New booking process for premium service appointmentsWith effect form 6 April 2013 there are significant changes to how you book and pay for premium service appointments. The UKBA have said that the changes are being made 'to tackle those abusing the public enquiry office booking system and to help genuine customers to access public enquiry office appointments.'
For anyone booking a premium appointment online you now need to call the immigration enquiry bureau by 3pm on the following day to pay a deposit on your booking. This deposit is £100 per applicant and is required to confirm the appointment. If you do not make this payment before 3pm then your appointment will be cancelled and you will have to book again.
The £100 fee makes part of the revised fee of £375 for the service introduced on 25 February 2013. Once you have paid this the balance of £275 per applicant is paid at the public enquiry office on the day of your appointment.
You can cancel or reschedule your appointment in the normal way through your online account. If you cancel your appointment with 5 or less working days notice, or if you fail to attend your appointment, your £100 fee will not be refunded.
The UKBA are planning on introducing a fully automated pre-payment system which will require all fees to be paid upfront. No specific dates have been given so it is unclear when this will be announced or launched, however.