There has been a noticeable increase in processing times for family applications in the past few weeks as UK visas and Immigration (UKVI) is prioritising applications from Ukrainian refugees. As a result, the processing times for all UK partner, fiancée and spouse visa applications submitted from outside the UK are expected to exceed standard 12 weeks from the date the applicant attends an appointment to provide biometrics at the local UK Visa Application Centre. Individual case processing can take up to 24 weeks as the UKVI has decided to temporarily amend marriage and family service standard for family route of 12 weeks. The majority of applications will be processed within 24 weeks, with some being further delayed depending on complexity and other factors. Strong applications well-presented will be approved much faster than ones with some critical information missing.
Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to expedite a UK settlement partner, fiancée or spouse visa application for an additional fee as the UKVI priority service remains suspended until further notice. Those applying for a UK family visa from outside the UK are only able to request standard processing at the moment. All other additional premium services such as ‘Keep My Passport When Applying’ or ‘Premium Appointment’ have been temporarily suspended. All applicants, regardless of nationality and country of application, are subject to the same procedure and processing delays, as the UKVI is working to reduce a backlog of cases that the Decision Making Centres (DCM) are struggling to manage.
The UKVI priority services are currently still available to applicants who are applying for further leave to remain (FLR) and indefinite leave to remain (ILR) from within the UK.