UK VISA PROCESSING TIME SEPTEMBER 2020 UPDATE
UK Visa applicants are recommended to take help on the present processing timescales for their particular type of visa application as these may be lengthier than normal situations.
UK visa processing during the Covid-19 Pandemic
In-country visa application processing
As visa processing restarts after the UK lockdown, the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service Centres (UKVCAS) operated by Sopra Steria have opened again and now accepting new appointments are mentioned below.
Generally, the length of processing time for your UK Visa application can be an essential issue in deciding when to apply and when to submit your travel documents. But UK visa processing times can vary significantly, relying on aspects such as the type of UK visa being applied for, the country or Embassy where the Visa application is submitted and the applicant’s own individual situations and entitlement.
Service standards of UK visa processing
As you know UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is the Home Office department accountable for the UK’s visa system. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) states benchmarks for processing times of UK visa applications which are:
- Visa Applications for temporarily remain in the UK – processing time within 8 weeks
- Visa Application within the UK for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or no time limit (NTL) – processing time within 6 months
- Settlement Visa applications from outside the UK – 98.5% processing time within 12 weeks of the visa application date and 100% within 24 weeks of the visa application date
- Applicants from Turkey making their visa application under the European Community Association Agreement and right of abode – processing time within 6 months
- Non settlement visa applications from outside the UK – 90% processing time within three weeks, 98% within six weeks, and 100% within 12 weeks of the application date
- UK Application for a permanent residence card or residence card from a non-EEA national family member – processing time within 6 months
The UK visa application processing date is calculated from when UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) gets your Visa application.
Please note that these guidelines do not apply to providing Biometric Residence Permits (BRP). BRP are generally received within 7 working days of the decision on your UK visa application.
Updates regarding fast track or premium services during Covid-19 Pandemic.
Please note that you may get a faster decision if you use the priority route provided by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). This is only accessible with specific visas and does obligate an extra fee over and above your UK Visa application fee. If you are eligible, a decision of your UK Visa Application will normally be made within 5 working days.
There is a ‘super priority’ visa service, estimating about £800 on top of your UK Visa application fee, but keep in mind that this is only available with specific UK visa applications. If you are allowed, after you have appeared at your UK Visa appointment you will get a decision by the end of the next working day if your UK Visa appointment took place on a weekday or within 2 working days if your appointment occurred at the weekend.
For both the super priority service and priority service, the service benchmark will begin when you complete your visa appointment to submit your biometric information and supporting documents.
Processing difference between Home Office UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS)
One issue that may influence the UK visa processing time is if the UK Visa application has to be made through UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS).
UKVCAS (UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service) was introduced in November 2018 to process specific UK visa, settlement and citizenship applications submitted by applicants already residing in the UK. For the time when UKVCAS (UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service) was introduced, there have been constant reports of delays in UK Visa application processing and problems for UK Visa applicants to arrange an appointment at a UKVCAS (UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service) centre.
Please keep in mind that you will be informed when making your UK Visa application if you must go through UKVCAS (UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service) in order for your application to be processed.