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UK Visa Processing Times

Many factors impact visa processing times, this article is a summary of the current (average) processing times. For accurate information refer to UKVI.

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UK visa processing times vary quite significantly depending on what visa is being applied for, where the application has been made, and what an individual’s circumstances are

It is worth mentioning that the provided information is just a guide, and so, processing times experience may be longer or shorter depending on factors such as the complexity of your case, the capacity at the UKVI.

UK visa processing times

In order to assess whether your visa or immigration application has been delayed, it is important to understand what the current visa decision waiting times are.

Your UK visa processing time begins when you submit your application online and ends when you have received a letter or email which outlines the decision. Some applicants will only need to submit an application form, however, others may be required to either:

  1. Attend an appointment to provide both fingerprints and pictures at a biometric centre either within the UK or at an approved partner centre outside of the UK.

  2. Verify identity and submit documents using the UK Immigration ID Check app (ID check app).

If applicable, your UK visa processing time begins once you have either attended a biometrics appointment or have submitted the relevant documents to the UK ID Check app.

It is worth noting that a priority visa service is available for in-country and out-of-country applications. The priority visa service means that decisions on visa applications can be received within 1 and 5 working days (depending on the service purchased). Unfortunately, the priority visa service is not available for every visa route - where it is available you will be able to purchase it either upon submission of an application or during the process of booking the biometric appointment.


UK visa processing time: Applications made inside the UK

Below is a summary of how long the UKVI expects decisions to be made on the various types of UK immigration and visa applications. The UK visa processing time starts after you have submitted your biometric details, either through the ID Check App or by attending an in-person appointment.

According to UKVI, applicants who have made a visa application (and haven’t paid to receive a priority service) can expect to receive a decision within 8 weeks when switching to, or extending any of the following visas:

Entrepreneur visa

Intra-company visa

Scale-up Worker visa

Global talent visa

Investor visa

Skilled Worker visa

Innovator visa

Minister of Religion visa

International sportsperson visa

High Potential Individual visa

Representative of an Overseas Business visa

Religious Worker visa

Graduate Route visa

Temporary Worker visa

Standard Visitor visa

Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa

Charity visa



Applicants who have applied to either switch to, or extend either a Health and Care Worker visa or a Start-up visa, can expect to receive a decision within 3 weeks

Applicants who have submitted a settlement application, can expect to receive a decision within 6 months

Please be aware that the standard visa processing times outlined above have been impacted by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. As a result of this, decisions on visa applications are taking more than 11 weeks to be made. However, UKVI is continuously working and aiming to return their decision timelines back within their standard service times.


UK visa processing time: Applications made outside of the UK

Below is a summary of how long the UKVI expects decisions to be made on the various types of UK immigration and visa applications. The processing time refers to the period after an individual has attended a biometric appointment or has verified their identity through another means. 

According to UKVI, applicants who have made a visa application can expect to receive a decision within 3 weeks when making an application for one of the following:

  • Visit visas (this includes Standard Visit visas)

  • Transit visas

  • Student visas

  • Short term study visa

  • Commonwealth citizen visas (including Ancestry visas)

  • Returning resident visa

  • Work and investment visas, including:


If you have made a visa application to join family in the UK (i.e. partner visa, spouse visa, parent visa, child visa, adult dependent relative visa, private life applications) then visa decisions take around 24 weeks. However, if you are applying for family reunion to join a  refugee or an individual with humanitarian protection, then decisions will take around 12 weeks (but there are currently delays in visa processing times).

The decision waiting time for the Hong Kong BNO visa and Turkish Businessperson visa is around 12 weeks.

If you are applying for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit, you will get a decision soon after you have proved your identity and provided the required documents.


What is the waiting time after biometrics?

The waiting time after biometrics depends on a range of factors including:

  • What visa you applied for.

  • Whether you applied from inside or outside the UK.

  • Whether you paid to receive a priority service.

  • The complexity of the case.

  • The evidence presented.

For a general overview of the waiting times after biometrics head over to these links (applying from outside the UK or applying from inside the UK).


What are some of the factors which affect immigration and visa application processing times?

The delays to the visa and immigration processing times are currently largely caused by Covid and the Ukraine crisis. However, other factors which can affect processing times include:

  • The complexity of the case.

  • Concerns about an individual meeting the eligibility requirements (e.g. having a criminal record or an adverse immigration history).

  • Concerns about the documents presented with the application (e.g. issues with authenticity or not many have been provided).

  • If the applicant is required to attend an interview.

  • The capacity of the caseworkers at UKVI.


Can I speed up the processing time of my visa?

Yes certain UK visa applications enable you to pay to receive either a priority service or a super priority service.

If you are eligible to benefit from the priority service then a decision on your visa application will be made within 5 working days of attending your appointment at the visa application centre or uploading your documents on the UK Immigration: ID Check app. 

If you are eligible to benefit from the super priority service then a decision on your visa application will be made within 1 to 2 working days of attending your appointment at the visa application centre or uploading your documents on the UK Immigration: ID Check app

Please note that priority and super priority services have been suspended for new family visa applications and there is a reduced availability for these services amongst visitor visa applications.

Want to know more about applying for a UK visa?

Perhaps you have a question about UK visa processing times, or perhaps you have a question about applying for a UK visa. Whatever, the need, why not get in touch with us today and claim your free consultation with an expert immigration lawyer?

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What to do when there is a Home Office delay


If your application to any of the routes outlined previously has been delayed, then you can do one of the following.


Contact UKVI to escalate application delays

UKVI offers several routes to contact them and enquire about applications.

For applications made outside of the UK, you can contact UKVI online. Queries cost £2.74. Upon completion of this application form and payment a response will be received from UKVI by way of email within 5 working days. You will not be charged for any follow-up emails about the same enquiry.

For both applications made within the UK and from outside of the UK a complaint can be lodged through this link. This route is free however upon submission of the complaint it takes 28 working days for a response to be received in respect of the application.


Contact your local MP

If you have made an immigration application within the UK and it has been delayed, then an alternative route to escalate this delay would be to contact your local Member of Parliament (MP).

To find out who your local MP is, please head over to this link. Upon selecting your MP based on your location you will be brought to their page on the government where you can find the correct email address to contact them.

If you choose to contact them to express your concern or frustration at the delay in your immigration application, then it is important that you write in a formal manner. Your email or other form of correspondence should include the following:

  1. The reason why you are requesting your MP’s assistance.

  2. What you would like them to do after reading your request.

  3. Facts and evidence which supports your case and shows that you have experienced a Home Office delay.

The above information will assist your local MP to determine the strength of your case and how they can best assist you.

Your MP has the power to raise your case with UKVI which is invaluable because UKVI is obligated to respond. However, UKVI might only tell your MP what stage your case is at or reaffirm that your appeal rights have been exhausted. Therefore, it is important to be very specific with what you request your MP to do i.e. pushing for a decision to be made in the instance of a prolonged delay on your application. It is only through a specific and measured approach that you can increase your chances of getting positive intervention.


Parliamentary Ombudsman

The Parliamentary Ombudsman is a body which makes the final decisions on complaints that are yet to be resolved by a government department within the UK. They aim to do this fairly, without biases and freely. However, you can only complain about UK government departments (such as UKVI) if an MP refers the complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. In summary, a complaint form (found here) must be completed and signed by an MP before being submitted.

You can only make a complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman about one of the following:

  • The government department’s (e.g. UKVI) conduct was unfair.

  • The service you received was poor.

  • The negative impact of either the above has not been resolved.

It is then for the Parliamentary Ombudsman to investigate this and determine whether the government department is at fault and have failed to resolve these issues. Ideally, a complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman is submitted as soon as all of the other routes (mentioned previously) have been exhausted. However, as long as a complaint is lodged within the time-limits it will still be valid: this means that a complaint about a UK government department must be made within a year of becoming aware of the problem.

If the Parliamentary Ombudsman agrees with your complaint, they can do one of the following:

  • Request the government department take action to rectify its error, which could be in the form of either a refund or apology or acknowledging its mistake.

  • Instruct the government department to revisit the incorrect decision made.

  • Ask the government department to change their processes in order to prevent them from repeating the same mistake. This step would require the government department to review any policies, guidance, and standards which are in place.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman will also consider legal action where appropriate as they might be of the view that the best solution to your complaint is within the courts. However, this decision will be made considering all factors, such as the likely cost of legal action, the likelihood of a positive outcome and the likely length of court proceedings.



In summary, when dealing with Home Office delays it is first important to assess whether you have in fact experienced a delay. With this information you can then:

  1. Contact UKVI to get an update.

  2. If that fails you can escalate your issue to your local MP.

  3. As a last resort you can lodge a complaint with the Parliamentary Ombudsman providing that your local MP has referred your complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman first.


How can Paragon Law help?

Whilst we cannot speed up the processing time of your immigration or UK visa application, we will make the strongest application for you. By making a strong application we can attempt to reduce the processing time of your visa application (not a guarantee). If you have any queries about UKVI processing times, or about an UK visa application then please get in touch with us. Make an enquiry

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