Stage 2 Experience March 2024 Inside UK

Sharing my experience for making an application inside the UK.

I had to make the Stage 2 application twice once in January and once in March. I had to cancel/withdraw the one I made in January because I had to travel outside the UK.

The option for Priority (Decision in 5 working days) and Super Priority (Decision in 1 working day) were available both the times I applied.

After you have made the visa application you need to book an appointment with UKVCAS. They take your Biometrics there and also scan your Passport and BRP if you have paid for scanning service. Or you can upload them before your appointment through their website.

In January there were a lot of standard appointments available, none of them free but plenty available for around 130 pounds in the same week. I could book an appointment for Manchester on Thursday after completing my application on Sunday but this time no appointments at Manchester until start of April.

Also in March I looked at almost all locations from Manchester to Aberdeen, over 85% of places had no appointments for the next 2 weeks, all booked, and only a handful of places in the entire country where an appointment was available in the next 5 days. Aberdeen was the only place with plenty of appointments. I could choose any day from Monday to Friday and get an appointment in Aberdeen but it is too far from where I live so I did not go there.

There is another type of appointment called Meet and Greet, they only offer it at 2 visa centers in London and the only visa center in Manchester.

Even this was not available in Manchester or one of the visa centers in London. It was only available in London Croydon. A standard appointment in London Croydon could not be booked until next week but a meet and greet appointment could be booked the next day. If I remember right a normal appointment there would cost 210 pounds and a meet and greet around 290 pounds. So I choose to book the appointment next day and pay the extra fees.

My appointment was for 12:00 but I went there at 10:30. They did not say anything about being early. I had read some reviews on Google stating that they don’t allow you to enter before your time but no issues this week. I went inside and after passing security I had to wait a couple of minutes for someone to come downstairs and take me to the application booth because I paid for meet and greet appointment.

The application itself only took 10-15 minutes at most both times. They take a scan of BRP a scan of Passport, all the pages with a stamp, and I had already uploaded a pdf of the endorsement letter the day before through the website. Then they take a picture and fingerprints. And that is it.

I was able to catch the train at 11:01 from the train station nearby. The train station is only a 4-5 minutes walk from the visa center. If you use Google maps then it will show you a longer route to and from the train station but there is another entry exit located near Amazon Fresh on Caithness Walk which is only half the distance shown on Google maps.

I had paid for Priority Service (decision in 5 working days). I got an email saying that my application has been sent to UKVI in a few hours after I left the visa center. Then the next morning around 9 I got an email from UKVI saying that my application is successful.

I got the decision in less than 24 hours even though I only paid for Priority Service (5 working days decision).

I did not attach any extra documents even though I had applied once before in January and withdrawn. I only gave Passport, BRP and Endorsement Letter.

A little bit more about UKVCAS appointments.

There are two types of Standard Appointments. One is for around 130-140 and you choose a specific time slot for example Wednesday 11:00. Second is Flexible morning where you pay around 210 but you can go at any time from 9:00 to 12:00. These appointments don’t include document scanning or any extra services. You need to pay extra for them.

Then there is another type of appointment called Meet and Greet. It costs around 290 and includes extras like document scanning, sms service and attendance proof.

I took the meet and greet because I had already applied once before in January and I wanted the new visa this time as soon as possible for peace of mind.

Also the type of standard appointment available varies. For example if you checked at Manchester 4th April you may find 2 Standard appointments available at 10:00 and 12:00 for 130 and then if you checked at Nottingham you might find that both a Standard appointment available to book at 10:00 and also a Flexible Morning being offered for 210 on the same day. Then if you check another center like Liverpool and it is possible there is only Flexible Morning appointment available for 210 and no Standard appointments available which cost 130.

In January I got very very lucky. I was looking at visa centers near me and trying to decide where to book an appointment and after refreshing/opening the booking page for Manchester I suddenly came across a free appointment for Manchester on a Monday the very next day so I quickly booked it.

I tried doing the same for several hours this time but no luck, did not come across any free appointments at least not in the current week. I did not check if there were any free appointments in the next week.

If you are interested to know the time at which I booked the free appointment then I don’t know the exact time I saw it on the UKVCAS website but I see that I have the confirmation email from UKVCAS at 6:18pm.

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