Biometrics: Tees Valley

Home Office written question – answered on 24th February 2021.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to extend the provision of biometric enrolment services to the Tees Valley.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) centres are run by Sopra Steria Ltd (SSL) on behalf of UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI).

To determine the service points network when this service was incepted, SSL undertook market research to identify service locations; their research included the impact on customer travel time, cost and accessibility.

When Sopra Steria undertook this research, they found c.88% of customers would be within 25 miles of a service point. These locations are not fixed and are designed to evolve with demand through the contract term.

Where UKVCAS find there is excess demand for appointments they work to increase capacity at existing sites and open new sites in the region to ensure all customers are able to book an appointment.

Since the start of the contract, several new sites have opened to meet customer demand, including a new enhanced service point in Sunderland in July 2020 to improve appointment availability in the North East overall.

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