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Global HR Lawyers

ICIBI calls for evidence on the performance of UKVIs commercial partners

16 September 2020

Employers and other stakeholders have until 1 October 2020 to provide the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) with views on how well the commercial partners of UK Visas and Immigration are performing, both for applications made in the UK and abroad.

UKVI’s intention in using commercial partners to provide ‘front end services’ (FES) is to make the UK visa application process accessible and easy to use. Sopra Steria operates FES for UKVI inside the UK. TLScontact and VFS Global provide the services abroad.

The ICIBI is seeking evidence from stakeholders on whether commercial partners are meeting the needs of UK visa applicants. Submissions must be sent by email using the link indicated in the call for evidence.

The ICIBI is particularly interested in receiving feedback on:

  • Accessibility and ease of use of the online application forms, payment process, appointment booking system, document submission process and any additional services offered by UKVI or the commercial partner
  • Customer experience when attending appointments at a commercial provider
  • Commercial partners’ complaints handling processes
  • The clarity of guidance and instructions provided by UKVI and commercial partners to help applicants make their application
  • The availability and usefulness of advice and support, including through customer contact centres
  • Whether applicants needed additional help from third parties such as legal representatives, non-government organisations or MPs to deal with the application process, and what the results were
  • The experiences of vulnerable individuals who require additional support to submit applications and to book and attend appointments

If you have any queries about the call for evidence, please get in touch with a member of the immigration team.


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