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August 4, 2022

Priority Appointments Reduced To Tackle Backlogs

Our latest blog update discusses the current condition of priority appointments for UK visas.

Overseas UK visa applicants should be aware of the current delays impacting processing times as the Home Office prioritises the Ukraine visa scheme applications.

Renowned immigrant consultants have recently reported that the Home Office takes double the amount of time to deliver a decision on some applications, with no exact date in sight for when applicants can anticipate the return of standard processing times.

While the Home Office caseworkers handle the increasing backlog of pending applications, the department has been compelled to temporarily suspend priority and super priority visa services for specific categories, which include study, work, and family visas.

However, applicants for the UK visit visa can nonetheless utilise the priority and super priority appointments where these are available.

The need for UK visit visas has grown exponentially after the re-opening of international borders and the ease of COVID-19 travel constraints. This elevated applications volume, integrated with the Ukraine crisis, suggests that casework resources are extended and visit visa applications are at present taking on average 7 weeks to process, which is a rise from the standard 3-week service standard.

Due to this condition, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has declared that the number of weekly priority slots available at overseas UK Visa Application Centres (VACs) are reduced until further notice.

 

So what does the current visit visa situation look like?

If you have plans to apply for a visit visa, you may be able to pay for a swifter decision by booking a priority or super-priority appointment where available.

To assist in managing the significant worldwide demand for visit visa applications, UKVI will offer fewer priority visa appointments each week from 15 July 2022. Reducing priority visa appointments for new visa applications will allow UKVI to process additional standard applications and gradually decrease the overall processing time for all customers.

Super priority visa services for visit visas will continue to be available as usual on locations where offered.

 

What About Work, Family, and Study Visas?

Priority and super priority services for new work, family, and study applications remain suspended. UKVI continue to observe this situation, and any updates will be presented once these services are prepared for resumption.

How Can You Book Priority and Super Priority Visa Services?

Priority visa appointments for new visit visa applications must be bought online at the time of the appointment booking process and cannot be bought in the VAC. Furthermore, you can also purchase super priority visa appointments online at the time of the appointment booking process.

On locations available, Priority and Super Priority Visas will be shown when you book your appointment. Where appointments are displayed as unavailable, this implies that the weekly number of appointments has been accepted.

Further Priority Visa appointments will be allotted once a week. All new Priority Visa appointments will be allotted at the same time every week. Bearing this in mind, applicants are instructed that it might take several attempts to confirm a priority slot.

Retrospective Priority and Super Priority Visas services are currently unavailable in any visa category.

 

What Are the UK Visa Processing Times?

The UKVI prioritises Ukraine Scheme applications in answer to the humanitarian crisis generated by the invasion of Ukraine. Applications for a visit, transit, study, work and family visa could take longer to process.

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