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4 January 2024

What you should know about checking your visa application status

It is useful to know how to keep up with your visa application status. Find out how in our blog.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
check visa status

Keeping your mind at ease while you are waiting for your UK visa application to receive a response can be difficult. If you do not know how to check what stage your visa application is at, you may feel even more stress. This could be because you might feel like you are being kept out of the loop on your visa application. 

To help somewhat calm your mind while you wait, it could be a good idea to check your application status to see what stage it is at. We shall tell you how you can do this.

If you are unsure about anything at all whilst applying for your visa, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We can help.

Check visa status if you are outside the UK

Those who are applying from outside of the UK will have certain things to worry about, such as any dependants they might need to bring with them, or start dates for their studies under a Student Visa, or a job under a Skilled Worker Visa

To be able to make arrangements, it is useful to know what stage your application is at, and what its status is. Here are some ways people from outside of the UK can check their application.

Using UKVI

You can use the UK Visas and Immigration’s (UKVI) website to check your visa’s status by requesting an update. This is done by going to the UKVI’s contact page on the Government’s website. Then, you click on ‘find contact details’ and answer the questions. After this, you can scroll down to the section that says ‘online’, which includes a secure link where you can enter your details under ‘general enquiry’. 

The initial query will cost you £2.74. It will take around 5 working days for you to receive a response. If you do not receive one, the email may have been sent to your spam folder. If there is no email at all, contact UKVI again.

Alternatively, you can phone the UKVI at +44 (0)300 790 6268 and select option 1. If you cannot phone 0300 numbers in the UK, then you can instead use +44 (0)203 875 4669.

Using TLScontact

TLScontact are an official partner of the UK Government who assist with visa applications, as they help with documents and biometrics. 

To use TLScontact to track your visa application, you will need to have an account on the UK Government’s website. Then, you have to click on ‘Provide Documents and Biometrics’. This will redirect you to TSLcontact’s website. Once you have done this, you will be able to click an option called ‘track’. You should be able to see the status of your visa application here.

Using VFS Global

VFS will usually only apply to you if you used them to apply for your visa. To use VFS Global, you will first need to visit their website, and then log in. 

Then, you should see an option to ‘track your application’. If you do not see this option, you will have to instead use the UKVI website.

You may have to enter your details to see your visa status, such as your last name and reference number. You should have your reference number from when you initially applied.

Once you have done the above, you should be able to see your visa’s status.

Check visa application status if you are in the UK

Many people who have already been in the UK on another visa, might have applied to switch visa, or to extend their existing visa. They may also be applying for settlement or citizenship. These applications are typically done through the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS). However, UKVCAS do not provide any updates or tracking information on any kind of application.

Just like if you are applying from outside of the country, it is useful to know what stage your application is at so you can better prepare your schedule. Here are some ways people in the UK can check their visa application status.

UKVI after applying from within the UK

Once you have applied for your visa through UKVCAS, your documents are sent to UKVI. Just like with those applying from outside the UK, you will need to contact UKVI to check your visa application status. 

The steps for contacting UKVI are the same as they are for those outside of the UK. You must visit UKVI’s contact page, answer the questions, and then you will need to scroll down to ‘online’, click ‘general enquiry’ and fill in your information. For more details on using UKVI, scroll up to the section on using UKVI under the subheading for those applying from outside of the UK. 

Once you have completed the steps and either called UKVI, or contacted them and received an email, you will know your visa application’s current status.

UK visa processing times

If you are interested in checking your visa application status, then you will likely also find it useful to know UK visa processing times. 

It should be noted that processing times vary based on the visa and if your application includes all the required documents and information. If anything is missing, then your application will take longer. 

High demand can also impact processing times.

UKVI will start processing your application after one of two things. 

  • After you have verified your identity and submitted your documents using the UK Immigration ID Check app.
  • After you have attended your appointment at a visa application centre and provided your biometric information, such as a photograph and fingerprints.

Most visas take 3 weeks to be processed. The ones that differ are:

How we can help

At Woodcock Law, we have a team of immigration experts who can help you with your visa application. They can help you navigate the complexities of immigration law and visa applications.

We also have other guides on different aspects of the visa application process that you can read. For example, we have a guide on 8 common visa rejection reasons that you should avoid, and a guide on how to provide proof of ties to your home country.

Contact us

Get in touch with us today for a free 10-minute consultation with one of our immigration legal experts. They can help you with whatever situation you are in, and answer your questions.

Ready for assistance?

If you have any questions, or want to book an appointment with one of our legal experts, contact Woodcock Law today. Call us on +44 (0)20 7712 1705 or email

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