Super priority: Not
31 October 2019
Most UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) customers understand that, unless they want their visa application to take weeks or months to be considered, they will need to purchase one of the enhanced services offered by the Home Office.
By way of example, customers applying to settle in the UK on the basis of 10 years ‘long residence’ currently wait six months for a decision unless they are willing to purchase an optional enhanced service and have their application moved to the front of the queue.
The Home Office’s priority service costs £500 in addition to the application fee. Alternatively, if an applicant requires a decision on their case by the end of the next working day, the ‘super priority service’ is available for certain application types costing £800 per person or £3,200 for a family of four.
It is a ‘win-win’ situation. By paying the enhanced fee, the UKVI customer secures a swift decision in their application whilst the Home Office receives additional revenue. Too good to be true? We are afraid so.
Limit placed on priority service
For reasons unknown, the Home Office has decided to place a limit on the daily number of priority services available to its customers.
Smith Stone Walters has noted a daily limit to the number of priority services available for purchase is now being applied to particular online visa application types. Once this daily allocation is used up (i.e. purchased by UKVI customers) other applicants applying that day for the same immigration service are only offered the standard application process.
Just when an increasing number of UKVI customers are choosing to spend hundreds (if not thousands) of pounds extra to secure an express decision on their UK visa application, rather than reallocate staff to meet this demand head on, the Home Office decides to discreetly stem the flow.
Strange logic indeed. Let’s hope this move is just temporary.