Tracking visa application status

Waiting for your visa decision is indeed stressful, and considering visa processing times (even before the COVID), it may take weeks or even months before you get a decision.

There are ways, however, to find out the progress of your application once it’s been submitted to the Home Office.

When you submit your application, you will be issued with a case reference number. You can then either use an online tool or call for updates.

Using the online system, you can email the team that is processing your application. This will give you an update on your case, and potentially help to troubleshoot any issues with your application. The system is, however, chargeable, and you may need to wait a few days for a reply.

You also have an option to call UKVI to find out about your matter, however, this method proved less effective due to the high workload of the caseworkers.

How to speed up the decision

For the majority of applications, you can use one of the UKVI enhanced services. Availability, fees and processing times will differ depending on the type of your application and your previous immigration history. If you are applying inside the UK, and want to use the priority service, you will be invited to one of the centres, present in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast, London (Croydon) and some other locations.

If you are applying from outside the UK, the embassy/consulate/visa centre will advise you on whether you can use the enhanced services. Just bear in mind that processing times for the applications made outside the UK are likely to be longer.

Getting the decision

In most cases, you’ll receive the decision by letter (though sometimes it may come in an email or text). If you applied outside the UK, you’ll receive a vignette in your passport (entry clearance) allowing you to enter the UK. If you plan to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months, you will have 10 days to collect your BRP card.

If you applied from the UK, you will receive a letter or an email with the outcome of your application, and then your BRP card within the next 7-10 days.

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