UK visa processing times

06 May 2024, 49 mins ago

Once you have submitted your UK online visa application and verified your identity (either by attending an in-person appointment, or by using the ID Check app), your application and supporting documents will be transferred to the Home Office for consideration.

The Home Office have published a guideline on their processing standards for applicants and aim to process visa applications within the stated timeframes. Whilst these processing standards cannot be guaranteed, they serve as a good indication of when to expect a decision on a visa application, which may alleviate some stress that often accompanies the visa application process.

For entry clearance applications (i.e. applying from outside of the UK for permission to enter the UK), the confirmed Home Office standard processing times in respect of non-settlement visa applications (i.e. Standard Visitor visas) are 15 working days, and for settlement applications (i.e. family visas) they are 24 weeks.

If you are applying from within the UK, the visa processing times can take anywhere between 3 weeks and 12 months. If you are applying for leave to remain as a spouse, worker or student, applications under the standard processing service should be processed within 8 weeks. The published standard processing time for an application for indefinite leave to remain in the UK should normally be 6 months.

Subject to availability, you can opt for a priority or super priority processing service for an additional fee, to request for a faster decision to be made. This is helpful to applicants in situations where they need to travel soon. The priority processing service aims for a decision to be made within 5 working days, and the super priority processing service aims to process a visa application within 24 hours.

Factors affecting UKVI processing times

The time it takes for the Home Office to process your visa application will vary considerably. Below is a non-exhaustive list of factors that may affect the processing time of your application:

  • Inaccuracies that need clarification
  • Requirement of further evidence  
  • Application complexity (including if you have any previous criminal convictions or an adverse immigration history)
  • The amount of evidence provided
  • The capacity of caseworkers
  • General global political issues

Premium services are often a welcome solution for applicants who need to travel soon, as you will generally be unable to leave the country until a decision is made once your application is submitted within the UK (except for applications to naturalise as a British citizen).

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 XFacebookInstagram, 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.

©Gherson 2024