two states away (Chicago, IL).

Since I am traveling to India in May for my semester break, I was planning on doing my UK visa application process then.

Does this raise red flags? Considering that I have a US residence with a US green card + H1-B in the US but I am applying for a UK visa (legitimate practical reasons) in India?

  • You go to Chicago only if you are using the premium service. Otherwise there's only the VFS appointment. I suggest reading the UKVI site again. – Gayot Fow Mar 28 '17 at 22:08
  • @GayotFow Ok. It is not clear to me from the hyperlink (it seems like it) but the VFS appointment is a "by mail" thing? – dearN Mar 28 '17 at 22:11
  • Well, no, you cannot give your biometrics through the mail, so it's an in-person appointment. – Gayot Fow Mar 28 '17 at 22:14
  • 1
    Further to @GayotFow's comment, you seem to be confused about the locations of Application Support Centres (ASCs). There are two in Michigan (Detroit and Grand Rapids), and six in adjoining states apart from Illinois, which borders Michigan only on the lake (Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus Ohio; Michigan City and Indianapolis, Indiana; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin). I guess you're not in the upper peninsula, because you wouldn't have called Wisconsin "two states away," so Detroit, Grand Rapids, or Michigan City ought to be feasible. – phoog Mar 28 '17 at 22:40
  • 2
    @GayotFow Ack!!!! Milwauke=one state away! I am indeed in the UP!!! apologies for the confusion. So ASC for finger printing and then the application is sent in via mail. I suppose in India, the consulate/British high commission does the biometrics too. Thank you for your detailed answer (below). – dearN Mar 29 '17 at 0:14
4

When someone wants to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa, there's a single appointment needed: the biometric enrolment at a VFS. Depending on the country, the applicant may have the opportunity to upgrade their application to 'priority'.

Applicants in the United States get an additional option, they can use a 'premium service' (cf 'priority'). These are sited at British consulates and have the equipment to enrol the applicant's biometrics and review their application (to help ensure its success) and pouch it to the British Consulate General in New York for a decision.

Having that as background, let's take a look at the form itself...

enter image description here

Critically, note the use of 'or' in the explanation. It's clear that a single appointment is required.

The same single-appointment process works for India, except there are no provisions for a 'premium service'. In fact, anywhere in the world, applying for a UK Standard Visitor Visa is a matter of a single appointment where the applicant's biometrics are enrolled.

Your questions...

The nearest application support center is two states away (Milwaukee, WI) for me and the nearest visa center is also two states away (Chicago, IL).

Pick Chicago if you want the premium service otherwise pick one of the DHS facilities.

Since I am travelling to India ... I was planning on doing my UK visa application process then. Does this raise red flags?

They don't care; it will not raise 'red flags' and it will not be treated as exceptional either positively or negatively. Honestly, they don't care. Depending on which Indian VFS you apply through, you may be able to qualify for 'priority', but as explained there are no 'premium services' available in India.

Notes

  • An applicant for the Standard Visitor Visa can apply from anywhere in the world (given that a British consulate exists).
  • A description of some the various premium services available in the USA are here, those not listed are available on a case-by-case basis.
  • In the special case for applications in the United States, the applicant reports to a DHS facility where their biometrics are enrolled. They get a receipt. The applicant then prints out their application and encloses the biometrics receipt along with a photograph(s) and passport. The whole bundle is then posted to the British Consulate General in NYC.

  • There are also 'premium services' at Heathrow, etc for 'leave-to-enter'/visa-on-arrival applicants.

  • A further thought on appointments and as a rule of thumb, if the consulate asks you to make a personal appearance for an interview with an ECO, you should consider withdrawing the application at once.
  • 2
    The point of withdrawing on interview request is that you are facing a likely refusal and this way you can avoid the mark? – Tymoteusz Paul Mar 29 '17 at 0:19
  • What does "enrol the applicant's biometrics" mean? Does it mean the biometrics can be done here?this is far more confusing than any other visa I applied for. I don't understand the difference between VFS and ASC and which does premium processing. – dearN Mar 29 '17 at 0:46
  • 1
    @drN I think that what Gayot was suggesting is that this would make a great separate question(s), as there sure will be other people who can benefit from it. – Tymoteusz Paul Mar 29 '17 at 2:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.