The recently-announced changes in processing of UK settlement visa applications in New Zealand and Australian have now come into force.
As of the end of February 2011, all visa applications from New Zealand and Australian nationals to the UK Border Agency (UKBA) for all types of settlement visa, including the UK marriage visa, UK fiancee visa, UK proposed civil partner visa, UK de facto (unmarried partner) visa and UK civil partnership visa will now be required to be posted to the UKBA’s hub in Manila, Philippines.
Although there is no additional charge for the applications which are no longer handled by the British High Commission in Canberra, there are a number of changes to the way in which the process is to be carried out.
For all UK settlement visa applications made in New Zealand after 18th February 2011, the correct address to send the application to is the UK Border Agency in Wellington, with the applicant’s name and GWF number written clearly on the outside of the envelope. The British High Commission in Wellington, the British Consulate General in Auckland and the International Mail Centre are not accepting UK settlement visa applications.
For Australian applicants submitting their application after 4th March 2011, paperwork must be sent to the UKBA office in Sydney. The British High Commission in Canberra is no longer accepting applications.
All applicants to the UKBA from both New Zealand and Australia are required to attend a biometric appointment as part of the UK immigration process.
Please note that online applications for a UK settlement visa made in Australia before 4th March will attract a requirement to attend a biometric appointment by 11th March, with online applications made after 4th March meaning that applicants must wait until 15th March to attend the biometric appointment and for the application to be posted to the UKBA’s hub in Manila.
For UK marriage, fiancee and partner visa applications made in New Zealand, those completing an online application form before 18th February will need to attend the biometric appointment before 25th February, with the postal application needing to be received before the end of business on 28th February. Applications made after 18th February will see the biometric appointment delayed until after 1st March.