Earlier this year, a new biometric process for immigration applications was introduced with the UKVCAS IDV mobile app. In line with their biometric reuse policy, the Home Office UKVI are now shifting towards a simpler process of proving one’s identity for immigration applications submitted in the UK. Originally only available for Tier 4 student visa applicants, this service may now be available to applicants under work, family and other immigration categories.
Under the new policy, this new application process allows biometrics to be registered on a mobile telephone via the UKVCAS Identity Verification (IDV) mobile app which is also known as the UK Immigration: ID Check Application. Through the app you will be able to verify that your identity document is genuine and that a document belongs to you.
In this post we cover which visa applicants will be eligible for the UKVCAS IDV app and how to use it.
What is IDV UKVCAS mobile app?
The IDV UKVCAS app is a mobile application which can be downloaded on an iPhone and Android phones. It’s main purpose is to allow applicants to submit their biometric information remotely thereby eliminating the need to submit your biometric information in person at local UKVCAS centre. The UKVCAS IDV app will also save money for certain applicants, as they will no longer will be required to pay extra for chargeable UKVCAS appointments.
Submitting biometrics using the mobile ID Check app is only available to applicants who have made their immigration applications inside the UK and if you have received an invitation from the UKVI to use the mobile app. Applicants who do not receive such an invitation to use the mobile app will need to book and attend an in-person biometric appointment
Who can use the IDV UKVCAS app?
The IDV app is available to use by a variety of applicants across a few immigration routes. The mobile app is designed to allow such applicants to reuse biometrics enrolled in previous immigration applications. These include applicants for replacement Biometric Residence Permit Cards (BRP) or Biometric Residence Card applicants under the following categories:
- For leave under the Graduate route from 1 July 2021
- For leave under the Skilled Worker and Student routes from 14 December 2021
- For leave under the Private Life and Settlement Family Life routes from 20 June 2022
- To replace a BRP or BRC
While these applicants are no longer required to attend a biometric appointment because their fingerprints can be reused, they must still upload a new facial image (via the UKVCAS (IDV) application), see below. However, if deemed necessary, applicants may be subject to additional checks if all steps have not been completed using the UKVCAS IDV mobile app.
As per the Guidance, the full requirements are as follows:
- UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has previously enrolled and retained the individuals’ fingerprint biometrics or the individual is permanently unable to enrol their fingerprints
- individuals must hold a valid BRP
- must be aged 5 years old or over
- the existing facial photograph stored on the Immigration and Asylum Biometric System must not be older than 10 years, or 5 years for individuals aged under 16, at the date the application is made and the individual uploads a new facial image
- must use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ application
Successful applicants will be issued a new BRP alongside their eVisas. The eVisa is a digital visa that verifies an applicant’s immigration status, and contains a record of the applicant’s fingerprints and facial images.
If you have submitted your application and have not received an email invitation, you will have to book an appointment at a UKVCAS Service Point in the usual way.
How to use the UKVCAS (IDV) Mobile App
There are few steps you will need to complete your application process through the IDV app, these are:
- Download the application on your mobile device.
- Login using your username which will be your email address you used to register with UKVCAS. Create a password and enter your Unique Application Number (UAN).
- Upload your supporting documents, either by taking photographs, upload from your phone’s gallery, or from an external storage device. There are two sections for documents – mandatory and optional documents. If the application is for a group of applicants, each member of the group must provide at least one document to meet the documentation requirements.
- The next step will be to verify your identity by taking a photograph of yourself and undertaking a ‘liveness’ check. This is to ensure that the applicant that is using the app and not someone on the applicant’s behalf.
- Then you will need to upload an image of your travel document such as a valid passport.
- The final step is to submit through the app. This should only be done once have finished uploading your documents and photographs and completed your ID verification.
- You will then be asked to confirm that all documents comply with the relevant immigration rules and to sign a declaration of truth that appears once you’ve selected to submit.
- Once submitted, your application will be sent to the Home Office UKVI for processing.
For further details on how to use the UKVCAS (IDV) mobile app, please see the Government website and the official instructional video.
Applicants Unable to Enrol Their Biometrics
There is a limited category of applicants who will be able to re-use their biometrics because they are unable to enrol their biometrics, due to circumstances such as their physical inability to travel, injury or ongoing medical treatment.
Provided the UKVI has retained the applicant’s fingerprint biometric information, and the applicant was previously issued a BRP/BRC, their biometrics can be re-used in circumstances where they are physically unable to attend the biometric appointment – or where other options, such as the mobile app, are not viable.
Contact the WF team
Here at Whytecroft Ford, we understand that visa applications can get complicated especially with the ever-changing rules and procedures. For expert advice and assistance with a UK visa or immigration application, contact our team on 0208 757 5751 or complete our contact form.
Frequently asked questions
There are no additional charges to use the IDV app.
If you receive an invitation to use the IDV UKVCAS app but would prefer to attend a UKVCAS service point, you can choose to opt out of the app.
You cannot use the app unless you are invited. You may be able to download the app but will need to wait until you have been contacted to use it.
No. The app will not provide you with status updates. You will just have to wait to hear from the Home Office.
The applicant must apply for their visa from inside the UK; The applicant must have previously submitted their biometrics (fingerprint and photograph) in a previous application to the Home Office; The applicant must have received an email invitation to use the app, received after the application has been submitted online.