Questions about VFS/ACS, and Scan or Mail

Old Oct 10th 2019, 11:21 pm
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Default Questions about VFS/ACS, and Scan or Mail

I have been working to research on this forum and elsewhere to answer my few remaining questions, and while I've had many graciously answered, and I've answered a few myself, I've also picked up some new ones. I want to ask the ones I still have.

VFS vs US Dep. HomeSec ACS:

--For Americans, is using VFS better than using a US Dep. Homeland Security ACS? That is, is it better to have VFS take Biometrics, and then mail everything for you, than going to an ACS and then mailing things yourself? I am going to pay for Priority service, either on the GOV website, or on the VFS website.

--If I went to an ACS and then mailed everything myself, is it more likely for something to go wrong with my Priority service? (even if I follow the steps of including my receipt in the package, and writing Priority Service on the exterior)

--The nearest VFS for me is 5 hours each way driving. I really don't want to go there to pick my passport up. They offer delivery direct to home when it is returned. Is there something similar if I use an ACS? Do I pick it up from the ACS, or can it be sent to my home?

Scanning/Uploading and Mailing:

--What is the best way to make sure the Home Office gets my documents?

--Has anyone scanned and uploaded themselves, on the GOV website? What is that process like, any advice?

--Or is it better to have everything scanned at VFS?

--Is it "Pick One" of Scan/Upload or Mail to VFS in NY?


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Old Oct 11th 2019, 2:38 am
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Default Re: Questions about VFS/ACS, and Scan or Mail

I meant to write ASC (Application Support Center), not ACS.

I have read the following VFS pages:

https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/us/en/va...ting-documents
https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/us/en/how-to-apply

But they haven't really clarified whether I can self upload via the GOV site (or is it on the VFS site, even if you aren't a customer), or if self-upload is only offered to VFS customers purchasing one of their packages

The wording is somewhat ambiguous, as on one page it seems suggestive that I don't have to buy a VFS package to be able to self-upload, and on another page, it says that if I choose ASC for biometrics, I will have to mail the docs to the VFS Processing Hub in NY

The VFS website also mentions the Walk-In centers, and also gives an additional address one can mail to (just saying this for reference for others, though I think my preference is to upload everything myself if possible)
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Old Oct 11th 2019, 7:19 am
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Default Re: Questions about VFS/ACS, and Scan or Mail

So I'm answering myself here again, and that's alright, because I hope that this post will get some great replies to put things to rest, and I think that if this really all gets answered, it could be a great resource for others looking for a bit of a guide.

Here's how I see things going:

I'm going to be getting my docs in the mail from my sponsor. I'll complete my application on "AccessUK" (UKVI site that is so awkwardly hard to find), pay the fee and IHS surcharge, book an appointment for biometrics at an American ASC (Dallas for me), write down my "GWF" number, use that number on the VFS website to pay for Priority Service, and print my priority service receipt.
I'll take my printed application, passport, and biometrics appointment confirmation go to my biometrics appointment at the ASC. I get the biometrics taken, have my confirmation stamped, and then I go home. I have 5 days (I'll do it immediately obviously) to mail my passport, priority service receipt, stamped biometrics, application, and supporting documents (including an Appendix 2 to be safe). I am going to send originals of everything (the VFS site says NO originals but that seems like it can't be right. Clarification, anyone?) Everything mailed is going to the VFS UKVI scanning hub in NY, and I'm writing PRIORITY SERVICE on the envelope in black Sharpie, and inside I'm also including a return envelope from UPS (has to be UPS).

I've figured out that one can definitely self-upload, and I'll find out if it's through AccessUK or through VFS website when I get that far I suppose. However, the question really is, should I bother with uploading at all, or should I only mail everything to the scanning hub? To me, seems wise to upload it all myself, and then also mail the supporting documents off as well, unless that is not allowed or ill-advised. And if I scan, presumably I should scan a cover sheet that says "Priority Service"? Does anyone have a link to a guide for scanning things in? Haven't found a good thread for that. Presumably I'll just scan cover sheets in between sections if there aren't specific upload forms for individual documents. Which documents will be returned to me in my return envelope. Everything that I send?

So much insufficient, conflicting, outdated info out there. It's madness!
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Old Oct 11th 2019, 11:58 am
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Default Re: Questions about VFS/ACS, and Scan or Mail

Originally Posted by TexasToYorkshire View Post
So I'm answering myself here again, and that's alright, because I hope that this post will get some great replies to put things to rest, and I think that if this really all gets answered, it could be a great resource for others looking for a bit of a guide.

Here's how I see things going:

I'm going to be getting my docs in the mail from my sponsor. I'll complete my application on "AccessUK" (UKVI site that is so awkwardly hard to find), pay the fee and IHS surcharge, book an appointment for biometrics at an American ASC (Dallas for me), write down my "GWF" number, use that number on the VFS website to pay for Priority Service, and print my priority service receipt.
I'll take my printed application, passport, and biometrics appointment confirmation go to my biometrics appointment at the ASC. I get the biometrics taken, have my confirmation stamped, and then I go home. I have 5 days (I'll do it immediately obviously) to mail my passport, priority service receipt, stamped biometrics, application, and supporting documents (including an Appendix 2 to be safe). I am going to send originals of everything (the VFS site says NO originals but that seems like it can't be right. Clarification, anyone?) Everything mailed is going to the VFS UKVI scanning hub in NY, and I'm writing PRIORITY SERVICE on the envelope in black Sharpie, and inside I'm also including a return envelope from UPS (has to be UPS).

I've figured out that one can definitely self-upload, and I'll find out if it's through AccessUK or through VFS website when I get that far I suppose. However, the question really is, should I bother with uploading at all, or should I only mail everything to the scanning hub? To me, seems wise to upload it all myself, and then also mail the supporting documents off as well, unless that is not allowed or ill-advised. And if I scan, presumably I should scan a cover sheet that says "Priority Service"? Does anyone have a link to a guide for scanning things in? Haven't found a good thread for that. Presumably I'll just scan cover sheets in between sections if there aren't specific upload forms for individual documents. Which documents will be returned to me in my return envelope. Everything that I send?

So much insufficient, conflicting, outdated info out there. It's madness!
We just completed our application. Applied through Access UK. After submission of online application, we used the VFS website to self scan/upload documents without any charge. After uploading everything, we were able to book an appointment for Biometrics. Paid for Priority visa and premium appointment.

I am not sure if they accept mailing anymore. That has changed. There are basically 3 options on how to submit docs:

1. Self upload
2. Sponsor takes docs to one of the VFS centres in UK and gets them scanned there...costs 75 pounds per applicant
3. You can go yourself to the VFS centre and get them scanned when you attend your biometric appointment in home country

Hopefully, seniors will be able to guide you better.
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Old Oct 12th 2019, 12:59 am
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Default Re: Questions about VFS/ACS, and Scan or Mail

Great, thanks BlackScholes. What's trickier, the visa or your namesake equations?

What exactly did you pay for with VFS? Priority Visa Service, anything else? And you uploaded all your supporting docs and application? Anything else? For your priority receipt, stamped biometric receipt, and passport, that all simply went in the mail to the VFS hub in NY?

Thanks very much for taking the time to reply!
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Old Oct 13th 2019, 11:09 pm
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Default Re: Questions about VFS/ACS, and Scan or Mail

Originally Posted by blackscholes View Post
We just completed our application. Applied through Access UK. After submission of online application, we used the VFS website to self scan/upload documents without any charge. After uploading everything, we were able to book an appointment for Biometrics. Paid for Priority visa and premium appointment.

I am not sure if they accept mailing anymore. That has changed. There are basically 3 options on how to submit docs:

1. Self upload
2. Sponsor takes docs to one of the VFS centres in UK and gets them scanned there...costs 75 pounds per applicant
3. You can go yourself to the VFS centre and get them scanned when you attend your biometric appointment in home country

Hopefully, seniors will be able to guide you better.
Could you possibly clarify something? I am confused, if the Stamped biometrics sheet, priority receipt, application printout, should also be included in what you upload? Or do those things only need to be mailed? I guess if you used VFS, they mailed it for you, and did you choose to go back to VFS for passport pick up or are you having it mailed back to you?

Thanks BlackScholes
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