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Latest Update on the UK Visa Processing Times 2023

uk visa processing times

UK visa processing times have become a critical aspect for individuals planning to travel to the country. However, these processing times can vary significantly depending on multiple factors, such as the type of visa, the location of the application, and the applicant’s circumstances. This article highlights the updated time for UK visa processing and its fast track process for inside the UK and outside the UK.

Understanding the UK Visa Processing Times

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has issued service standards for visa and immigration application decision times. Where these services are available, the processing time standard for applications filed via the priority service and super-priority service is 5 working days and the following working day, respectively. Applications for a sponsor licence submitted through the pre-licencing priority sponsor licence service should be decided within 10 working days.

Based on its customer charter, UKVI aspires to meet these service criteria for visa processing times for simple, complete applications. Actual UK visa processing periods can vary greatly.

Time for UK Visa Processing

Categoryin-country applicationsProcessing Time
Skilled worker visa8 Weeks
Health and care worker visa8 Weeks

Categoryoverseas applicationsProcessing Time
Skilled worker visa3 Weeks
Health and care worker visa3 Weeks

What is the difference between UKVCAS and Home Office processing?

One factor that can influence the UK visa processing time is whether the application has to go through the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS). UKVCAS was introduced in November 2018 to handle specific UK visa, settlement, and citizenship applications made by individuals already residing in the UK. Applicants will be informed if their application must be processed through UKVCAS.

UK Visa Fast Track Processing Time

It is worth noting that fast-tracked services are no longer available for non-Ukrainian applicants, even for urgent requirements. Priority processing, available for certain work and settlement routes such as the Skilled Worker visa, allows applicants to pay an additional fee for fast-tracked processing. Under priority processing, decisions are typically provided within 5 working days. Alternatively, the super-priority service guarantees a decision by the end of the next working day.

Visa decision waiting times applications outside the UK

The Home Office has advised that applications for study, work, and family visas may experience longer processing times. Visit visas and work visas are currently taking an average of 6 weeks to process, while student visa applications are being processed within the service standard. Certain family applications made outside the UK, such as those related to joining a family member in the UK, may now take up to 24 weeks to process. There have also been reports of dependent children and spouse visa applications taking longer to process than main Skilled Worker visa applications. Other types of applications, including transit visas, may require up to six weeks for processing.

When you might wait longer

Your visa application may take longer to process, for example:

  • the information in your application is not accurate or requires further consideration
  • you need to provide further evidence, for example evidence of funds
  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • further information is required on your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)
  • UKVI is experiencing increased visa demand

You will be contacted by letter or email if we need more information on your visa application.

Reference: Visa processing times: applications outside the UK

Visa decision waiting times applications inside the UK

Once the applicant verifies their identity and submits their documents and application, UKVI begins processing the application. This can be done either through the UK Immigration: ID Check app or by attending an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) center or a Service and Support Centre (SSC) to provide biometric information. The processing is considered complete when the applicant receives a letter or email notifying them of a decision.

When you might wait longer

Your visa application may take longer to process, for example:

  • the information in your application is not accurate or requires further consideration
  • you need to provide further evidence, for example evidence of funds
  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • further information is required on your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)
  • UKVI is experiencing increased visa demand

You will be contacted by letter or email if we need more information on your visa application.

Reference: Visa processing times: applications inside the UK

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