From 12th August 2022, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) priority services have been reinstated for new overseas customers applying for sponsored work and global talent visas.
Work visas normally take 15 working days to be processed, under the standard route. This timeframe has recently been extended due to the impact of the Ukraine crisis, with some applications even taking months to be decided. In fact, the impact on processing times during the Ukraine crisis has been so severe, that the Priority and Super Priority services for work visas had been suspended earlier in the year, as the Home Office re-directed resources to deal with applications from and for Ukrainian nationals.
The re-introduction of these services is great news for employers and applicants who require a quicker decision on their work visa application. Expedited services help immensely with employers’ recruitment planning and allow visa applicants to travel at much shorter notice than if they were using the standard service.
The priority service costs £250 per person (this increased from £220 on 10 May 2022) and the Super Priority service is a whopping £956 per person. Under the Priority Service, the visa application would be placed “at the front of the queue”, with a decision normally issued within 5 working days of a visa appointment. The Super Priority Service normally results in a decision being issued within 24 working hours of the biometric appointment.
For applications submitted from 12 August 2022 onwards, an applicant who wishes to use these services will need to purchase them online during the appointment booking process.
Note that these services cannot be purchased at the Visa Application Centre, nor can they be purchased retrospectively.
Someone who already submitted their application through the standard service cannot retrospectively make use of the Priority Services.
Priority services for family applications (for example spouse visa applications) are still suspended. The UKVI is continuing to monitor this.
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Priority services are currently available for Visit visa applications.
It should be noted that processing times are never fully guaranteed, and, if the application is not straightforward, the decision could take longer. Applicants are normally advised by UKVI to avoid booking flights until their visa is in hand.
A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm, with extensive experience in overseas visa applications, including Priority and Super Priority applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your sponsorship or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or at [email protected] today. We’re here to help!