Two months ago, immigration to the UK came to an abrupt halt when the Home Office made the unprecedented decision to close all UK visa application centres and globally suspend immigration services.

As part of 'Phase 1' in resuming immigration services, The Home Office has announced that the following application centres will re-open from the 1st of June:


  • Birmingham (Core)
  • Birmingham (Premium Lounge)
  • Chelmsford
  • Croydon (Core)
  • Exeter
  • Leeds
  • London Mark Lane (Premium Lounge)
  • London Mark Lane (Enhanced Service Point)
  • London Victoria
  • Manchester Fountain Street (Enhanced Service Point)
  • Manchester (Premium Lounge)
  • Sheffield
  • Southampton



  • Berlin
  • Dusseldorf
  • Munich


  • Minsk


  • Kiev

Other countries


  • Brisbane
  • Canberra
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney

China + SAR

  • Beijing
  • Chongqing
  • Guangzhou
  • Shanghai
  • Hong Kong


  • Bangkok


  • Taipei


  • Kuala Lumpur


  • Suva

The 'fine print'

At this time, application centres both in and outside of the UK will not be offering priority or super priority services to process applications. VIP mobile appointments (where the biometrics team come to an applicant's location) have also not yet resumed.

Application centres in the UK:

As part of 'Phase 1', the Home Office is attempting to process and clear the backlog of applications that were put on hold when the pandemic first occurred.

In the first instance, UK application centres are giving appointments only to those applicants who had appointments booked before the centres closed, and subsequently had their appointments automatically postponed. UK Visa & Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) will be emailing these applicants explaining the required next steps to rebook their appointments.

Further information on UK visa application centres can be found on the GOV.UK website and the UKVCAS website. If an applicant's nearest centre is closed, they may be offered an appointment at an alternative one. If an applicant does not want to travel to a different application centre, they can ask to wait for an appointment to become available at their local centre. This should not negatively impact their immigration status.

Application centres outside the UK:

Some application centres are only rebooking appointments for existing applicants, while others are booking appointments for new visa applications. We advise checking the latest information for the country where you are submitting your application; on the TLS contact website (for Europe, Africa, and parts of the Middle East) and the VFS Global website (for all other countries).

The Home Office are making changes on a daily basis. It is therefore important to ensure that decisions made are based on up-to-date guidance. Please do not hesitate to contact the Withers UK Immigration Team with any queries or concerns you may have.

Originally published Withersworldwide, May 2020

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.