Updated Visa Processing Times

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has recently published updated guidance on the processing times for UK visa applications made inside the UK. This guidance reflects the currents trends and the expectations for any applications made over the coming months, however as always, these published times are subject to change.

For many of our clients, the processing times for UK visas is a cause of much angst and frustration. Our advice to clients from the outset is always to set reasonable expectations and if you need a fast turn around, consider using one of the priority services if it’s available. Although there are additional costs involved, it can often save you a lot of time and sleepless nights. In this article we’ll take a look at the updated processing times, why an application might take longer than expected and the options available to you for a getting a faster decision.


Family Visas

Spouse visas – 8 weeks

Civil partner visas – 8 weeks

Unmarried partner visas – 8 weeks

Other family visas – 8 weeks


Work Visas

Skilled worker – 8 weeks

Health and care worker – 8 weeks

Global talent – 8 weeks

Graduate – 8 weeks

Overseas domestic worker – 8 weeks

UK Ancestry visa – 8 weeks

Innovator founder – 8 weeks

Start-up – 8 weeks


Temporary Work Visas

Government authorised exchange – 8 weeks

Charity worker – 8 weeks

Creative worker – 8 weeks

International agreement – 8 weeks

Religious worker – 8 weeks


Study Visas

Student – 8 weeks

Child student – 8 weeks


Visitor Visa

Standard visitor visa – 8 weeks


Other Visas

Entrepreneur – 8 weeks

Investor – 8 weeks

Minister of religion – 8 weeks

International sportsperson – 8 weeks

Why an Application Might Take Longer

There are various situations that may result in an extended waiting period for your visa application:

  • If the information provided in your application is inaccurate or needs additional evaluation
  • If you are required to submit further evidence, such as proof of funds
  • If your supporting documents need to undergo verification
  • If you are scheduled to attend an interview
  • If additional information is necessary regarding your personal circumstances, such as a criminal conviction
  • If UKVI is facing a higher volume of visa requests

Should UKVI require additional information for your visa application, you will be notified by them via a letter or email.

Priority Services

When submitting your visa application online, it’s now possible to opt for a priority service to get a decision back sooner. The priority service, which guarantees a processing time of 5 days, is available for most applications and costs an additional fee of £573 for settlement applications or £250 for non-settlement applications. This fee is on top of the regular visa or settlement application fee. An additional super priority service is also available for some applications and ensures processing on the next working day. This services costs an additional fee of £956, in addition to the standard visa or settlement application fee.

If you’re planning to use a priority service, it’s important to be aware of the following points:

  • The additional fee applies to each applicant, so you’ll also need to pay the priority fee for any dependents
  • Priority services are not available for all applications. You should check the UKVI website to confirm they offer the service you want
  • There are a limited number of priority services available so you should book well in advance

Priority services should be selected at the time of application. Although if you initially choose the standard service when submitting and paying your visa fee, and later decide to upgrade to a priority service, you can normally do this if you haven’t submitted your biometrics. However, if you have already completed your biometrics, you will need to cancel your existing application and submit a new visa application, thereby losing the government fees that you’ve paid.