June 2023 update on
UK visa processing times

When you apply for a UK visa, the length of time you can expect to wait for a decision will vary depending on the type of visa you have applied for, whether you applied from overseas or from within the UK, and whether you have utilised any of the Home Office’s paid for priority services.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has standard processing times in place to give customers an indication of an estimated lead time for most straightforward applications. However, there are occasions when visa processing times may extend beyond this target, for example during peak times when UKVI is experiencing a higher volume of applications, or in cases where an application is complex or requires further evidence to be submitted.

The Home Office has recently published an updated list of standard processing times for UK visa applications made outside and inside the UK. Most applications for work, study and visit visas are currently being processed within 3 weeks for overseas applications, or 8 weeks for in-country applications.

Processing times start after you have submitted your application and verified your identity either using the UK Immigration: ID Check app or by attending an appointment at a Visa Application Centre (VAC), and end once you have received a letter or email from the Home Office containing a decision on your application.

The below processing times are based on the current volume of visa applications and are subject to change.

Applications made outside the UK

If you are applying for your UK visa from overseas, you are advised not to book any travel until a decision on your application has been made.

The current standard processing times per category are as follows.

  • Work visas
    • Skilled Worker – 3 weeks
    • Health and Care Worker – 3 weeks
    • Global Business Mobility visas (all categories) – 3 weeks
    • Temporary Work visas (all categories) – 3 weeks
    • Innovator Founder – 3 weeks
    • Global Talent – 3 weeks
    • High Potential Individual (HPI) – 3 weeks
    • Scale-up Worker – 3 weeks
  • Visit visas (all categories) – 3 weeks
  • Study visas (all categories) – 3 weeks
  • Family visas – 24 weeks
  • British National (Overseas) visas – 12 weeks
  • Homes for Ukraine & Ukraine Family Scheme visas – As quickly as possible.

The list can be viewed in full here.

Applications made inside the UK

If you are applying to extend your visa or switch to another visa category from within the UK, processing times are usually longer than for overseas applications. You can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Below is an overview of current waiting times for in-country applications per category.

  • Work visas
    • Skilled Worker – 8 weeks
    • Health and Care Worker – 8 weeks
    • Global Business Mobility visas – 8 weeks
    • Temporary Work visas (selected categories) – 8 weeks
    • Innovator Founder – 8 weeks
    • Global Talent – 8 weeks
    • High Potential Individual (HPI) – 8 weeks
    • Scale-up Worker – 8 weeks
  • Study visas – 8 weeks
  • Graduate visas – 8 weeks
  • Family visas – 8 weeks
  • Standard Visitor visas – 8 weeks
  • British National (Overseas) visas – 12 weeks
  • Homes for Ukraine & Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Extension Scheme visas – As quickly as possible.

The list can be viewed in full here.

Getting a faster decision

If your application is urgent, you may be able to get a faster decision by using the Home Office’s priority services, which are available for an additional cost.

You may be able to get a decision:

  • Within 5 working days using the Priority service.
  • By the end of the next working day using the Super Priority service.

You’ll find out if you can use these services when you apply for your visa. More information can be found here.

Updates on your application

In some cases, your application may not be decided within the standard processing times outlined above. The Home Office will contact you to let you know if you are required to provide further evidence or attend an interview.

For updates on your submitted visa application, you should contact UKVI directly. You should not contact UKVI to track your application if you’ve already made a visa application and it is still within the current processing times.

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