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UK Home Office publishes Visa Decision Waiting Times

The information offers guidance on the expected waiting times for Visa decisions outside of the UK

Published on December 10, 2019

The Home Office in the UK has published guidance on the expected waiting times for visa decisions when applications are made outside of the UK. For US Citizens who are considering/planning visa applications from the States to enter the UK, this information offers a useful indication for the length of time that should be allowed when making an application. You can see a list of scenarios and times below.

When applying for a UK visa from the USA, there are options to speed up the decision making process. When applying from the USA, you can use the 'Priority visa service', which shortens the decision date to 5 working days, or the 'Super priority and premium visa service', which offers a decision within 24 hours when applying from a VFS premium application centre, which are located in 10 US cities, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Miami, Chicago, Houston, Boston, Atlanta and Seattle. Further details on priority services from the USA can be found via www.gov.uk/government/publications/usa-apply-for-a-uk-visa/apply-for-a-uk-visa-in-the-usa.

* In these times, 1 week is 5 working days

Visiting the UK

Example Purposes: for a holiday or to see family or friends, for a business trip or meeting, to get married
Home Office expected visa decision time: Within 3 weeks* of attending your appointment at the visa application centre

Traveling through the UK

Example Purposes: Traveling through the UK on the way to another country
Home Office expected visa decision time: Within 3 weeks* of attending your appointment at the visa application centre

Studying in the UK

Example Purposes: short-term study visa, general student visa, child student visa
Home Office expected visa decision time: Within 3 weeks* of attending your appointment at the visa application centre

Working or Investing in the UK

Example Purposes: applying for a visa to work or invest in the UK
Home Office expected visa decision time: Within 3 weeks* of attending your appointment at the visa application centre

Joining family in the UK

Example Purposes: applying to settle in the UK as a spouse, partner or family member of someone who has British citizenship or is settled in the UK
Home Office expected visa decision time: Within 12 weeks* of attending your appointment at the visa application centre

Commonwealth Citizens

Example Purposes: applying as a citizen with Commonwealth citizenship (ie Canada)
Home Office expected visa decision time: Within 3 weeks* of attending your appointment at the visa application centre

Source: www.gov.uk/guidance/visa-decision-waiting-times-applications-outside-the-uk

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