UK Spouse Visa Processing Time – Explained
The processing time for UK Spouse Visa applications can vary depending on individual circumstances. Generally, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) aims to process these visa applications within 12 weeks of receipt. However, this timeframe may be delayed due to a number of factors such as an increase in applications or if additional documents or information is required from the applicant.
Table of Contents
Nobody wants to make a visa application that takes ages to be approved. When you submit your spouse visa application to the Home Office, you expect to get a positive response as soon as possible.
The anxiety triggered by long waiting times can be very disorienting. However, as much as you’d wish to have your request approved overnight, it’s crucial to manage your expectations to a reasonable level. This will not only help you to plan your activities more realistically but also save you unnecessary disappointments.
Here, we’re analysing the factors affecting UK spouse visa processing time for 2023 and how to know when your Visa is ready for collection. We’ll also show you how Gulbenkian Andonian immigration lawyers and solicitors can help.
How Soon Will I Get a Response?
On average, the processing time for a spouse visa is normally up to 90 working days for standard applications (those not using premium application services). On this note, the processing time begins from the time you submit your biometrics and/or other application essentials at a visa application centre to the time your passport is ready to be collected.
Therefore, once you send your visa application, expect a response from the Home Office regarding the status of the application within 90 working days (two months). On average, straightforward spouse visa applications made within the UK take up to 60 working days. On the other hand, uncomplicated spouse visa applications made outside the UK might take up to 90 working days.
Nonetheless, you can get the feedback in 10, 20, 40, or even 50 days, depending on the number of applications the immigration department is handling and if your case is not complex. The ultimate determination of complex applications requiring the Home Office to do various administrative checks and verifications might take up to 180 working days (6 months).
Fortunately, you can choose to avoid such long waiting periods. You can use priority or the super-priority service, both of which come at an additional fee. When you apply using any of the premium services, the Home Office will prioritise your application and a decision faster.
However, the average waiting periods for these two services differ. Let’s see what each of them has to offer.
Priority Service– If the right application form is filled in correctly, with all the required information supplied and sufficient supporting documents provided, the application can be processed as soon as within five working days. However, if the application is complex, perhaps because the Home Office has to do some administrative checks and verifications to confirm your eligibility, you might have to wait a little bit longer for a decision.
Super-priority Service-The super-priority service is the fastest way of getting your Visa approved. The average spouse visa processing time with the service is 24 hours. This means that your Visa may be ready for collection by the next working day, especially if your application is straightforward. But, just like priority service and standard applications, the Home Office might take longer to give their verdict if your application is complex, requiring some administrative checks and verifications. Nevertheless, the longest you can wait for the determination of your application through the premium service is five days.
It is worth noting that the timelines we’re giving here are in terms of working days (or workdays). Working days are the days of a week on which work is normally performed, usually Mondays through Fridays, without including legal holidays.
So, if you applied for a spouse visa using super-priority service on Saturday, the first workday to be factored in is Monday because Saturdays and Sundays aren’t working days. Therefore, you’re likely to get feedback on your application late Monday or on Tuesday.
The Effects of Covid Disruptions
Considering the disruptions that the ongoing covid era has caused in travels and courier routes, the UK spouse visa processing time for 2023 could be a little bit longer as compared to pre-Covid years. This is because the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) might still experience slight delays in assessing applications, especially in the winter and autumn months. Your application may be affected by such delays even if you’re using priority or super-priority service.
Fortunately, the Home Office might communicate such possible delays beforehand, within the standard timelines for your visa processing. If you’re using immigration solicitors like Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors to handle your application, you’ll stay updated on any possible inconvenience without lifting a finger.
How will I Know that My Visa is Ready for Collection?
Waiting for the verdict for your application can be an anxiety-filled experience. It can even get worse if the wait time is excessively long. If you’re patient enough, you can wait for a letter or email from the Home Office informing you about the final status of your application. If approved and you’re applying from the UK, you should get your Biometric Residence Permit within 7 to 10 days after receiving the decision letter.
Biometric Residence Permit is a plastic card serving as your Visa. It will be sent by courier services to the correspondence address that you filled in the visa application form. But you don’t have to worry if you shift from the indicated address while waiting for the application decision. Just fill in this form to replace the previously entered address with your preferred new address.
How to Track the Status of Your Application
You have two options for contacting UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to know the status of your application: By phone or email. There are different designated customer care phone contacts and email addresses for applicants from different countries.
Note that you’ll pay the price for either phone or email visa application status enquiry to the Immigration department. The phone option will cost you £1.37 per minute, in addition to your normal network charges. On the other hand, an initial email enquiry currently costs between £2.74 and £5.48, depending on the country you’re applying from.
When you call or email UKVI to find out the status of your application, you’ll have to give them your GWF number to help them identify the application easily. After a background check on your request, a caseworker will respond with an update on the application’s status and possibly how long you need to wait for the final decision (if not made). However, you may have to wait for about one or two working days to get the feedback.
Get Expert Help
Would you like help to get your spouse visa processed quickly? Our highly experienced and caring immigration solicitors got your back. They’ll ensure that your application is well documented to optimise its chances of getting a favourable decision within the shortest UK spouse visa processing time for 2023. Contact us now.
Ask our Expert Legal Team
Share This Post
At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.
Call us on +44 (0) 207 269 9590 or fill out the form below. We usually reply within a few hours.
Dr Bernard Andonian – the Co-Founder of Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, is an experienced Immigration Solicitor, former Judge, and recipient of a PhD in Law from the University of West London. He has over four decades of experience practising UK Immigration, Human Rights and Civil Litigation Law. He has served on the Law Society Immigration Law Panel, achieved numerous groundbreaking decisions in higher courts and is featured in the Legal 500’s Hall of Fame.