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Changes to UK visa application services in Canada

Visa application centres in Canada are now operated by commercial partner, VFS Global.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Close-up photo of a UK visa

From 6 March, 2014 UK Visas & Immigration’s new commercial partner VFS Global opened Visa Application Centres (VACs) in Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. These centres are authorized to accept UK visa applications in all categories. Applications and appointments can be made online at www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk.

Whilst the Toronto VAC will continue to be free to users, for Edmonton, Vancouver & Ottawa there is now an appointment fee of £59 which is payable in US dollars online via the VFS Global website to cover the cost of providing the application centre. Expanding our network of User Pay Visa Application Centres allows us to maintain a visa service in low volume locations where the costs of continuing to offer a service free of charge would be prohibitive. Where convenient, the Toronto VAC can be used by customers who do not wish to pay the additional charge.

This fee is in addition to the visa fee and must be paid at the point of booking the appointment. Appointments in Edmonton, Ottawa & Vancouver cannot be honoured if this fee, which includes the cost of shipping the application to the decision making hub and back to your home address, is not paid.

In the coming months, Temporary Enrolment Locations (TELs) will open in St. John’s and Halifax on specific days. A schedule will be posted on the VFS Global website. At these TELs, there will also be an appointment fee of £59 which is payable in US dollars online. This will be in addition to the visa fee and must be paid at the point of booking the appointment to cover the cost of providing the application centre in St. John’s and Halifax. Again, appointments cannot be honoured if this fee, which includes the cost of shipping the application from the TEL to a decision making hub and back to your home address, is not paid.

The UK government is working closely with its commercial partner to ensure continuity of service during this transition period. There will be no other significant changes to the UK visa application process for customers in Canada and visa applications will continue to be sent to our visa hub in New York or to Sheffield for assessment by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) staff. There will also be no change to processing times.

The decision to issue or refuse a visa is made solely by UK Visas & Immigration officers of the Home Office, in accordance with UK’s immigration visa rules and guidelines. Staff at UK VACs have no role or influence over the outcome of an application and will not offer any evaluative advice.

The VACs in Canada will be situated at:

Edmonton

Manulife Place, 10180-101 St, Suite 3400
Edmonton AB T5J 3S4
Canada

Ottawa

343 Preston Street, 11th Floor
Ottawa ON K1S 1N4
Canada

Toronto

601, 208 Bloor Street West
Toronto ON M5S 3B4
Canada

Vancouver

Vancouver Oceanic Plaza, 1066 West Hastings Street, Suite 2000
Vancouver BC V6E 3X2
Canada

For more information, please visit www.vfsglobal.co.uk/canada

Published 12 March 2014