Whether or not you can expedite your visa application will depend on the type of visa you are applying for, and the country you are applying from.
For an additional fee, the Home Office offers a variety of priority services, which reduce the processing time of a visa application. Priority services are only available for certain visa applications.
For applications made from within the UK, the standard priority service costs £500, and a decision should be made on your application within 5 days of enrolling your biometrics. The super priority service costs £800, and a decision should be made on your application by the end of the next working day.
For applications made from outside the UK, the ability to secure a priority service will depend on the country you are applying from. If available, the 5-day priority service costs £573, if your visa category leads to Indefinite Leave to Remain (“ILR”), or £250, if your visa category does not lead to ILR (for example a Visit visa). The super priority service costs £956 for entry clearance applications.
If you are using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app, the only priority service available on it is the 5-day priority service, which costs £500. The ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app can only be used for certain categories of visa (including Skilled Worker visas and Student visas) and is limited to EU nationals for entry clearance applications (other nationalities can sometimes use the app when applying from within the UK).
It is important to note that, regardless of whether or not you purchase a priority service, if the Home Office deem your application not to be straightforward, they may exceed their processing times. In addition, priority services may be suspended without notice, and for some visa applications are subject to limited availability per day.
Priority services for applications made from within the UK are purchased when submitting the application to the Home Office. Priority services for applications made from outside the UK are usually purchased when booking a biometric appointment; however, they are sometimes available at the point of submitting the visa application online. It is usually not possible to purchase a priority service following biometric enrolment.
If you are applying as a family and opting for a priority service, you will need to pay the priority fee for each dependant. If no priority service is available for your application, or if there are compelling or compassionate circumstances which mean your application is urgent, you should contact the Home Office to request that your application be treated as a priority (however, there are no guarantees that the Home Office will do so).
How Gherson can assist
Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.