Priority Service Offered by UKVI
UK Visas & Immigration provide an optional Priority Visa Service aiming to process non-settlement priority applications within 5 working days.
This service sends settlement priority applications to the front of the queue but comes with a fee – which is most definitely not cheap.
Too many of our clients, the additional cost of paying for the priority service is worth paying to allow them to receive their visa and documents quickly. These extra costs can amount to over £2200 for a family of four! Sad to say the least, the Priority Visa Service provided by UK Visas & Immigration is not a guaranteed service. The Home Office will not promise that a ‘priority’ application will be processed nor that the passport(s) will be returned within the period specified. Scratch beneath the surface of their published services and you will find that the small print states:
‘you do not make travel or any other plans that are contingent upon our compliance with that timescale.’
Some applications filed via the priority service are taking more than 6 weeks to complete; despite clients having paid for the ‘priority service’ and paying the extra fees required. This has left applicants worried as to how they could have been sold a ‘priority’ service on the basis of their case being ‘placed at the front of the queue’ without there being a defined timescale.
At LUPINS we generally advise that the UK Visas & Immigration service does offer the Priority Visa Service however it is not guaranteed and there is no definite timescale. We also bring challenges against the UKVI’s delays in dealing with the applications within the specified timescale and can request a refund on behalf of our clients.
Article by Anitha Gopal