UK Immigration Law
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The fee can be paid by either cheque or postal order, but I believe there is a space on the form where you can input your card details so that the fee is debited from your account.
You need not attend personally in order to expedite it, this is usually done where an applicant requires it to be submitted within one day before their visa expires. You should send your application by Royal Mail registered special delivery post though and send it at least three working days before your visa expires or as soon as you possible can to be completely certain that the application is submitted in time before your current visa expires.
Once your application has been submitted and is under consideration you have leave to remain until a decision has been made on the application, this is the case even if you have not received a notification of the UKBA's decisions by the time your current visa expires. It also includes the time up until any appeal you make has been decided upon.
I am afraid that UKBA are now generally asking for biometric details to be submitted again, they have recently done this in other applications similar to this.
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