New Study And Work Visa Applications Prioritised by UKVI
Our Blog update for today discusses the prioritization of the new study and work visa by the UKVI.
A division of the Home Office, the UKVI, stated that through its ‘priority service’, new visa applicants can anticipate getting a decision within five working days – or by the end of the following working day as a feature of its ‘super priority service’. Whether an applicant can receive a more rapid decision relies on the applied visa type and whether their identity is verified at a visa application center or through the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app.
Law experts believe that when the crisis in Ukraine began in February, UK Visas and Immigration were relatively fast to redirect resources for visa processing away from regular routes and towards the Ukraine visa schemes. This resulted in the withdrawal of priority services from all overseas visa categories, scaled back for in-country applications, and increased processing times.
According to experts, this transformation created a processing backlog, and it’s standard now to plan for a worker’s start date 1-2 months following the submission of their visa application. Many applicants will welcome the announcement, as the regular work visa processing time has been about four weeks. A service that could cut down the processing time to one week is hugely beneficial.
Applicants who made a visa application before the announcement from UKVI cannot be upgraded to gain an advantage from the priority service. However, they can withdraw their applications and reapply via the priority route. But this process can cause the loss of some application fees, which may mean re-completing the sponsorship process.
The UKVI stated that family members could also gain an advantage from priority services, but each member who requires this service must apply and pay the applicable fee. UKVI added that priority services are not open in all locations; therefore, applicants must check with their selected centre.
Experts further stated that visit visas would be reintroduced with priority services, but at a reduced rate—therefore, it will take some time to reduce the processing times of visit visa applications. Other immigration categories, like family applications, will remain suspended overall from the priority offerings.
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