Visas and immigration Service and Support Centres

immigration lawyer london uk eu

Visas and immigration Service and Support Centres


  1. Appointments
  2. Locations


For some UK visa and settlement applications, you’ll need to make an appointment at a Service and Support Centre (SSC).

You’ll be told if you need to go to an SSC, and how to get an appointment, when you apply.

You might be eligible for assistance if you cannot travel or cannot afford to travel to the appointment. You’ll find out how to request assistance as part of your online application.

What happens at your appointment

A UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) staff member will:

  • take your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo)
  • check and scan your documents
  • make sure your application includes all the information needed
  • tell you what happens next

You’ll usually get your documents back at the end of your appointment. UKVI may keep your travel documents, such as your passport, until your application is processed.

How long it will take

Appointments usually take less than 2 hours. They may take longer depending on your circumstances.

If you are only providing your biometric information, your appointment will take around 15 minutes.

Providing biometric information (fingerprints and a photo)

You might be asked to provide your fingerprints and a photo as part of your visa or settlement application. Staff will:

  • take a digital photograph of your face
  • scan your fingerprints (there is no ink or mess)
  • ask you to provide a signature

You do not have to remove your head covering if you wear it for religious or medical reasons.

Children under 5 do not need to have their fingerprints taken or provide a signature.

What to bring

You need to bring your:

  • appointment confirmation
  • passport or travel documents
  • supporting documents
  • checklist of supporting documents

You’ll get the checklist of supporting documents you need to bring when you submit your application.

Joint applications

Everyone on the application must go to the appointment together.

Children under 16

Children under 16 must go to the appointment with the person named as the ‘responsible adult’ on their application.

The responsible adult must bring photo ID with them. This must be a:

  • passport
  • photo driving license
  • national identity card
  • UK Biometric Residence Permit

If the responsible adult is not the parent or legal guardian (for example they are a member of staff from the child’s school) they must also bring written proof of responsibility for the child from:

  • the parent or legal guardian
  • a registered foster carer or social services representative

Getting a decision

You will not get a decision on your application at your appointment. How long a decision takes depends on what you have applied for.

Print entire guide

Explore the topic

Read the publication


Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Fraz Wahlah - CEO Citizen Lawyer

About the Author

Fraz Wahlah

Fraz Wahlah is a leading British human rights lawyer and founder of Citizen Lawyer in London and Birmingham. Read more about Wahlah here