Plans for digitising the current visa application process have been outlined by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
UKVI plan to carry out the digital transformation process through an outsourcing deal with a technology supplier.
The process is estimated to run for at least three years, at an estimated cost of £91m. A technology supplier providing the front end services will include identity checks, capture of biometrics and digitisation of supporting evidence and secure submission of all data.
Working alongside the Government Digital Service standards, the chosen technology supplier will be expected to provide the premises, people, hardware and software for the new applicant process and ensure integration with the authority’s systems.
All parts of the visa application process are targeted to be moving to a self-serviced digital experience, where possible.
UKVI are planning to capture each applicant’s biometrics, along with the supplier checking digitised identity documents, to complete the visa application.
Included within the new digital application process, the technology supplier will be expected to include a range of chargeable services to generate more revenue. This will include offers such as a priority service, enabling applicants to quicken the process even further.
Currently, the visa application system allows users to make an initial application for a UK visa through the Gov.uk website, and then applicants need to make an appointment at a visa application centre.
The new tender document highlights the importance of moving to a self-service system for applications. At present, it is unclear how much the new process will depend on interviews, but the new process hopes to potentially develop a system for remote interviews to quicken the process for applicants.
News for the change arises after the UK Border Force announce plans to develop digital landing cards, getting rid of traditional paper cards to quicken the process and also admittance through Border Security.