The new service will deliver a more streamlined application process from over 60 locations across the UK, including 56 local libraries.
Under the new arrangements people using the service will be able to submit biometric information including photos, fingerprints, and signatures and their supporting evidence at a single appointment. The evidence will then be copied and sent to UKVI, meaning that people won’t have to hand over important documents, such as passports, whilst the applications are processed.
In addition, the new process will mean that individuals can choose to upload digital files in advance of their appointment, saving even more time.
The Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes said: “The new streamlined service will make the visa application process quicker and easier to access than ever before for people in the UK, through increasing the use of digital services.
“We look forward to working with Sopra Steria to continue to deliver a world class and convenient service for UKVI customers.”
Managing Director of Sopra Steria’s government business, Adrian Fieldhouse said: “Sopra Steria has a proud history of delivering services on behalf of government and has been delivering forward-thinking solutions for over 50 years.
“We are excited to continue this tradition, offering people in the UK a new model of public service delivery, as well as a great customer experience. In addition, people will be given the choice to pay more for added value services, so they can create their own bespoke service to meet their specific needs.
“This is a great, tangible example of transformation at work and goes to the heart of our business here at Sopra Steria, which is to make the public service experience for people in the UK a world-leading one.”
The new service will help build community links through working in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians and utilising their reach into local communities across the UK.
Alongside the new service, UKVI Service Centres will continue to offer appointments for anyone who needs a face to face interview with a caseworker.
Sopra Steria will take on the contract in October 2018.