Anyone applying for a UK fiancee, spousal or partner visa from the US must follow a new procedure. Whereas UK settlement visa applications were previously submitted to the British Consulate in New York and forwarded to Sheffield, United Kingdom for processing, these applications must now be made directly to the Sheffield hub. The previous system whereby applicants would pay a $12 courier fee for the return of their documents via UPS is no longer supported.
Applicants must include their passport and supporting documents which will be mailed back to them once the application has been processed. In order to facilitate the return of original documents, an international pre-paid shipping label or waybill with appropriate international packaging must be provided. Failure to provide such a waybill will result in a significant delay in the processing of the UK marriage or partner visa application. Due to the valuable nature of the passport and supporting documents, it is advisable that applicants obtain a tracking number for return postage, as well as additional shipping insurance.
For other types of non-settlement applications such as visitor visa, EEA family permits and some others, applicants must still send their applications directly to the British Consulate in New York. The Sheffield visa hub currently only deals with settlement applications made from within the United States of America, Canada (non-priority cases only) and Nigeria.