Resuming priority service for new family visas
This update explains the priority service for new family visas. The priority visa service will restart for new entry clearance family settlement. Consequently, the Home Office released a statement saying that applications will start from February 20, 2023.
First, from this date, applications made using the priority service and submitted from outside the UK will process within 30 working days. Also, starting on April 3, 2023, regular applications will complete within in 60 working days.
Why did the priority service break down?
This is a significant improvement in family visa processing timeframes. Timeframes were significantly hampered by delays ever since the start of the conflict in Ukraine last year. Additionally, many routes had temporary service suspensions and longer processing delays. This resulted from the increased demand for visa services. In fact, UKVI caseworkers were diverted from their regular tasks to prioritize the Ukrainian visa schemes.
The Government extended the 60-day turnaround time for family visa applications to 120 days, and Priority Visa services were discontinued. Several families had to split up for months at a time while their visa applications were in limbo as a result of the delays.
For applicants, the reinstatement of Priority services and the gradual transition back to standard processing times is a welcome shift. It reveals that the Home Office is gradually healing from the disruptions of 2022.
Good news for Visa Applicants
With the priority service, the Home Office can respond to visa applicants’ applications more quickly. A decision will be given to users of the service in 5 working days. When you apply for your visa, you’ll be informed if you can utilize the service.
Is there an additional cost?
You must pay an extra cost on top of the visa application fee in order to use the priority service.
However the Home Office encourages applicants to use the priority service for new family visas. In particular, they will benefit if they need a visa right away or don’t want to wait for their application using the usual process and timescales.
For more information:
For more information contact Evellyn Geemon on 2027 427 5293