Should You Consider Using the UK Visa Priority Service?
With the UK Immigration Priority Application Service, your visa, ILR or citizenship application is processed faster, say within five working days or in just 24 hours if you apply for the super-priority service. However, this extra convenience comes with an additional cost. We shall look at the options available, the extra fees involved, the eligibility criteria as well as how to apply for the priority service.
The UK Visa Priority Service
The UK Visa and Citizen Application Services (UKVCAS) works with a third-party company known as Sopra Steria in place of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to offer priority services for UK visa and citizenship application processing.
The collaboration has seen the setting up of UKVCAS service points across the UK and beyond. As a result, the priority visa service is accessible from most countries worldwide. However, it is advisable to confirm with your local UKVCAS centre to find out if you can get the service there.
However, you can’t just walk into a UKVCAS service point and apply for the service instantly. You must first prepare your application properly and consult an immigration solicitor, such as a member of our team, to prepare and check this for you. After everything is in order, an appointment can be made to process the application with the UK Home Office.
The priority service is available in two types:
- The Standard Priority service
- The Super Priority service
The key differences between the two tiers are the cost and the processing period.
With the standard priority service, your application will take five working days to be processed after your appointment with a UKVCAS service point if you are applying for the priority service while in the UK, the premium service will cost you £500 on top of the standard fee charged on your UK Visa and additional £220 if you’re applying while out of the country.
On the other hand, the Super Priority service costs £800 in addition to the standard Visa application fee and allows your visa or citizenship application to be processed within 24 hours of a working day, following your consultation with a UKVCAS service point. However, these charges change from time to time. So, keep yourself updated with the revised priority service rates.
Am I Eligible for the UK Visa Priority Service?
Perhaps you’ve just considered using the priority visa or citizenship service next time you’re making your UK immigration application. But before you make up your mind, it is worth noting that the service does not apply to all types of UK immigration applications.
The types of UK immigration applications that can use the service include (but are not limited to):
-Indefinite leave to remain’ processing.
-Tier 2 or (now skilled workers) and Tier 4 (student) visa applications
-Applications by dependents of the above visa holder categories.
Consult our team of immigration lawyers to find out if your visa is eligible for the priority services.
Can My Priority or Super Priority Service Application be Delayed?
The UKVI department of the Home Office prioritizes the assessment of your application upon paying the required priority service fee. Your application will be analyzed faster as compared to standard applications on the queue.
However, your application might take longer to be processed than the indicated timeline. In some instances, some super priority service applications take two days instead of the initially stated 24-hour timescale. On the same note, the determination of a priority service application can be given a day or several days past the 5-day normal period.
Nonetheless, the delays are rare, and in case of any foreseeable delay, the UKVI will be kind enough to communicate it to the applicant on time. In most cases, standard Priority service and Super Priority service applications are processed within the initially stated timelines.
Can My Priority or Super Priority Application be Rejected?
Although priority and super-priority applications are considered first for processing, they’re not given special privileges when it comes to compliance with the applicable Home Office requirements. They are subject to the same parameters and determination process as the standard service counterparts.
For instance, if your track record shows some criminal history, the priority or super-priority service will not make the Home Office overlook the red flag when handling your immigration. Your application will be rejected, just as it would have happened to a standard UK immigration request.
So, even if you use priority or super-priority service, your UK visa or citizenship application will be rejected if it doesn’t comply with the requirements of the applicable UK Immigration Rules. For more info, contact us.
Don’t consider using the UK immigration priority application service if your immigration history is complicated and or reflects some elements of criminality, adverse immigration history or arrest by law enforcement officials. Why should you spend your hard-earned money on a futile mission? Also, allowing the Home Office to consider your application carefully would be better as it is logical to consider several months rather than a few days or 24 hours if the upshot is that sufficient time is devoted to the application by a caseworker to consider.
Will I Receive a Refund if My Priority or Super Priority Application is Rejected or Delayed?
Unfortunately, the priority or super-priority visa or citizenship application service fee is not refundable when an application is rejected.
The fee can only be refunded in some cases where delayed application processing is experienced. However, the refund is not applicable on all delayed applications. UKVI determines the delayed applications that deserve a refund and otherwise. Fortunately, if you feel the UKVI decision is unfair, you can make an appeal. Preferably, engage our immigration solicitors in the appeal to save yourself time and for the best outcome.
Consider using the UK immigration priority application service if you want to travel to the UK on short notice or to get your UK citizenship or visa application processed faster. Nevertheless, it is not advisable to use the service if your history conflicts with the UK immigration rules. If you choose these routes, our immigration lawyers can advise you and take care of everything for you, so you have no issues and do not need to worry.
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Armen Andonian is the CEO of Solicitors Marketing, a London-based legal marketing agency. He is a legal content marketing expert who writes on UK individual immigration, business immigration, family law, finance, employment law and intellectual property. He has a passion for researching and communicating complex legal concepts and ideas in a clear and engaging manner and has developed a reputation as a highly skilled and versatile author on UK law-related issues. He has written for numerous publications, both online and offline, and his work has been featured in a variety of high-profile media outlets.