Home Office assisted digital team flags up need for service support
Project with UK Visas and Immigrations offers telephone and face-to-face help for users lacking digital confidence or access
Charities, libraries, and training providers are offering telephone and in-person support for those requiring help online visa applications
The Home Office is offering to help public sector bodies design and provide assistance for citizens who lack the access or skills to use digital services.
The department’s assisted digital team recently completed such a project with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). The visa agency has a range of digital services providing information on visas and asylum, and offering tools to apply online.
Part of the government’s Digital Service Standard requires service providers to demonstrate that they have taken steps to understand the needs of users, and worked to offer any necessary support. Having concluded that it needed to offer better options for those who lack the requisite access or skills to use its digital services, UKVI teamed up with assisted digital professionals from the Home Office to work on providing help to such users. Since last week, there are now three channels of additional support to help people complete their digital visa applications.
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For telephone assistance, users can be connected to an advisor from charity Migrant Help UK who will talk them through the application process. Face-to-face help is being offered in libraries, where time with advisors can be booked in advance and is also being offered on a walk-in basis. In-person support is also available in applicants’ homes, via visits from tutors from training provider We Are Digital.
The Home Office said: “The UKVI assisted digital support model is a great example of how to meet user needs. It helps people who are not online to make immigration applications and will help upskill people for the future, in line with the government’s transformation strategy.”
Other government bodies requiring help with researching, designing, or implementing assisted digital services are advised to contact the Home Office’s team.
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