New Biometric Requirements for US-Based Visa Applicants!

Starting on 3 December 2007, all applicants for UK visas in the US will have to submit biometrics as part of the visa application process. The biometric data collected will consist of fingerprints (scanned electronically) and a digital photograph. This is a requirement for a UK visa and without biometrics the application will not be accepted. There is no extra fee for biometric collection.  
You will have to attend an appointment at an Application Support Center in order to give biometrics- biometric appointments can be made starting on 1 December 2007. The Application Support Centers (ASC’s) are operated by the USCIS (US immigration agency) and normally collect biometrics for immigrants to the United States but will also be acting as biometric collection points for UK visa applicants after 3 December. There are 129 ASC’s across the country- the USCIS maintains a list of these centers on their website. ( To apply for a UK visa starting on 3 December 2007, follow these steps: 1. Fill out the online application and pay online. You will then be able to make an appointment for biometrics immediately afterwards. After you make the biometrics appointment, print out your application, payment confirmation, and biometrics appointment confirmation. 2. Go to your biometrics appointment on the scheduled day and time to have your fingerscans and photographs taken. Bring your appointment confirmation and your passport to the appointment. 3. After your biometric appointment, send the paper copy of your visa application plus all supporting documents to the consulate. You cannot submit your documents before you have your biometrics taken, but your documents must reach the consulate within 2 weeks after your biometrics appointment. There are two ways to submit your complete application: a. Mail your application and supporting documents directly to the relevant consulate. If you are applying to the Los Angeles consulate, write the proposed date of travel on the outer envelope. b. You can also hire an external courier service registered with the consulate to walk your application into the consulate for you, which will expedite the visa issuing process (normally the same day.) There is an extra charge to the courier for this service- the consulates maintain a list of registered couriers on the BritainUSA website. Your supporting documents must include your receipt of biometric enrolment, and you must still submit 2 passport photographs (even though your picture will be taken at your appointment.) It will still take around 5 working days to process your visa application after the application and supporting documents are submitted (unless you apply by courier.) FAQs Where is my nearest Application Support Center? The USCIS maintains a list of ASC's by state on their website. ( What are the requirements for the fingerscans and digital photographs? For fingerscans, fingertips must be free from cuts, decorations or other markings. Digital photographs will be of the full face without headcoverings unless worn for religious reasons. What about children? Do they need to give biometrics? All visa applicants over the age of 5 years will need an appointment to submit biometric data. What if I submit my application online before 3 December but can’t send my documents until after 3 December? You can still apply under the old non-biometric scheme, but the documents have to reach the consulate before 14 December 2007 or your application will be returned and you’ll have to make a new one. I'm already in the UK on a valid visa, does this affect me? These specific biometric arrangements only affect those who are applying for a UK visa from the USA on or after 3 Dec 2007. For more information: Biometrics info page on BritainUSA (including FAQs.)

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