Return of your documents in the USA
This page tells you how we will return your documents after we have made a decision on your UK visa application in the USA.
How will we return your documents?
You have 2 options for the return of your documents:
Before you submit your application, you must purchase return shipping from a recognised carrier (DHL, UPS, FedEx and United States Postal Service collect from our office daily). The return shipping must be prepaid. We will not ship applications where payment is taken after the application is shipped (for example, where a credit card or account number is provided on the shipping label to be charged later).
When you submit your application, you must include packaging for us to return your passport and other documents. The return shipping label must be affixed to this packaging.
The return shipping label/package must be addressed to the UK visa applicant. It must not be addressed to a third party. You should choose a service which allows you to track the delivery of your package. Your return shipping label must not be handwritten.
Settlement applications submitted to the visa hub in Sheffield will require an international pre-paid shipping label and the appropriate packaging. The onus is on the you the visa applicant to ensure the return mailing address is correct, as we cannot rectify any shipping errors on your waybill. In addition, please note we do not ship return documents outside of the US.
The Applying for a UK visa page contains more information.
By registered agent
If you have chosen to submit your application via an authorised visa service or travel agent, the agent may return your documents directly to you, but only if you use such a service to submit the application - please see the New York visa processing hub page for more information.
When will we return your passport?
We will keep your passport until we have made a decision on your visa application. You should remember this when you make your travel arrangements, particularly if you plan to visit other countries before going to the UK.
If you need to collect your passport before a visa decision has been made, your visa application will be withdrawn. Please note that the visa fee is non-refundable once you have enrolled your biometric information. If you want to reapply for a visa, you will need to make another application, enrol your biometric information, and pay the application fee again.
Checking your visa
If your application has been successful, you will receive your visa with your returned documents. When you receive your visa, you should check that it:
contains your correct personal details;
correctly states the purpose for which you want to come to the UK; and
is valid for the date when you want to travel.
If you think there is anything wrong with your visa, please contact our information partner WorldBridge. You can find their contact details on the WorldBridge in the USA website.