UK Visa Delay Reasons and delays in UK visa processing 2019

Common Causes of UK Visa Delay and UK Visa Decision DelayThis relates to UK Visa Delay Reasons and delays in UK visa processing 2019. Accordingly, the post explains the causes of UK visa delay i.e. Why UK Visa Getting Delayed 2019? Moreover, the post discusses UK visa processing delay for UK visa priority delay, UK settlement visa delay, UK family visit visa delay, UK spouse visa delay. Usually, priority visit and settlement visa are delayed if a decision is not made within 5 and 30 working days, respectively. The UKVI may intimate the applicant about UK visa processing delay beyond the service standard of the priority service. However, a visitor and settlement visa without priority service is not delayed until a lapse of 12 and 24 weeks from biometrics date, respectively. However, UKVI may inform the applicant after 8 and 12 weeks for non-settlement and settlement visa, respectively.

UK Visa Delay Reasons: Why UK Visa Getting Delayed 2019?

The post has two sections. Section one explains the common causes of visa application delay. Moreover, the second section discusses the UK visa processing delay in the context of UKVI service standards.

Common Causes of delays in  visa application decisions

  • When the UK Visa Decision is not likely to Delay?
  • Past UK Visa and Immigrations Refusals
  • Removal or Deportation Order
  • Refusal of Leave to Remain
  • Immigration History
  • Criminal Conviction
  • Documents Verification
  • Additional Information and Interview
  • Sponsor Verification
  • Administrative Work Load
  • Reasons for Delays in Spouse Visa Processing Time

UK Visa Processing Delay and UKVI Service Standards

  • UK Visa Priority Delay for Non Settlement Applications
  • Non-Settlement Visa Delay
  • Leave to Remain Applications from Inside the UK
  • UK Settlement Visa Delay
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

Common Causes of UK Visa Delay:  Why is My UK Visa Delay?

The common causes of UK visa delay mainly pertain to an applicant’s adverse immigration history. However, in some circumstances, especially in the case of PBS Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 Student and Tier 5, a delay may be due to documents verification and interview.  Perhaps, quite a few applications require further assessment which can take longer than the published customer service standards of UKVI. If an application is going to take longer than expected the UKVI will inform the applicant accordingly.

When the UK Visa Decision is not likely to Delay?

An application with a clear purpose and proper documentation enhance the credibility of an applicant. This in tandem with a positive immigration history enables an application to process without any UK visa processing delay. Accordingly, such applicants should expect to get a decision on their UK visa and immigration applications quickly.

Similarly, very poorly documented applications from an applicant with an adverse travel history are also likely to decide quickly. Perhaps, the caseworker doesn’t go into the nitty-gritty of the assessment and that of the verification process. Consequently, refuses the application prima facie. Therefore, there is no link between quick disposal and an affirmative decision!

If your application is straightforward, we (UKVI) will make a decision on it within the standard processing time.

Past UK Visa Refusals May Delay UK Visa Processing

The past UK visa and immigration refusal undermine the credibility of an applicant. Perhaps, a frequent reason for the UK visit visa delay is a past refusal or 10-year ban. If a UK visit visa application from an applicant with a previous refusal explains the details of the past refusals and properly establishes the credentials of an application even then make experience UK visa processing delay.

Removal or Deportation Order

If the Home Office has served removal or deportation order then a fresh application is liable for further verification. This may cause a UK visa decision delay.

Refusal of Leave to Remain

Similarly, if an applicant has overstayed in the UK and/or the Home Office has refused a leave to remain in the UK then an application may subject to further verification.

Immigration History

If an applicant has accumulated refusals from other countries such as USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or the Schengen countries then this also undermines the credibility of an applicant. For instance, an applicant after getting a two years UK visitor visa unsuccessfully applied for Schengen visa for more than once then it is quite likely that the subsequent application for UK visitor visa delay.

Criminal conviction and UK visa delays

Application by a person convicted of criminal offence either in the home country or in any other country may experience UK visa decision delay.

Documents verification may delay processing

The immigration officer might like to get documents verified and this may cause UK visa processing delay. Perhaps for PBS Tier 1 entrepreneur, Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 it is quite common to verify points related documents such as bank statements, tax returns, sponsor documents, COS, CAS etc.

Communication with the third party may cause delays

Accordingly, the caseworker may write to third parties such as government authorities, tax department, commercial banks, applicant’s sponsor etc. Usually, a caseworker expects a reply within 28 working days. Therefore, depending on the reply of the third party the processing time may escalate accordingly.

Additional Information & Interview May Delay UK Visa Processing

If the documents submitted with the application are not conclusive for decision making then the immigration office can direct the applicant to furnish additional information. For instance, the officer may ask for latest bank statements, tax returns of the preceding years etc. Similarly, the officer may arrange an interview to second guess an applicant’s credentials. Moreover, in case of a fresh application, it is quite possible that if an application satisfies the immigration officer then an interview may be arranged. Accordingly, the additional information and interview will inevitably lead to a UK visa decision delay. However, after submitting the additional information or date of an interview, it may not take longer than a week’s time to get the decision.

Delays in processing due to Sponsor Verification

The ECO may like to check with the sponsor, especially in case of a visitor visa, about the purpose of the visit and an applicant’s planned activities in the UK. Accordingly, these checks on the sponsoring individual or institution relating to credential and the purpose of visiting the UK may cause a delay in processing.

Administrative Workload

The UK visa processing delay due to seasonal factors such as a more than estimated visa applications. For instance, from tourist during the summer months or student submitting applicants before the start of the Fall or Winter Semester. Accordingly, during the busy months, a few applicants may experience delays in the decision.

Reasons for delays in spouse visa processing

Usually, only a very few spouse settlement applications decide within 10 days or remain pending after 120 days. This disparity in deciding the spouse visa applications are due to establishing the bonafide of the applicant and the workload of the Home Office.

Evaluation of the Genuineness of the Relationship

The priority service might help mitigate delays due to workload. However, before making a decision it is requisite to check and verify the bonafide of an applicant. For settlement visa, this means evaluating the genuineness and subsisting nature of the marriage or civil partnership relationship.

UK spouse visa application: Interview

Moreover, the applicant might also get a call from the Home Office and may be asked questions relating to the date of birth, house address, spouse’s date of birth, where the British spouse lives in the UK or elsewhere, date of marriage or starting of the civil partnership, employment and sources of income.

UK Visa Processing Delay and UKVI Service Standards

This explains the UK visa processing delay in the light of UKVI Service Standards for settlement and non-settlement visa applications.

Priority service standard

The service standard of UK is to process non-settlement visa applications within 5 working days or one week. The service is very popular for standard visitor visa applications for family visit visa, tourism and business.

Moreover, the priority service is only for straightforward applications. However, some applicants with adverse immigration history purchase priority service because they think that it may influence the decision-making process.  Certainly, in such instances, it is not possible to make a decision without further assessment and verification checks. Accordingly, if the UKVI decides to undertake further assessment then it notifies the delay in visa processing through an email.

When Purchasing Priority Service is not Advisable?

It is not expedient to purchase a Priority Service if one has an adverse travel and immigration history. As stated above, purchasing Priority Service only enables jumping an application on the queue, but does not guarantee either an expedient resolution nor a favourable decision.

Delays in Non-Settlement Visa Processing

The UKVI’s service standard is to process 100% of the non-settlement applications from outside the UK within 12 weeks or 60 days. Therefore, technically speaking, the non-settlement visa delay only after 12 weeks. However, as a procedure, the UKVI may likely to intimate about the delay after 8 weeks. The information available at UK tourist visa processing time indicates that UK visa decision delay beyond 6 weeks in only a fraction of cases.

Leave to Remain Applications from Inside the UK

The UKVI service standard is to process temporary leave remain applications within 2 months or 8 weeks i.e. 40 working days. These applications may relate to partners, spouses, Tier 2 workers, Tier 1 entrepreneurs, Tier 4 students.  and organisations seeking to sponsor a worker. However, at times due to workload and document verification applicants may face processing delays.

10 Days Priority Postal and Same Day Premium

These priority services for available for certain straightforward leave to applications. Certainly, the use of the priority service does not affect the decision. Perhaps, an application may experience delays due to further assessment.

UK settlement visa processing delay

The UKVI’s service standard is to process 100% of the settlement applications from outside the UK within 24 weeks or 120 working days. Therefore, the settlement visa delay only after 24 weeks. However, as a procedure, the UKVI may likely to intimate about the delay after 12 weeks. Information available at UK settlement visa processing time indicates that 5-10% of total decisions delay beyond 90-120 days.

Delays in UK Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Visa Processing

The service standard of UKVI for ILR (settlement) applications from inside the UK is also 6 months. However, at times an ILR application may experience delays up to 3-6 months beyond the stipulated time. This may be due to a host of factors such as workload, verification checks, personal, work, employment, immigration history of an application etc. Most noteworthy: apart from ILR applications, all the other types of UK visa and immigration applications are of a temporary nature. Therefore, inevitably ILR applications require profuse assessment and scrutiny, which cause delays in processing. Moreover, ILR is also a step closer to getting British Citizenship!

If there is a problem with your application or if it is complex, we will write to explain why it will not be decided within the normal standard. We will write within the normal processing time for the 8 week standard and within 12 weeks for the 6 month standard. The letter will explain what will happen next.


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