Reluctant to travel back to Japan at the end of May (or indeed travel anywhere during the outbreak), we contacted the Coronavirus Immigration Helpline who advised us that we are able to switch from SSV to YMS from inside the UK under the current COVID-19 rules. The question is how? The advisor mentioned the UKVCAS visa processing centres which are in the UK, however the online application, which we had already started and paid for (including IHS), redirects you to the VFS Global website and expects you to book a biometrics appointment in Japan.
However we approach this, we will have to cancel and redo the application in order to change some details, including the documents we will provide as "proof of savings" (since we don't have access to them all from here) and I assume also the "expected date of arrival into the UK". My biggest concern is whether cancelling the application (especially after 30 March or during the 2nd ballot) will put our ballot back in the pool meaning we'd have to be selected again (and we know just how unlikely that is). The original email we got when selected for YMS said the following:
Incidentally, it also said this:Please note that you must prepare your on-line application and on-line credit card payment no later than 30 March 2020. Failure to submit your payment on-line by this date will automatically remove your name from the list and the allocation will be retracted. After you have paid on-line you have 90 days to submit your paperwork for consideration.
I'm not sure what the best way forward with this application is, or whether it is even possible as the advisor claimed. If anybody can help to put my thoughts in order and advise on what the current process is in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, I would be most grateful.When visiting the VFS visa application centre you will be asked to produce this email with your passport to the security guard. Your name will be checked against the list of successful candidates. Only those applicants on the list will be admitted to submit their application. You cannot apply in the UK.