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PCSing to the UK
DoD Sponsored Contractors and Dependents
DoD Sponsored Contractors and Dependents
The visa application process can be complicated and time consuming. You must read all instructions and make sure you fill out the application thoroughly. The process is also different if you are applying from outside the United Sates, so please pay special attention to all instructions below.
A UK visa, sometimes referred to as "entry stamp", "entry visa", "entry clearance", "entry clearance stamp", or "entry clearance visa" MUST be obtained from the UK and is required for DoD civilians, and their eligible family members BEFORE PCSing to the UK. Failure to obtain a UK visa before arriving in the UK can result in denied entry or deportation. DO NOT PCS to the UK without a US no-fee passport and a UK visa.
A UK visa is required for stays longer than six months. A UK visa is not required for stays of less than six months.
DoD civilians and eligible family members of DoD civilians require a U.S. no-fee passport. A U.S. no-fee passport can be obtained with the aid of the nearest military installation passport office.
Although not required, it is recommended for DoD civilians and their eligible family members to obtain a US tourist passport in addition to the no-fee passport.
DoD civilians and their eligible family members require biometric screening. During your biometrics appointment, your photograph will be taken along with your fingerprints.
*The UK visa application website is experiencing some technical difficulties. If you receive an error message when creating an application for a minor, change the minor's birth year to a year that makes the minor over the age of 18. Once the account is accepted and created, you MUST change the birthday in the application to the correct birthday. *
To apply for a UK visa use the procedures below. Depending on the application location, processing can take three (3) to six (6) weeks.
(1) Visit https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa and click the "Start Now" link.
(2) To fill out the online application, click "Register an Account". On the following page, provide the necessary information and choose a password. An e-mail will be sent to the address provided to complete the application. It is best to use a personal e-mail as .mil firewalls block the e-mail. Additionally, this will increase the ability to be contacted during time in transit. If an e-mail is not received within a few minutes, check the "junk" box.
(3) Once logged onto the site, select either “Apply For Myself” or “Apply For Someone Else” from the “My Applications” page.
(a) The UK Website has been experiencing technical difficulties recently and is making every effort to correct the site as quickly as possible. If travelers receive an error message when creating an application for a minor, change the birth year to a year that makes the minor over the age of 18. Once the account is accepted and created, travelers MUST change the birthday in the application to the correct birthday.
(4) Provide information as required.
(5) For “Reason for Visit” choose “Work".
(6) For "Visa Type" choose "Non Points-Based Working visas”.
(7) For "Visa Sub Type" choose “Dependents more than six (6) months” and then click "Create Application".
(a) **This category prompts Biometrics and the correct fees. Once form is printed, in BIG and BOLD lettering handwrite one of the following categories at the top of the front page: “DOD CONTRACTOR” or “DOD CONTRACTOR DEPENDENT".**
(8) Click on “Go to Application” and provide required information for the next few pages.
(9) For “How long do travelers intend to stay in the UK?” enter length of tour.
(10) If asked for “Date of Departure” enter RNLTD + length of tour (ex. 31 Jul 2014 + 36 months = 31 Jul 2017).
(11) A separate online application and fee payment must be made for each eligible family member regardless of age. Pay the application fee for each application using a credit card (Visa or MasterCard only). It must be paid online.
(12) Schedule a biometrics appointment using the link on “My Applications” page.
(13) Submit the application(s) online, then print the application(s) for mailing or submitting in person. Whether mailing or submitting the application in person will depend on the country where applying from. Ensure a hard copy of the application is kept for travelers records.
(14) Complete biometrics on the scheduled appointment date and time.
(15) When mailing or submitting in person, provide the following items with the application(s). Failure to submit the required items will result in extensive delays in the processing of UK visa applications.
(a) Printed application form(s). Cross out the “Visa Sub Type” then write-in one of the following categories as it applies to the applicant: “DOD CONTRACTOR” or “DOD CONTRACTOR DEPENDENT". Remember to also write this on the top of the front page.
(b) A valid US passport is required for each application. The UK can only issue one (1) visa per individual, so applicants should only submit one (1) type of passport with each application.
(c) One (1) passport sized photograph per applicant, taken against a light background and printed on professional photographic paper. Do not use homemade printouts.
(d) Biometrics appointment confirmation receipt.
(e) Cover letter that includes a point of contact (with phone number and email address), member’s name, relationship of dependents travelling, arrival date, duration of stay in UK, UK assignment location, and address indicating where the passport/visa will be mailed.
(f) Orders naming traveler(s) as dependent(s).
(i) Highlight assignment location, arrival date, tour length, dependent names, and dependent birthdates.
(g) For dependents, include legible copies of Birth Certificate(s) for dependent children and Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificate for spouses/partners. (Some Visa Application Centers require originals).
(h) If children are from a separate relationship, include a NOTARIZED letter from the other biological parent granting permission to travel to the UK. It must demonstrate that the non-custodial parent is aware the child will be in the UK for the duration of the assignment. Submit a court order if parent has sole custody. Where no father is listed on the birth certificate, the mother of the child is assumed to have sole custody and no further documents are necessary.
(i) If the children are over 18, include a letter explaining why the children are still part of the family unit and what they will do in the UK. This should include student status, employment status, who is financially responsible for the dependent, any special needs or disabilities that exist, and activities to be undertaken in the UK. In depth evidence of current personal circumstances is required and applicants can expect to be interviewed by phone by the assessing officer. These applications can take an additional six (6) or more weeks to process.
(j) DO NOT send copies of US passport applications.
(16) If travel date is within three (3) weeks, a priority visa service is available via VFS Global. This is an optional service that allows the traveler to pay an additional fee to expedite processing of the application. There is a fee per application. Priority receipts must be printed and mailed with the applications. The outer most shipping envelope should be marked in large print as “Priority Service”.
(17) If applying from WITHIN the United States (e.g. CONUS, Alaska, Hawaii, US Territories such as Guam and Puerto Rico), select “By Mail” as the submission method. A fully pre-paid return shipping envelope (UPS only) MUST be provided for the US passport and other documents to be returned. Obtaining a tracking number is highly recommended. The British authorities will ship to US addresses only. If an APO address is used, ensure the carrier can deliver to APO addresses. Submit hardcopies to the address listed on the visa application website.
(18) If applying from OUTSIDE the United States, it is best to visit the local military passport office for further instructions as the applications are the same, but the submission procedures may be different depending on the country from which PCSing.
(a) For further information about the application process from overseas countries, visit https://www.gov.uk/find-a-visa-application-centre.
e. UK Biometric Data Requirements: DoD sponsored contractors and their eligible family members are required to provide biometric data as part of the UK visa application.
(1) WITHIN the United States, biometric data collection is accomplished at any of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Application Support Center (ASC) locations throughout the United States. During the online visa application process, applicants are directed to a biometric scheduling website. Once an appointment is scheduled, applicants must visit the USCIS ASC where fingerscans and digital photographs will be taken.
(2) OUTSIDE the United States, biometric data collection is accomplished at various locations based on the country applying from. For further information about the application process from overseas countries, visit https://www.gov.uk/find-a-visa-application-centre.
(3) Fingerscans will be collected from each applicant with an electronic scanner. No ink, liquid or chemical will be used. Ensure fingertips are free from decorations (e.g. henna tattoos), cuts, abrasions, or other markings.
(4) Photographs will be taken with a digital camera. Ensure facial cuts and bruises have healed or disappeared prior to the appointment, and understand photographs will not be taken if the applicant’s face is concealed in any way (e.g. head coverings that cover part of the face, dark glasses, or face or neck coverings).
f. DoD civilians and eligible family members will be issued a limited duration visa vignette in their passport. The visa will be valid for 30 days commencing on the date indicated for travel to the UK. If travel is delayed beyond 30 days, a new visa application is required. During the visa application, travelers must provide a UK post code in order to designate the nearest Royal Mail post office to collect the BRP. This will normally be the UK post code for the traveler's base. Upon arrival in the UK, the BRP must be collected within ten (10) days at the designated UK Royal Mail post office. The UK will send the traveler a letter telling them where to collect the BRP. For ease of reference for UK post codes, see the following lists:
(1) US military installations in the UK:
(a) RAF Alconbury: PE28 4DE
(b) RAF Croughton: NN13 5NQ
(c) RAF Fairford: GL7 4HE
(d) RAF Lakenheath: IP27 9PN
(e) RAF Menwith Hill: HG3 2RF
(f) RAF Mildenhall: IP28 8NF
(g) RAF Molesworth: PE28 0QB
(2) Select UK military installations:
(a) RAF College Cranwell: NG34 8HB
(b) RAF Coningsby: LN4 4SY
(c) RAF Digby: NG32 2DQ
(d) RAF Fylingdales: YO18 7NT
(e) RAF High Wycombe: HP14 4UE
(f) RAF Marham: PE33 9NP
(g) RAF Waddington: LN5 9NB
(h) RAF Welford: RG20 7EX
(i) RAF Wyton: PE28 2EA
(3) UK Ministry of Defense HQ
(4) MOD HQ Main Building (London): SW1A 2HB
(5) NATO International Military HQ in the UK
(6) NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM), Northwood HQ: HP18 9AF NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), Imijn Barracks: GL3 1HW