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UK Visa Processing Times

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. UKVI processing times have not yet returned back to pre-pandemic times, so when making a visa or immigration application outside of the UK please consider the current processing times.

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.

UKVI Standard Processing Times

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. 

Type of visa or immigration application

Standard Processing Times

Non-settlement visa applications (from outside of the UK)

  • 90% of decisions are made within 3 weeks.
  • 98% of decisions are made within 6 weeks.

  • 100% of decisions are made within 12 weeks.

Applications for leave to remain

This includes: spouse 5 year route visas, work visas, and student visas.

  • 8 weeks.

Applications for leave to remain as a partner, parent or on the basis of your private life (10-year routes or 5-year parent route to settlement)

  • There are no standard processing times for applications submitted as a partner, parent or on the basis of your private life. 

  • The average wait time for a decision is currently 11 months. The UKVI are working hard to reduce this.

Applications for indefinite leave to remain or for no time limit.
  • 24 weeks.
Organisations updating their sponsor licence details.
  • 18 weeks.
Organisations applying to sponsor an employee.
  • 8 weeks

Current UKVI Average Processing Times (applications made from outside of the UK)

The UKVI is currently prioritising applications for the Ukraine Family visa, and so, the processing times for other UK visa applications made from outside of the UK are getting longer. If you wish to receive a faster decision then you may be able to pay to receive a priority or super priority service. For the former, a decision will be made within 5 days of you attending a visa application centre. Whereas, for the latter, decisions will be made the next day once you have verified your identity at a visa application centre. It is worth bearing in mind that the priority and super priority services have been suspended for study, work and family visa applications in light of the Ukraine crisis.

 

Visa or Immigration Application(s)

Average Processing Time

UK Standard Visitor Visa
  • 6 weeks (but the UKVI is working to get this back down to 3 weeks).
Transit Visa
  • 6 weeks (but the UKVI is working to get this back down to 3 weeks).
Short-term study Visa
Student Visa
Child Student Visa
  • 3 weeks (once your identity has been verified).
Skilled Worker Visa
  • 6 weeks (but the UKVI is working to get this back down to 3 weeks).
Turkish Business Person Visa
  • 12 weeks (once you have attended an appointment at a visa application centre).
Any other visa to work or invest in the UK
  • 3 weeks (once your identity has been verified).
Family Reunion Applications
  • 12 weeks (once you have attended an appointment at a visa application centre).
Spouse Visa
Partner Visa
Parent Visa
Child Visa
Adult Dependent Relative Visa
Private Life Applications
  • 24 weeks (once you have attended an appointment at a visa application centre).
EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit
  • As soon as possible (once you have proved your identity and provided the required documents).
Hong Kong BNO Visa
  • 12 weeks (once your identity has been verified).
Ancestry Visa
  • 3 weeks (once you have attended an appointment at a visa application centre).
Returning Resident Visa
  • 3 weeks (once you have attended an appointment at a visa application centre).
Replacing biometric residence permits (BRPs) or residence cards
  • 3 weeks (once you have attended an appointment at a visa application centre).
Transfer your visa from your passport
  • 3 weeks (once you have attended an appointment at a visa application centre).
Certificate of Entitlement
  • 3 weeks (once you have attended an appointment at a visa application centre).

 

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, in ‘normal’ times you are able to pay an additional cost to benefit from either a priority or super-priority visa processing service. However, since March 2022 these services have been temporarily suspended as UKVI are prioritising applications for the Ukraine Family Scheme.

How can Paragon Law help me?

Whilst we cannot speed up the processing time of your immigration or 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 immigration application then please get in touch with us.