UK visa from USA 2019: FAQs, application fees and processing time

UK visa processing time from the USA for US Citizens and Green Card HoldersThis guidance aims at providing an overview of the UK visa from the USA in 2019 for all types of entry clearance applications Accordingly, the post provides the details of all types of UK visa application fees in USD from the USA, , especially for USA citizens, Green Cardholders and residents applying for the UK tourist, family and business visitor visa. In fact, the post also tries to answer FAQs relating to the UK visa requirements, processing time and refusal rates from the USA. And also explain the usefulness of UK visa priority and user-pay VFS Global’s Gold, Silver, Bronze and Settlement premium service packages from New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Miami, Chicago, Houston, Boston, Atlanta and Seattle Premium Application Centre, USA. Therefore, the post covers the following topics:

  1. How many US citizens apply for UK visa every year?
  2. UK visitor visa application cost and processing time in the USA
  3. UK family and spouse settlement applications in the USA
  4. Tier 1 visa charges and timelines
  5. Tier 2 applications cost and timelines
  6. UK Tier 4 student visa cost and processing time from the USA
  7. Tier 5 visa cost and timelines
  8. Applications for other types of UK work visa from the USA
  9. Additional FAQs relating to UK visa from the USA
  10. The average UK visa processing time from the USA 2019

Moreover, for case processing and representation contact specialist immigration solicitors.

1) How many US citizens apply for a UK visa every year?

Perhaps, approximately more than 36K applicants every year apply for a UK visa from the USA. During 2018-19, the US nationals have been granted a UK visa in all the broad categories i.e. temporary visits, spouse and family settlement, study and work.

Please note: the total number of entry clearance applications from the USA far exceeds the number of applications made by USA citizens because of an approx 13.5 m permanent residents (green card holders) and other foreign nationals working or studying in the USA. Therefore, UK visa USA statistics are only relevant to US citizens. However, the information relating to UK visa USA timelines is useful for USA nationals, green card holders and foreign nationals applying from inside the USA.

UK visa applications from the US citizens 2019 Q1

During the Jan-March 2019 quarter, 5,038 USA nationals applied for entry clearance application from the USA. Accordingly, 5,410 visa applications from the USA resolved during the Jan-Mar 2019 quarter. And 5,070 visas granted, 286 applications refused. Moreover, 52 applications withdrawn and 2 applications lapsed. Accordingly, so far the UK visa USA success and refusal rate during 2019 has been 93.72% and 5.29%, respectively.

Furthermore, the number of grants during the 2019 Q1 (5,070) is considerably higher than that for 2018 Q1 (4,472). Perhaps, this is due to an increase in the number of applications.

UK visa applications from US citizens

UK visa applications from US citizens

No of Decisions 2016-18

In fact, during 2016-18 the total number of decisions made on the UK visa applications from the US citizens hovers in the range of 36-37K.

Grants 2016-18

Evidently, during 2016-18 the number of UK visa grants to US citizens hovers in the range of 34-35K.

UK visa success rate for the US citizens during 2016-18

In fact, the UK visa success rate for US citizens is showing an upward trend. Accordingly, the UK visa success rate for US citizens during the three year period 2016-18 has increased from 95.43% to 96.42%.

No. of refused application during 2016-18

Evidently, during 2016-18 the number of UK visa applications refused for the US citizens hovers in the range of 1.1-1.5K. And quite clearly, in 2018 the number of applications refused considerably decreased to 1,153 from 1,510 in 2016.

UK visa refusal rate for the US citizens during 2016-18

Quite clearly, the UK visa refusal rate for US citizens is showing a downward trajectory. In fact, due to an increase in the number of decisions and grants in tandem with a decrease in the number of refused applications. Accordingly, during the 2016-18 period, the UK visa refusal rate for US citizens has considerably decreased from 4.14% to 3.11%.

UK visa applications from US citizens
Year 2016 2017 2018
UK visa refusal rate for US citizens 4.14% 3.28% 3.11%
UK Visa Applications made by US citizens 36,493 36,810 37,613
No. of decisions 36,458 36,655 37,116
UK visa grants to US citizens 34,792 35,273 35,788
No. of applications refused 1,510 1,204 1,153
No of applications withdrawn 152 178 172
Lapsed 4 0 3
UK visa success rate for US citizens 95.43% 96.23% 96.42%

Broad Categories

In fact, during 2018, 35,788 UK visas were granted to US citizens in the following broad and sub-categories:

  1. Visitor Visa: 1,571
  2. Transit: 6
  3. Short-Term Study: 781
  4. Family Settlement: 2,359
  5. Dependant joining or accompanying: 873
  6. EEA Family Permit: 481
  7. PBS Tier 1425
  8. PBS Tier 29,739
  9. Tier 4 Student: 15,023
  10. PBS Tier 5: 3,088
  11. Non-PBS Domestic Worker: 19
  12. UK ancestry visa: 6
  13. Non-PBS Other permit-free employment (Main apps): 94
  14. Other permit-free employment not allocated (Main apps): 611
  15. Certificate of entitlement to right of abode (Main apps): 16
  16. Other Settlement (indefinite leave): 28
  17. Other temporary visas: 583

Moreover, to know the country-specific details of UK visa applications and priority service please refer to Egypt, Ghana, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia and Turkey.

2) UK visitor visa application fee and processing time from the USA

Please note the application charges are usually revised once every year. Therefore, the charges in GBP remain the same during the year. However, due to exchange rate fluctuations, the UK Visa Price in USD may vary during the year.

Do US Citizens Need to Apply for UK Visitor Visa?

Since US citizens are non-visa nationals and for visiting UK up-to 6 months they don’t require a visitor or transit visa. However, in terms of Paragraph V 1.3 of Appendix V Immigration Rules for visitorsnon-visa national may only need to apply for the UK visit visa, if they are: (a) visiting the UK to marry or to form a civil partnership, or to give notice of this; or (b) seeking to visit the UK for more than 6 months.

Accordingly, the total UK visitor visa grants to USA citizens is only a small of the total number of USA citizens travelling to the UK for tourism, meeting family and business purposes. For instance, in 2017, 3.88 m USA nationals travelled to the UK for a personal or business-related visit. However, only 1,542 USA nationals were granted UK visitors visa.

Do Green Card Holders need to apply for a UK visitor visa?

Yes, if the Green Card Holder is a citizen of a visa national country such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria etc. However, if a Green Card Holder is a citizen of a non-visa national country then can visit UK up-to 6 months for permitted activities as per paragraph V 1.3 of Appendix V of the Immigration Rules for visitors.

What is the UK standard visitor visa fees in the USA?

Apparently, applicants can apply for 6 months, 2, 5 and 10 years standard visitor visa from the USA. Perhaps, the most common and popular is the 6 months standard visitor visa. The fee for 6 months from the USA is $121/-. Moreover, the charges of 2, 5 and 10 years applications from the USA are $459/-, $832/- and $1,045/-, respectively.

6 months visa fee with priority service

The application fee for 6 months from the USA with priority service is $401/- i.e. application cost $121 plus the priority service $280/-. Please note: the fee is non-refundable!

2-year visa fee with priority service

The UK visa fees from the USA in 2019 for 2 years with priority service is $739/- i.e. application cost $459/- plus the priority service $280/-.

5-year visa application cost with priority service

The UK visa fees USD for 5 years with priority service is $1,112/- i.e. application cost $832/- plus the priority service $280/-.

10-year visa application price with priority service

The fee for the 10 years visa with priority service is $1,325/- i.e. application cost $1,045/- plus the priority service $280/-.

Private medical treatment

Accordingly, the application fee for US citizens and Green Card Holders in USD for more than 6 months but less than 11 months private medical treatment visa is US$241.

Visiting academics

Moreover, the UK visa fees in USD for US citizens and Green Card Holders for visiting academic visa for more than 6 months but less than 12 months is US$241.

Marriage visitor visa

Evidently, the UK visa application fee in USD for US citizens and Green Card Holders for the UK marriage visitor visa is US$121/-.

Do US citizens require a visa for marriage in the UK?

Yes, if a US citizen intends to get married or form a civil partnership then needs to apply for the UK marriage visitor visa.

Permitted paid engagement

Furthermore, the UK visa application fee in USD for US citizens and Green Card Holders for permitted paid engagement (PPE) is US$121/-.

Approved Destination Scheme (ADS)

The application charges under Approved Destination Scheme (ADS) for visiting the UK in a Chinese tour group are US$121 (£95).

How many US citizens get the UK visitor visa in 2018?

Indeed, 1,571 US citizens get the UK visitor visa during 2018 i.e. 1,534 main and 37 dependant applicants.

UK transit visa application fee in USD 2019

Certainly, the US passport holders don’t require to have a UK transit visa. However, the UK transit visa fees from the USA for Green Cardholder holders for direct airside and landside transit visa is $44/- and $81/-, respectively. And also $81/- for the purpose of joining a ship or aircraft as a member of the crew of that ship or aircraft.

How many US citizens get the UK transit visa?

Quite clearly, only US citizens get the UK transit visa during 2018.

What is the UK transit visa processing time from the USA?

Perhaps, the UK transit visa application processing time from the USA is usually within 7-10 working days.

Short-term study

Moreover, the application cost for short term students (aka student visitors) for up to six months is $123/-. However, the application charges for short term study (English Language Course) up to 11 months is $236/-.

How many US citizens get the UK short-term study visa?

In fact, 781 US citizens get the UK short term study visa during 2018. Moreover, the short-term study visa was previously known as the UK student visitor visa.

UK Visitor Visa Fees in USD 2019

UK Visitor Visa Fees in USD 2019

3) UK settlement visa cost and processing time from the USA

The details of the UK settlement visa application cost from the USA for family settlement applications and also for dependant family members joining in the UK are as under:

UK spouse visa fees in USD

The UK spouse visa fees in USD is $1,935/-. Moreover, the fee is the same for a civil, unmarried and same-sex partner. And also for a fiancé(e), proposed civil partner, parent of a child, and dependant child applications under Appendix FM.

Settlement visa priority service from the USA

The UK spouse visa fee from the USA with priority service is $2,663/- i.e. application cost of $1,935/- plus $728/- charges for the settlement priority service.

Other dependant family members

Moreover, the UK visa fees in USD for an Adult Dependant Relative is $4,130/- per applicant, who requires care, such as a:

  • parent
  • grandparent
  • brother or sister
  • son or daughter aged 18 years or over

Returning residents

Apparently, the UK visa fees in USD for returning residents is US$656.

Refugee dependant relative

Furthermore, the cost of settlement application for a refugee dependant relative is $493/-.

UK settlement visa fees in USD 2019/20

UK settlement visa fees in USD 2019/20

UK visa fees USD for a family reunion for asylum seekers

Apparently, there is no fee for Family reunion, under Part 11 of Asylum, Immigration Rules (pre-flight dependants). However, the UK visa fees USD 2019 for the post-flight non-settled person is $1,935/-. Moreover, the application charges for the family reunion – other dependent relatives – is $493/-.

Settlement for current and former members of HM armed forces

Moreover, the UK visa fees USD for Settlement for current and former members of HM armed forces and their dependants is US$1,935/- for:

  1. Former UK Armed Forces
  2. Pre 1997 Gurkhas (outside immigration rules)
  3. Overage dependant children of pre-1997 Gurkhas
  4. HM Forces dependants applying under part 4,5,7 or 8 of Appendix Armed Forces

How many US citizens get the UK settlement visa?

In fact, during 2018, as many as 2,359 US nationals get the UK family visa with the following breakup:

  • Partner i.e. UK visa for a US husband or wife- 2,242
  • Partner (for immediate settlement)- 2
  • Child- 96
  • Child (for immediate settlement)- 9
  • Other- 8
  • Other (for immediate settlement)- 2

Dependant Joining or Accompanying

Evidently, 881 US nationals get a visa as a dependant partner (362), child (512) and other (7) to join or accompany their family members in the UK during 2018.

Family Members of EEA and Swiss nationals

Please note there are no application charges for a family member of an EEA/Swiss national for applying EEA family permit and EUSS family.

How many US nationals get the EEA family permit?

Apparently, 481 US citizens get an EEA family permit during 2018.

What is the EEA family permits timeline from the USA ?

Perhaps, most of the EEA family permit applications from the USA conclude within 2-3 weeks. For instance, in May 2019, 96% of the EEA family permit application from Istanbul processed within 30 working days or 6 six weeks. Moreover, at times the UK visa processing time from the USA for EEA family permit applications takes up to 30-60 working days before the final decision!

4) UK Tier 1 visa application charges and processing time

The details of Tier 1 application fees and timelines from the USA are as under:

Tier 1 Investor application fee

Accordingly, the Tier 1 Investor application fee for entry clearance applications from the USA is $2,062/- for main applicants and dependants.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur

The UK visa fees USD for Tier 1 Entrepreneur entry clearance applications is $1,297/-. However, from March 29, 2019, the Innovator visa has replaced PBS Tier 1 entrepreneur.

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

Furthermore, the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur entry clearance fees in USD is US$461/-. Evidently, the start-up visa under Appendix W has replaced the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur for fresh applications from July 6, 2019.

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

Apparently, the fee for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent  Stage 1 – endorsement application – main applicant for US citizens and Green Card Holders is US$579/-.

Stage 2 Tier 1 exceptional talent application

Moreover, Tier 1 exceptional talent Stage 2 entry clearance application for the main applicant costs US$193/- or US$123 if CESC is applicable.

Subsequent application

Furthermore, the UK visa application fees for Tier 1 exceptional talent subsequent and dependants in USD is US$773/-. However, a CESC discount of US$70 applies to the subsequent application by the Tier 1 exceptional talent main applicant.

Tier 1 General and PSW – dependant applicants only

Apparently, the UK visa fees USD 2019/2020 for Tier General and PSW dependant applicants from the USA is US$1,297/- and US$768/-, respectively. Please note both these routes are closed for main applicants.

Tier 1 application charges in USD 2019/20

PBS Tier 1 Application Fees in USD 2019

How many US citizens get the UK Tier 1 visa?

Evidently, in 2018, 425 US nationals get the Tier 1 visa i.e. Investors (51), Entrepreneurs (151), Graduate Entrepreneurs (22), Exceptional Talent (200) and PBS – Tier 1 General Deps (1).

What is the processing time for UK Tier 1 visa from the USA?

In fact, nearly all PBS Tier 1 applications from the USA usually conclude within 15 working days. However, a few applications decide even within 5 working days.

5) Tier 2 application cost and processing time from the USA

The details of UK Tier 2 visa cost and processing time from the USA are as under:

What is the UK embassy work visa fees in USD?

Perhaps, the Tier 2 visa application cost is generally referred to as UK embassy work visa fees in USD. Moreover, the Tier 2 visa application fees from the USA is also erroneously referred to as UK work permit fees in USD. Please note: PBS Tier 2 replaced the UK work permit route in 2008. Moreover, the Points-based system (PBS) Tier 2 and Tier 5 application fee is also applicable to the Isle of Man. And Council of Europe Social Charter (CESC) discount of US$70/- (£55) applies to PBS main applicants.

UK visa fees USD 2019/29 for Tier 2 applications

Accordingly, the Tier 2 main and dependant application for Tier 2 General, ICT – LT Staff, Sportsperson and Minister of Religion, where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of three years or less is $775/-. Moreover, if the CESC discount applies then the main applicant’s application fee is $705.

Fees for CoS for more than 3 years

Moreover, the charges for Tier 2 General and ICT – Long Term Staff, where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of more than three years is $1,550/-. Moreover, if the CESC discount applies then the main applicant’s application fee is $1,480/-.

UK visa fees USD 2019 for Tier 2 ICT Graduate Trainee

Apparently, the UK work visa fees from the USA for Tier 2 ICT Graduate Trainee is $613/- for the main and dependant applicants. Moreover, if the CESC discount applies then the main applicant’s application fee is $543.

Tier 2 General Shortage Occupation

The UK work visa fees for US passport holders and Green Card Holder for Tier 2 General shortage occupation is $590/- for main and dependant applicants, where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of three years or less. Moreover, if the CESC discount applies then the main applicant’s application fee is $520.

Fees for CoS for more than 3 years

The UK work visa fees for US passport holders and Green Card Holder for Tier 2 General shortage occupation is $1,179/- where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of 3 years or more, respectively. Moreover, if the CESC discount applies then the main applicant’s application fee is $1,109/-.

UK Tier 2 Visa Application Fee in USD 2019/20

UK Tier 2 Visa Application Fee in USD 2019/20

How many US citizens get the UK Tier 2 work visa?

Evidently, 9,739 US nationals get Tier 2 (Pre-PBS equivalent) work visa during 2018 i.e. Tier 2 General (2,481), Intracompany transfer (70), Intracompany transfers – long-term (3,231), Ministers of religion (144), Sportsperson (28), Work permit holders (3) and Dependants (3,782).

What is the Tier 2 visa processing time from the USA?

Perhaps, the average UK visa processing time for Tier 2 applications from the USA is normally 2-3 weeks. However, a few applications even conclude within 5 working days. Please refer: Tier 2 priority service for details.

6) UK Tier 4 student visa for US citizens

The details of UK Tier 4 visa cost and processing time in the USA are as under:

Tier 4 students

The application fee from the USA for the points-based system Tier 4 (the UK and the Isle of Man) is US$442. Moreover, the application fee is the same for entry clearance as a student to enter the Bailiwick of Gurnsey or Bailiwick of Jersey.

Tier 4 student priority and super-priority applications

The UK visa fees USD 2019 for a Tier 4 student application with priority service is $722/- i.e. application charges $442/- plus the priority service cost $280/-. Moreover, the cost of student application with super-priority service is $1,657/- i.e. Tier 4 application charges $442/-plus the super-priority service cost $1,215/-.

Parent of a Tier 4 child visa

Moreover, the UK visa fees USD for Parent of a Tier 4 child visa (up to 12 months) is US$656.

How many US get the UK Tier 4 student visa?

Evidently, 15,023 students from the USA get the Tier 4 student visa during 2018 with the following breakup:

  • PBS – Tier 4 General student (Main apps)- 14,187
  • Tier 4 Child Student (Main apps)- 322
  • PBS – Tier 4 General student (Deps) – 514

What is the UK Tier 4 student visa processing time from the USA?

Apparently, the UK Tier 4 visa processing time from the USA is fairly quick as nearly all the applications usually decide within 2-3 weeks or 10-15 working days. However, the UK student visa processing time with priority service in the USA is normally within 5 working days or one week!

7) Tier 5 work visa applications from the USA

The details of UK Tier 5 visa cost and processing time from the USA are as under:

PBS Tier 5 work visa application fee from the USA

The UK visa fees USD for Tier 5 main applicant and dependants is $310/- for

  1. Charity Worker
  2. Creative and sporting
  3. Government Authorised Exchange
  4. Religious Worker
  5. Youth Mobility Scheme
  6. International Agreement

Tier 5 priority and super-priority service fees

The UK Tier 5 work visa fee with priority service is $590/- i.e. Tier 5 application charges $310/-plus the priority service cost $280/-. Moreover, the Tier 5 visa charges with super-priority service is US$1,525/- i.e. Tier 4 application charges US$310/-plus the super-priority service cost US$1,215/-.

How many US citizens get the UK Tier 5 work visa?

Evidently, 3,088 US citizens get the UK Tier 5 temporary worker visa during 2018 i.e. Charity workers (410), Creative and Sporting (367), Government Authorised Exchange (1,428), International Agreement (10), Religious Workers (696), Youth Mobility (5) and Tier 5 Dependants (172).

What is the UK Tier 5 visa processing time from the USA?

Perhaps, the average UK Tier 5 processing time from the USA is within 15-30 working days. However, a significant number of Tier 5 applications from the USA also conclude within 5 working days.

8) Charges for other work categories

The details of UK visa application fees in USD for other work categories are as under:

Start-up and innovator visa

The application charges for US citizens and Green Card Holders under two new routes i.e. Innovator and Start-up are $1,297/- and $461/- respectively. Moreover, if applicable, the UK start-up and innovator visa fee is subject to a CESC discount of £55 for the main applicant.

UK ancestry visa fees 2019/20

Moreover, the UK ancestry visa fees USD is US$656.

UK visa fees USD for a representative of an overseas business

Furthermore, the UK visa fees USD for a representative of overseas business and dependants is US$775/-. Moreover, the application cost is the same for an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation.

Domestic worker in private household

Apparently, the UK visa fees USD for an overseas domestic worker in a private household is US$656.

Exemptions

There is no application fee for

  1. Turkish businessperson visa
  2. Diplomatic Posting to the UK
  3. Diplomatic Posting to the UK (Dependant)
  4. Members of International Organisations on Official Visits
  5. Official Transit through the UK
  6. Official Visit to the UK
Charges for other work categories in the USA

UK Visa Fees in USD 2019/20 for other work categories

Right of abode – certificate of entitlement

The UK visa fees USD 2019 for the Right of abode – certificate of entitlement is $493.00/-

Transfer of conditions (vignette transfer)

Moreover, the fees for vignette transfer (transfer of a valid visa vignette to a new passport or replace a lost/stolen document) is US$196/-.

Single-entry visa to replace BRP

Apparently, the UK visa fees USD for Single entry visa to replace a biometric residence permit is US$196/-.

UK visa enquiry service fees in USD

The cost of UK visa enquiry service for knowing the application status is:

  • US$7 (£5.48) for International Contact Centre Email Service (per query)
  • US$2 (£1.37) for International Contact Centre Telephone Helpline (per minute)

Registered traveller

The cost of registered travellers is US$64 (£50) and US$30 (£24) for an adult and child, respectively. Moreover, the cost of registration of new documents is US$25 ( £20).

9) Additional FAQs relating to UK visa from the USA

This covers a few faqs relating to UK visa applications from the USA, especially for the US residents and Green Cardholder, who are applying for a UK tourist and family visitor visa applicants for the very first time. However, the procedure of applying for UK visa from the USA mainly depends on how an applicant intends to submit his/her application!

What is the UK child visitors visa fees USD 2019/20?

The UK visiting visa fee in USD for 6 months, 2, 5 and 10 years for a child visitor visa is also $121/-, $459/-, $832/- and$1,045/-respectively. Perhaps, US citizens usually don’t need to apply for the UK child visitor visa. However, Green Card Holders and applicants on immigrant status in the US require to apply for the child visitor visa.

What is the fees in USD for UK tourist and family visa?

Usually, a fresh applicant applies for the 6 months multi-entry visa for tourism or family visit. Accordingly, the UK tourist visa fees in USD is US$121/-. Moreover, at times applicants also refer to the UK 6 months visa as British, England or London visitor visa. Perhaps, a repeat visitor can also apply for a long-term visitor visa for tourism and family purpose. Accordingly, the UK tourist visa charges in USD for 2, 5 and 10 years visa application is $459/-, $832/- and $1,045/-, respectively.

Perhaps, US citizens usually don’t need to apply for the UK tourist and family visitor visa. However, Green Card Holders and applicants on immigrant status in the US require to apply for the UK standard visitor visa for the purpose of tourism and meeting family.

How much is the fee in USD for UK business visa?

Certainly, apart from tourism and family, visiting the UK for a business purpose is quite frequent from the USA. However, US citizens are non-visa nationals. Therefore they don’t need to have a standard visitor visa for travelling to the UK for a business purpose. However, Green Card Holders and permanent residents in the USA require a standard visitor visa for visiting the UK for a business purpose. Accordingly, the UK business visa fees in USD for 6-months, 2, 5 and 10 years applications is $121/-, $459/-, $832/- and$1,045/-respectively.

Is UK priority visa service available in the USA?

Yes, perhaps, applicants in the USA can avail the UKVI’s priority and super-priority visa services for fast-tracking their settlement and non-settlement applications. If an application is straightforward and the applicant can afford the UK priority visa fee to fast-track settlement or non-settlement application then it is advisable to opt for the priority or super-priority service from the USA. However, the priority service does not affect or influence the outcome of the decision.

What is the UK priority visa fees in USD?

The fee for priority service for non-settlement UK visa applications in the USA is $280/. Perhaps, applicants intending to apply for a non-settlement UK visa from the USA can pay USD280 for the priority visa service online on the VFS Global website.

What is UK settlement priority visa fees in USD?

Perhaps, to avail the priority settlement visa service in the USA, applicants can either pay USD728 online or purchase the VFS Global’s settlement premium service package. Apparently, the package cost US$2,000 and offers 6 services inclusive of the priority service.

How to get UK super-priority visa service from the USA?

Perhaps, an applicant, in the USA can use super-priority service to receive a decision within 24 hours. Apparently, for super priority visa service in the USA, VFS offers a USD1,900 Gold Premium Package. However, using the super-priority visa service does not imply or guarantee in any way that your visa application will be successful.

Who can avail the super-priority visa service in the USA?

Perhaps, the UK super priority visa from the USA is for the following types of UK visa applications from the USA:

  • Standard visitor visa for tourism and other short-stay visitor visas
  • PBS Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
  • If an applicant has an authority to live in the USA then can apply for PBS Tier 2 and Tier 5 applicants
  • PBS Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme)  and Tier 5 (Temporary worker – Creative and Sporting) if an applicant is in the USA for a similar purpose
  • PBS Tier 4 student visas – for applicants who are in the USA and are subject to different documentary requirements under the PBS Tier 4 Student route
  • settlement in the UK (Immigration Rules Appendix FM: family members) using the settlement premium service (Bronze, Silver and Gold services are not available for settlement applications)

Apparently, applicants in the USA can only avail UK super-priority visa service through VFS Global premium application centres operating in the USA.

How to apply for a UK visa from the USA?

Quite clearly, there are two methods of submitting the UK visa applications from the USA i.e. an applicant can submit the application by the undertaking the biometrics at USCIS application support centre (ASC) or through the following VFS Premium Application Centres in the USA:

  1. New York Premium Application Centre – 845 Third Avenue, Floor 6, New York, NY 10022
  2. San Francisco Premium Application Centre – 315 Montgomery Street, Floor 10, San Francisco, CA 94104
  3. Los Angeles Premium Application Centre – 1901 Avenue of the Stars, Floor 2, Los Angeles, CA 90067
  4. Washington DC Premium Application Centre – 1025 Vermont Avenue NW, Floor 2, Washington, DC 20005
  5. Miami Premium Application Centre – 2655 S Le Jeune Road, Penthouse 1A, Coral Gables, FL 33134
  6. Chicago Premium Application Centre – 564 West Randolph St, Floor 2, Chicago, IL 60661
  7. Houston Premium Application Centre – 700 Milam Street, Suite 1300, Houston, TX 77002
  8. Boston Premium Application Centre – 160 Federal Street, Suite #1700, Boston, MA 02110
  9. Atlanta Premium Application Centre – 100 Peachtree Street NW, Floor 22, Atlanta, GA 30303
  10. Seattle Premium Application Centre – 701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 4200, Seattle, WA 98104

How to apply for a UK visa with biometrics at USCIS ASC?

If an applicant intends to have a biometric appointment at a US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) application support centre (ASC) then needs to under the following steps:

  1. An applicant needs to apply for a UK visa application online and follow the instructions on the online application form to pay the application fee. Moreover, the applicant also needs to book a biometrics appointment (for photo and fingerprints) at any of the USCIS ASC online. And take a print out of the online application form and that of the biometric confirmation receipt.
  2. At the biometrics appointment date, an application needs to visit the USCIS ASC with his/her current passport, a print out of online application form. And a copy of the biometric confirmation receipt. The staff of USCIS ASC will take the biometrics and stamp the biometric confirmation receipt.
  3. Once the biometric confirmation receipt is stamped then the applicant needs to mail the application to VFS Services USA Inc within 5 days.
  4. Accordingly an applicant needs to put his/her UK visa application form, a valid passport with at least one-page blank on both sides, supporting documents and the STAMPED biometric confirmation receipts in an envelope and mail/courier the package at VFS Services USA Inc, UKVI Scanning Hub, 750 Third Avenue, Suite 946, New York, NY 10017.
  5. Moreover, for return shipping of the documents, an applicant needs to furnish a fully addressed prepaid electronic shipping label. Please note: UKVI does not accept ground services and non-electronic waybills. Accordingly, the applicant needs to put the return shipping label and envelope inside the package. And keep a copy of the waybill for his/her record.

Do infants under 5 need to attend an appointment at USCIS ASC?

Yes, infants/children under the age of 5 applying for a UK visa also need to attend an appointment at a USCIS ASC. However, the staff of the ASC only takes the photograph of the children/infants under the age of 5 and will not take the biometrics of their fingerprints.

Can I purchase the UK priority visa service from USCIS ASC?

No, an applicant can’t purchase the UK priority visa service from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) application support centre (ASC). However, an applicant can purchase the priority service to fast track a visa application from VFS Global. Once an applicant completes the purchase then needs to take a printout of the receipt. And should include the receipt with the application. Moreover, on the outer envelope, the applicant should write ‘priority service’ in large black print and mail the envelope at VFS Services USA Inc, UKVI Scanning Hub, 750 Third Avenue, Suite 946, New York, NY 10017. Therefore, in the case of priority service, the final envelope must include the following types of documents:

  1. Print out of the UK visa online application form
  2. A valid passport with at least one-page blank on both sides
  3. Supporting documents of the applicant
  4. Biometric confirmation receipt- Stamped from USCIS ACS
  5. Receipt of priority service from VFS Global
  6. Prepaid electronic shipping label for return shipment of documents

How many types of VFS premium service packages in the USA?

In order to facilitate applications from the USA, VFS offers 4 premium packages. And depending on the service features, the cost of the VFS premium service packages varies from US$410 to US$2,000. Accordingly, the 4 premium service packages are:

  1. Gold Premium Package for US$1,900 with 7 services
  2. Silver Premium Package for US$875 with 5 services
  3. Bronze Premium Package for US$410 with 4 services
  4. Settlement Premium Package for US$2,000 with 6 services

VFS Global’s Gold Premium Package in the USA

Quite clear, the price of Gold package has increased from US$1,800/- to US$1,900. However, the number of services included in the Gold package has reduced from 9 to 7. Accordingly, at present, the Gold premium package includes the following  7 services:

  1. Super Priority Visa – to get a UK visa decision within 24 hours
  2. Walk-in Without Appointment – to apply for the visa without making a booking in advance
  3. Form Filling Assistance – Personal assistance on the phone or in-person
  4. Application and Document Checks – to ensure that supporting documents are appropriate
  5. Courier Service – passport delivery at an applicant’s home or office address
  6. SMS Service – instant updates on mobile
  7. Health Concierge – free health concierge

Previously, the Gold package also included the following couple of services:

  1. Certification – to keep hold of original documents
  2. Registered Traveller Assistance – to expedite entry clearance at the UK borders

VFS Global’s Silver Premium Package in the USA

Apparently, the price of the Silver Premium Package has increased from USD775 to USD875. Although, the number of services included in the package has remained the same. However, the composition of the services i.e. instead of Certification Service, the Silver Package now include the Walk-in Without Appointment Service.

Accordingly, the VFS Silver Premium Package includes the following five services:

  1. Priority Visa Service – to put the application at the front of the queue
  2. Application and Document Checks – review of all the supporting documents required by VFS staff
  3. Walk-in Without Appointment – to apply for the visa without making a booking in advance
  4. Courier Service – after the decision, passport delivers directly to an applicant’s home or office
  5. SMS Service – instant visa application updates on the applicant’s cell phone

Please note, previously the Silver Package included Certification Service to keep hold of the original documents of an applicant.

VFS Global’s Bronze Premium Package in the USA

Evidently, the price of the VFS Bronze Premium Package is US$410/-. And the package includes the following 4 services:

  1. Application and Document Checks – review of all the supporting documents required
  2. Courier Service – delivery of passport directly to either home or office address of an applicant
  3. SMS Service – instant visa application updates sent to your phone
  4. Walk-in Without Appointment – to apply for the visa without making a booking in advance

VFS Global’s Settlement Premium Package in the USA

Certainly, the price of the Settlement Premium Package has increased from US$1,900/- to US$2,000. Perhaps, this is a rebranding of the VFS deluxe settlement service package, which offered 8 services inclusive of the priority service. Accordingly, the VFS Settlement Premium Package includes the following 6 services:

  1. Priority Visa for settlement or migration service to put an application at the front of the queue
  2. Form Filling Assistance Personal assistance, on the phone or in-person
  3. Application and Document Checks – review of all the supporting documents required
  4. Keep My Passport When Applying – service to retain passport during the processing
  5. Courier Service – delivery of passport directly to either home or office address of an applicant
  6. SMS Service – instant visa application updates sent to your phone

Please note previously the deluxe settlement service package also included the following couple of services:

  1. Certification – service to keep hold of the original documents
  2. Registered Traveller Assistance – help in registering for faster clearance at the UK borders
VFS Global Premium Packages in the United States of America

VFS Global Premium Packages in the USA

10) The average UK visa application processing time from the USA

Certainly, the UK visa USA timelines vary on the case to case basis. However, the UK visa USA processing times are usually 15-30 working days for non-settlement application such as a visitor or Tier 2 work, Tier 4 student visa application. fairly quick. Perhaps, the processing time for 30-60% of non-settlement applications is usually within 3-5 days due to the use of priority service. Moreover, in terms of the UKVIs service standard, the UK spouse settlement processing time from the USA is usually 30-120 working days.

UK visa USA processing times from New York

Perhaps, most of the entry clearance applications from New York decided within 30 working days or 6 weeks.

UK Visa USA Timelines from Chicago

Apparently, all the entry clearance applications from Chicago during May 2019 processed within 30 working days or 6 weeks.

Los Angeles

Apparently, all the UK visa USA entry clearance applications from Los Angeles during May 2019 decided within 30 working days or 6 weeks.

Miami

Apparently, all the UK visa USA entry clearance applications from Miami Angeles during May 2019 decided within 30 working days or 6 weeks.

UK Visa USA Timelines from Seattle 2019

Apparently, all the entry clearance applications from Seattle during May 2019 processed within 30 working days or 6 weeks.

UK Visa USA Timelines from Washington DC 2019

Apparently, all the UK visa USA entry clearance applications from Washington DC during May 2019 concluded within 30 working days or 6 weeks.

What is the UK visa processing time for DHS VAC, USA?

Apparently, in May 2019, most of the UK visitor, Tier 4 student and Tier 5 work visa applications from DHS (Department of Homeland Security i.e. those who used USCIS ASC for biometrics) processed within 15-30 working days. Moreover, 88%, 94% and 100% of the EEA family permit application from DHS VAC, USA, within 30, 90 and 120 working days, respectively. Perhaps, quite a few of applicants applying for UK spouse visa from the USA are opting for priority service as 50% of the settlement applications processed within 30 working days. However, 93% and 97% of the spouse visa applications from DHS VAC, USA, decided within 60 and 90 working days, respectively.

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