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19 July 2022

Standard processing times published by UKVI

The updates set out how long your application should typically take.
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Standard processing times published by UKVI

Update: 12 August 2022

From 12 August 2022, the UKVI resumed their priority visa applications. This means that Priority Visa and Super Priority Visa services for new work visa applications will be available to people who apply for a new visa. 

Currently, the priority services will remain unavailable for the following visa routes:

  • Innovator
  • Start-up
  • High Potential Individual

We recognise that, while it’s good news, there is still an inconvenience caused by the above visas not being available for any priority service. We do, however, hope to see the priority services resume for these visas in the near future. 

Following on from reports in the news – and our first-hand experience – that the Home Office are facing delays with processing applications, the latest update released by UK Visas and Immigration on 15 July 2022 offers an insight into the waiting times you can typically expect. 

Standard UK Visa processing times

In the cases where all the relevant documentation is provided, and there is no requirement for the applicant to provide any further information, the following waiting times should apply to your application:

Non-settlement visa applications submitted outside the UK:
90% to be decided within three weeks; 98% within six weeks and 100% within 12 weeks of the application date.

Settlement visa applications submitted outside the UK:
98.5% of settlement applications to be decided within 12 weeks of the application date and 100% within 24 weeks of the application date.

Applications for leave to remain submitted inside the UK:
eight weeks to be decided.

Applications for indefinite leave to remain submitted inside the UK:
six months to be decided.

Applications for no time limit submitted inside the UK:
six months to be decided.

Organisations seeking to sponsor a worker:
eight weeks to complete.

Organisations updating their sponsor licence details:
18 weeks to complete.

Priority Services

The processing standard for applications using the priority service and super-priority service is 5 working days and the next working day respectively. 

These service standards are the visa processing times that UKVI aims to deliver on for the processing of straightforward, complete applications. Actual times can vary considerably, and UKVI publishes up-to-date information on current processing times. Additionally, processing times and the availability of priority services can be checked with your local visa processing centre. 

What may extend or delay UK visa processing times?

There are several factors that can cause UK visa processing times to be delayed, including:

  • World events such as a pandemic, or the Ukraine War and the extra caseload to process Ukraine Settlement Scheme applications
  • The complexity of the case
  • Concerns regarding an applicant’s criminal history
  • Consideration of immigration history, for example past refusals, overstaying etc. 
  • Concerns regarding the supporting documents, for example their authenticity or lack of evidence
  • Whether further investigations are required or an interview scheduled
  • The capacity of caseworkers; and the time of the year.

How we can help

In case of delays, we do recommend that you start your document gathering and application processes well in advance. Woodcock Law is not responsible for any delays in your application being processed. We can however assist in ensuring that your application is submitted without errors and with all the required supporting documentation. This means a better chance of your visa application being processed without additional unnecessary delays. 

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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