Priority & Super Priority Visa Service
Waiting for the decision of the Home Office regarding a visa application in the United Kingdom is a challenge every immigrant has to go through. Not only is it stressful, but it might be extremely inconvenient for people with busy schedules or specific time frames they intend to visit the country within. Thankfully, there is an option to get the application processed faster by opting in for VFS premium services.
Priority Service and Super Priority Service Processing Times
Applicants who wish to get the decisions faster have two VFS priority service options to choose from. The first of them is the regular priority service, and the second one is called the UK visa super priority service. It is important to understand the difference between them, as some routes might not be eligible for both these options.
What Is the Priority Service?
The regular priority service for UK visas offers a processing time of five days. It is important to know that only work days are counted in this period, so it might take up to a week to get an actual decision from the Home Office.
Another crucial thing to understand is that opting in for this paid service does not guarantee that the decision will be made in the specified time. In case the Home Office is too busy with applications, it might take longer than five business days to process prioritised requests. The good news is that such an application will still be queued in front of regular ones, meaning it will speed up the process in any case.
What Is the Super Priority Service?
The UK visa super priority service works in a similar manner. The main difference is that it is reviewed faster than the UK priority visa processing time described in the previous section. The Home Office will deliver the decision by the end of the next working day after submitting an application with this service.
Similarly, it is not guaranteed to be processed in time. The Home Office might not be able to review it that quickly, but it will queue applicants who purchased the super priority visa service in the UK in front of everyone else.
Who Is Eligible For The Priority and Super Priority Service?
There are two factors that determine the eligibility of a person to get priority service for their UK visas: the necessity to verify their identity and the route in question. The first criterion is rather straightforward. In case the applicant needs to come to a visa application centre, they might not be eligible for UK visa fast track services, as it requires additional time to arrange the visit.
With the routes eligible for the visa express service, the situation is slightly more complicated. The list of routes eligible for both services when applying inside the United Kingdom includes:
- Student visa;
- Global Talent visa;
- Health and Care Worker visa;
- Intra-company visas;
- Minister of Religion visa;
- Scale-up Worker visa;
- Skilled Worker visa;
- International Sportsperson visa;
- Temporary Work visas.
Some routes are only eligible to get the regular priority service without an option to get the same day visa service in the UK. This rule mainly concerns applicants who are getting an Investor Visa or applying as a dependent of a person on this route.
The UK priority visa service is available for most visa routes, although there are several exceptions for those who apply to settle in the country. The list of such exceptions includes applications to settle based on:
Is Your UK Visa Application Suitable for a Faster Decision?
Essentially, the Home Office provides only one criterion for the applications to be suitable for a premium service for their UK visas. It is that the application should be straightforward. The terminology might sound rather vague, because there are a variety of reasons the Home Office might consider the application not to be straightforward.
The main red flag that should be taken into account relates to refusals or deportations. The government might refuse to review an application quickly, if the person has ever been denied entry to the United Kingdom, denied a visa for some other countries, or has been previously deported from the UK. Additionally, the list includes overstaying in the country or committing a crime in the UK or other countries. Last but not least, in case the information provided with the application is not sufficient enough, the Home Office might also refuse to make the decision quickly.
The reasoning behind such an approach is rather understandable. In case the Home Office cannot come up with the decision right away and has to obtain some additional information, purchasing a priority service won’t change this situation.
Priority Service Application Fees
Expectedly, the UK priority visa fees are different between these two options. The regular UK visa priority service cost is £500, while a super priority service costs £1000. The pricing here is rather straightforward, although it is necessary to keep in mind that these fees apply to each person that needs to get a decision faster. When applying with family members, it will be necessary to purchase the service for each of them.
How To Make An Appointment For a Priority or Super Priority Visa?
The process of making an appointment for a priority service is one of the few simple steps in the entire procedure. To get a decision faster than usual, it will be necessary to choose the corresponding option while booking an appointment at the visa centre. While creating a reservation online, the applicants will see an option to have a regular booking or to purchase one of the priority services.
It is important to note that the services might be unavailable in case too many applicants have already purchased them. In such a case, it will be indicated during the booking process, and it might be worth it to wait for the next week to have the schedule refreshed.
The applicants should also keep in mind that they won’t be able to opt in for these paid services after booking an appointment at the visa centre. It is impossible to change the option from that point, so it is necessary to fill out the booking form properly.
Decisions on Premium Service Applications
Purchasing any of the priority services does not have an effect on the chances of application being approved. The review process is exactly the same as with regular applications, the only difference being that it is scheduled for an earlier date. The applicants should know that the Home Office will perform the review of a prioritised person as scrupulously as they do with regular applications.
In case there is something wrong with the application or it lacks some crucial information, the Home Office will not approve it with no regard to the priority services purchased by the person in question. As the services have no impact on the actual decision, it is only worth purchasing them in case the review time matters.
How Can We Help?
Similar to other visa-related questions, it is always recommended to get professional help before taking any actions. The team of Sterling Law has thousands of cases worth of experience in the immigration field, and we are always ready to provide the guidance required.
In case you’re not sure whether your route is suitable for priority service or whether it is worth opting in, feel free to book a consultation or visit our office in London, if you’re applying from the UK. Our team will carefully review your case and treat it with an individual approach for you to get the best outcome possible for your specific situation.