According to the directive, which took effect 03 April 2017, “…All customers applying for UK settlement, including Priority Visa applicants, must send their supporting documentation directly to UKVI in Sheffield, UK by post. Prior to sending any documentation to UKVI, applicants should make sure that the courier company they are planning to use will deliver to Post Office (PO) Box addresses in the UK.”
Immediately after the rule was issued, the VFS-UK Philippines added in their USER PAY SERVICES, a Scanning Service where the supporting documents of the applicants for the UK Spouse Visa, UK Fiancée Visa or any other UK Settlement Visa would be handed over to the VFS-UK Philippines, who, in turn, will send the documents directly to the Sheffield Office by email.
ECO-Friendly adds that the applicant from the Philippines was thus given two options on the manner by which they want to send their supporting documents to Sheffield:
- BY COURIER – Where the original documents and the photocopies thereof were to be sent to the Sheffield Office by courier. The address of the Sheffield Office – SETTLEMENT APPLICATIONS, INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS AND VISAS – PO BOX 5852, SHEFFIELD, UNITED KINGDOM, S11 0FX
- BY VFS SCANNING SERVICE – Where the applicant, for a service fee of Php3,780 may have the documents emailed directly to the Sheffield office.
Most applicants for the UK Spouse Visa, UK Fiancée Visa or any other UK Settlement Visa who were applying from the Philippines then opted to file using the VFS Scanning Service because this tend to be more dependable and the applicant from the Philippines were more certain that the documents would indeed reach the Sheffield office.
Early this year, however, ECO-Friendly learned that the VFS Scanning Service was discontinued, and so the only remaining manner of sending the supporting documents at present to the Sheffield office is by courier.
This mode (by courier) of sending documents tends to be more tedious and stressful because you have to go to a courier service and send the originals documents and the photocopies to the Sheffield office.
What is more stressful is not being certain whether the supporting documents packet sent by the applicant from the Philippines would ultimately reach or be accepted by the UK Sheffield office. Worst, after the decision has been issued, what is the certainty that the original documents will be sent back to the applicant in the Philippines?
NO DELIVERY TO PO BOX ADDRESS
When ECO-Friendly accompanied an applicant for the UK Spouse Visa at the local DHL, we were told that they do not deliver packages which were addressed only to a PO Box. This was another problem. The rules strictly instruct the applicants to send the supporting documents to the PO Box indicated in the regulation.
Since one of the instructions of the UKVI was also to enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope in the supporting documents packet so that they can return the original documents to the Filipina applicant, we tried to buy stamps from the DHL lady.
However, she told us that aside from not being able to deliver to a PO Box, DHL also do not sell stamps for self-addressed stamped envelopes because they are not familiar with the UK rates (another problem).
After several discussions with the DHL lady and the ECO-Friendly client, we decided to just send the documents (photocopies and originals) to the applicant’s sponsor/husband so that the latter can send the documents himself to the PO Box address of the Sheffield office.
Eco-Friendly hopes that a better method of submitting the supporting documents of applicants for the UK Spouse Visa, UK Fiancée Visa and any other UK Settlement Visa will eventually be formulated by the UKVI for the convenience and expediency of the whole process.
Please do not hesitate to contact ECO-Friendly for any other information or queries about your application. Just click the contact box below to get an email from our ECO-Friendly staff.
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