How UKVI Processes Your Visa Application

Making an application to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) either overseas or from inside the UK can cause significant problems with future travel plans. Decisions may take several months, and the need to submit your passport can cause problems. Traditionally, UKVI is not the easiest government department to contact, especially if your enquiry is urgent.


Checking visa processing times

A simple online tool provides you with a quick way to find out how long your visa might take to be issued. Note this is a general guide, and a wide range of results can be returned depending on where you’re applying, and what type of visa you want.

Priority visa processing

This is offered by many visa issuing offices overseas. It is a premium service, and costs can be high. For example, if you choose priority processing for a settlement application, you can expect to pay a significant additional fee on top of standard visa fees.

Tracking your visa application

An online tool on the gov.uk website offers a couple of options, if you have submitted a visa application either in the UK or abroad, and are waiting for a decision. Unfortunately, when you click through the questions it usually takes you to general contact information for the various UKVI departments, such as European or asylum casework. Phone numbers are provided, but beware: calling these numbers can be expensive, and when your call is answered, the information you receive is likely to be limited, often to the point of being no help at all. Spending time on hold, to be told your application is “under consideration”, is of little use to anyone.

The online visa status tool does return better results if you’ve applied for a UK visa from abroad. As well as taking you to a general enquiries phone number, the option of a paid email enquiry appears. The current cost is £5.48, and a reply is promised within 2 working days. Our experience is that the paid email option (there is a paid call option also available, which is less effective) allows your enquiry to reach the casework team dealing with your case, and can lead to a quicker decision if you have a good reason, eg a medical emergency requiring urgent travel.

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS)

For in-country visa applicants, in late 2018 UKVI began rolling out new processing options.which are delivered via the UKVCAS network.

Of the 57 UKVCAS centres, 6 are core service centres which offer free appointments. The 6 core centres are in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast and Croydon.

50 enhanced service points are accessible in several locations across the UK and will charge for appointments. Services available include next day appointments, documentation checking and an on-demand VIP service.

A premium lounge located in central London is available offering high speed Wi-Fi and business facilities.

Full details of the service, provided by UKVI’s commercial partner Sopra Steria,can be found here.

How we can help

At Latitude Law, our lawyers handle several hundred applications a year on behalf of the widest possible range of clients, from businesses to individuals. We maintain up-to-date, expert knowledge of UKVI processing methods, and can advise you on the best way to achieve a quick decision, or to ensure that you retain your important personal documents wherever possible.

Why choose Latitude Law?

Our specialist migration lawyers have the expertise to advise the optimum approach to your Home Office application, and to provide you with effective advice and support if circumstances change and you need your documents back urgently. If you are interested in using any of these services get in touch with a member of our team on 0161 234 6800 (Manchester) or 0203 752 6620 (London).

Our solicitors

What our clients say…

UK Entry Clearance Granted

I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to Joel Reiss for his amazing service in relation to my visa application.

Reiss was outstanding as a consultant and adviser and my family and I highly value the efforts he took; we are deeply appriciative of his work and knowledge in the legal matters, processes and proceedings. He prepared our application including a covering letter from scratch, which he refined through discussion before making it an impeccable one to refuse. There were a few complicated elements surrounding our application and we believe had it not been for Mr.Reiss and his flawless services together with the expertise of Latitude Law, we would not have recieved our visa.

He was quick in clarifying our queries and made it a point to reply as soon as possible. Even when we had to be away from work, Reiss made sure our application was not interrupted and it could be filed on time. The constant communication and the replies continued even after the application was submitted and the services were paid for all the way till we recieved the decision. We have even been informed of the travel guidelines and quarantine regulations, and I honestly believe the fee we paid did not include these supplementary services.

I would also like to extend my upmost appreciation to Gary McIndoe, the Director, Latitude Law and everybody else at the firm including Jessica Lee for their service and cooperation.

I would not think twice in recommending Joel Reiss and Latitude Law for visa application and allied services.

Mr Vineesh

Success for the Bouameur Family

I am writing this on behalf of the whole family, we would like to say thank you. These two words are such small words for the gratitude and high regard we all hold you in.

Your firm and especially you have been with us throughout the difficult years we have had and you have always been there when we needed picking up, our shoulder to cry on that saw us through with honesty and realistic advice.

I cannot recommend your firm and you enough to people who find themselves at the mercy of a system that at best can be described as confusing.

You have given us back our lives and for that you will always be a cherished member of our family and never forgotten

Many many thanks to you and your team for everything

The Bouameur Family

Naturalisation success for a medical doctor

I shall have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Latitude Law, which is clearly an extremely proficient unit, exemplified by helping clients with patience, attention to detail and sensitivity in equal measure.

Particular mention is merited to Ms Gemma Wylie, whose professionalism is par excellence. I couldn’t thank her enough.

Dr LG

All content on this page was reviewed by Latitude Law and is accurate as of 11/09/2021