As part of the visa application process, the visa applicant must in most cases attend a Visa Application Centre (VAC) to have their biometrics taken. The rule generally is that the application will not begin unless the biometrics data have been submitted.

Since May 2023, it is possible however to delay attending a VAC where it is deemed unsafe to do so. For this the applicant must contact the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to request that the latter predetermines the application before the biometrics is taken, or to excuse the applicant from the requirement to attend a VAC to enrol their biometrics and defer the requirement to enrol their biometrics on or after their arrival in the UK.

Before contacting the UKVI, the applicant must demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable steps to complete their biometrics including:

Decision makers must consider all 4 criteria listed below and only agree to predetermine an application or excuse individuals from the requirement to attend a VAC to enrol their biometric information where they can demonstrate they meet all 4 criteria as follows:

  1. The applicant’s identity must be certain to a reasonable degree
  2. The applicant must provide evidence that travelling to a VAC would be unsafe and that they cannot delay their application.
  3. The circumstances are so compelling as to make them exceptional such that their presence in the UK is required urgently for example the UK sponsor requires full-time care.
  4. The applicant must confirm that they want to be excused from attending a VAC or whether they are willing to attend an alternative VAC.

Where an applicant is excused from attending a VAC for their biometrics, the individual must arrange for their identification documentation such as their passport to be sent to the VAC where they would normally attend.

For further information please contact us at

The latest statement of changes to the Immigration rules has been published. Bonheur Legal has compiled a list of the most significant changes that we believe will be most pertinent to our clients and future clients.

We will therefore be focusing mainly on:

The Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme

The introduction of the Innovator Founder route on 13 April 2023

The increase of the minimum salary under the skilled worker

The Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme

The UK Immigration Minister reiterated that one of Government’s ongoing priority is to secure the UK borders and keeping people safe. The UK’s ambition is that everyone wishing to travel to the UK has the appropriate permission and the Government believe that the ETA scheme will be contributing to the Government to achieve their aim.

Set out in Appendix Electronic Travel Authorisation; the ETA scheme will apply to foreign individuals, visiting or transiting through the UK who currently do not need a visa for short stays. It will also apply to those using the Creative Worker route for a short stay in the UK.

As of 15 November 2023, the scheme will apply to nationals of Qatar. 

The scheme will be extended to nationals of the following countries as of 15 February 2024:


Residents of Ireland that do not need a visa will be exempt from applying for the ETA to enter the UK. 

UK ETA app

The ETA application will be made via the UK ETA app and should take 3 working days to be processed.

The ETA will be issued electronically.

The Innovator Founder Route

The Innovator Founder route is a replacement of the less popular Innovator and Start-up routes. The criteria under the current Innovator Route will be more flexible under the Innovator Founder Route.

There is no longer the 50 000 GBP minimum funds requirement, and it is possible under certain conditions for the holders of the Innovator Founder visa to engage in employment outside the running of their business.

Extension applications will be possible under the Innovator Founder – Same Business criteria, where the applicant last had permission as an Innovator Founder or was on the Start-Up or Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) routes. 


Settlement will be possible after spending three years continuously resident in the UK under the Innovator Founder route.

Skilled Worker – Salary change

The minimum salary threshold for Skilled Worker visa is now 26,200 GBP.

Furthermore, the new salary for the Global Business Mobility Senior and Specialist workers will now be 45,800 GBP and 24,220 GBP respectively.

The new proposed salary for the Scale-up workers will be 34,600 GBP.

Please contact us should you have any further questions.

The Chagos Islands… The Chagos archipelago is a place close to our heart as the founder of Bonheur Legal originates from the Islands. It is a place that has seen its’ inhabitants expelled from their own land by the UK and made homeless between 1967 and 1973 in order for the US to set-up a military base.

In 2002, the UK agreed to grant British citizenship to British Overseas Territories citizens which meant that the Chagossians and their children could gain British citizenship. This however did not extend to grandchildren and great-grand-children.

After years of campaigning, the Government has agreed to amend the Nationality and Border Act, such that the British nationality has now been extended to People of Chagossian descent. The chagossian descent have a five-year period to register as British citizens.

Applying for the British Citizenship

The application process is now opened and since the 23 November 2022, the applicants can apply for British overseas territory citizenship or British citizenship at the same time and if successful, will obtain both statuses.

Applications can be made online at

Note that if you live overseas, you will be required to attend a biometric appointment at a visa centre as part of the application process.

Documents required

As part of the requirements, the applicants will have to provide evidence that they are a descent of a Chagossian born in the Chagos Islands. This can include marriage certificates, court records etc. It is our understanding that the Home Office will approach each case on its own merits and where evidence might be lacking, they will attempt to check their records to locate this. 


The application is free of charge.

How can we assist

We can help you with the whole application and some of our staff can speak and write in creole.

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