UK Visa USA 2019: applications, processing times and refusal rate

UK visa USA timelines for US Citizens and Green Card HoldersThis relates to entry clearance applications grants and refusal rate for US citizens during 2018-19. And also UK visa USA timelines (processing times) for the applications made by US citizens and green card holders from the USA. Accordingly, covers tourists, business, family visitor, spouse, family settlement, startup, innovator, student, work and transit applications by US nationals. Moreover, also explains priority and super-priority services processing time from the USA. Accordingly, covers the following topics:

  1. UK Visa USA: applications from US Nationals 2018-2019
  2. Grants of visa and immigration to the USA citizens
  3. The average visa application processing time from the USA
  4. UK visa USA processing times May 2019

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 the USA.

1) UK Visa USA: Applications from US Citizens 2018-2019

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 Moreover, 52 applications withdrawn and 2 applications lapsed.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.

UK Visa USA applications from US Citizens 2016-18

The details of the applications from the USA in Table below indicates that the number of applications increased from 36,493 (2016) to 37,613 (2018). Moreover, the success rate slightly increased from 95.43% to 96.42%.

Quarter/YearUK Visa Applications by US nationalsEntry Clearance Grants to US NationalsUK Visa Success Rate USAUK Visa Refusal Rate USA
2019 Q15,0385,07093.72%5.29%
2016 Q14,7604,48393.30%5.97%
2016 Q28,3627,69295.15%4.37%
2016 Q317,12016,69496.32%3.33%
2016 Q46,2515,92394.97%4.68%
201636,49334,79295.43%4.14%
2017 Q14,8624,48293.65%5.91%
2017 Q28,6307,65496.76%2.65%
2017 Q317,22917,52097.26%2.33%
2017 Q46,0895,61794.47%4.89%
201736,81035,27396.23%3.28%
2018 Q14,8244,47294.01%5.13%
2018 Q28,5507,47295.37%4.06%
2018 Q317,64318,06397.88%1.88%
2018 Q46,5965,78195.25%4.02%
201837,61335,78896.42%3.11%

2) Grants of UK visa and immigration to USA Nationals

During the 2018-19, the USA nationals have been granted entry clearance in all the broad categories i.e. temporary visits, spouse and family settlement, study and work. Moreover, 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.

Apparently, the broad categories have sub-categories (or types). Therefore, the subsequent sections highlight the grants by UK visa types to USA nationals. Perhaps, this will facilitate an applicant to know: which are more popular types of entry clearance applications for the USA nationals.

The most popular entry clearance applications

Apparently, the most popular UK visa for USA nationals is the UK work visa. For instance, during 2019 Q1, 2,963 USA nationals granted a UK work visa, which nearly accounted for more than 58% of the total visa grants (5,070).

UK Visa from the USA: Broad Categories2018 Q12018 Q22018 Q32018 Q42019 Q1
Total UK visas granted to US Citizens4,4727,47218,0635,7815,070
Total Work2,6654,4164,2852,6352,963
Total Study (excl. Short-term students)5461,12911,6211,742661
Short-term students (previously Student visitors)111119348206117
Total Family434596752607620
Total Dependant Joining or accompanying168331244138145
Total Other548881813453564

Visitor and other visa grants

Perhaps, all visitor and other sundry visa applications, exclusive of work, study and family, are clubbed under the Other category.

UK Visit and Other Visa Grants to USA Nationals2018 Q12018 Q22018 Q32018 Q42019 Q1
Total UK Visit and Other visa to USA Nationals548881813453564
EEA family permits92124164102105
Visitors (Total)337536443261380
Visitors (Main apps)328523435253370
Visitors (Deps)9138810
Transit04201
Other temporary1102101838372
Certificate of entitlement to right of abode (Main apps)23830
Other Settlement (indefinite leave)741346

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.

Work visa grants

During 2018 and 2019 Q1, USA nationals get the following types of UK work visa:

UK Work Visa Grants to USA Citizens2018 Q12018 Q22018 Q32018 Q42019 Q1
Total UK Work Visa Grants to USA Nationals2,6654,4164,2852,6352,963
PBS - Tier 1 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Main apps)4362915989
PBS - Tier 1 Investors (Main apps)34776
PBS - Tier 1 Entrepreneurs (Main apps)1415291420
PBS - Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurs (Main apps)664612
PBS - Tier 1 Exceptional talent (Main apps)2037513251
PBS - Tier 1 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Deps)2539753439
PBS - Tier 1 General (Deps)00101
PBS - Tier 1 Investors (Deps)1031346
PBS - Tier 1 Entrepreneurs (Deps)1323291515
PBS - Tier 1 Exceptional talent (Deps)213321515
PBS - Tier 2 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Main apps)1,3101,5391,8321,2851,409
PBS - Tier 2 General (Main apps)477539888579590
PBS - Tier 2 Intra company transfers (Main apps)1824131517
PBS - Tier 2 Intra company transfers - short term (Main apps)zzzz2
PBS - Tier 2 Intra company transfers - long term (Main apps)781924880653773
PBS - Tier 2 Ministers of religion (Main apps)2846363423
PBS - Tier 2 Sportsperson (Main apps)551444
Work permit holders (Main apps)111zz
PBS - Tier 2 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Deps)6471,1541,255729679
PBS - Tier 2 (Deps)303506674394361
PBS - Tier 2 Intra company transfers - short term (Deps)01121
PBS - Tier 2 Intra company transfers - long term (Deps)341647577333317
Work permit holders (Deps)3z3zz
PBS - Tier 5 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Main apps)4361,351779350517
PBS - Tier 5 Charity workers (Main apps)441641643846
PBS - Tier 5 Creative and sporting (Main apps)104871284896
PBS - Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange (Main apps)149927239113162
PBS - Tier 5 International agreement (Main apps)253049
PBS - Tier 5 Religious workers (Main apps)137168242149164
PBS - Tier 5 Youth mobility (Main apps)00320
PBS - Tier 5 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Deps)4538662334
PBS - Tier 5 (Deps)4538662334
Non-PBS Total (Main apps)2928303328
Non-PBS Domestic workers in private h/holds. (Main apps)65622
Non-PBS UK ancestry (Main apps)01232
Non-PBS Other permit free employment (Main apps)2322222824
Other Total (Main apps)130205157122168
Other permit free employment not allocated (Main apps)130205157122168

Student visa grants

The details of study visa grants to USA nationals during 2018 and 2019 Q1 is as under:

UK Student Visa Grants to USA Nationals2018 Q12018 Q22018 Q32018 Q42019 Q1
Total UK Student Visa Grants to USA Nationals6571,24811,9691,948778
PBS - Tier 4 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Main apps)5051,10711,2271,685626
PBS - Tier 4 General student (Main apps)4901,07810,9791,654609
PBS - Tier 4 Child Student (Main apps)15292483117
PBS - Tier 4 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Deps)41223945735
PBS - Tier 4 General student (Deps)41223945735
Short-term study (previously Student Visitors)
(Main apps)
111119348206117

The UK spouse and family settlement visa grants 2019 Q1

The details of UK settlement visa grants to USA nationals during 2018 and 2019 Q1 is as under:

UK Family Settlement Grants to USA Nationals2018 Q12018 Q22018 Q32018 Q42019 Q1
Total UK Settlement Grants to USA Nationals434596752607620
Partner424557712577583
Partner (for immediate settlement)10100
Child234352732
Child (for immediate settlement)40413
Other25012
Other (for immediate settlement)10010

Grants to Dependant Joining or accompanying

The details of grants to dependant of USA national joining or accompanying during 2018 and 2019 Q1 is as under:

Dependants of a USA National joining or accompanying2018 Q12018 Q22018 Q32018 Q42019 Q1
Total Dependants of a USA National joining or accompanying168331244138145
Partner651271066463
Child1032011357379
Other03313

3) UK visa USA timelines for US Citizens and Green Card Holders

Perhaps, nearly all the applicants are quite keen to have some idea about the average UK visa USA processing time. Certainly, the processing time starts when an applicant submits application and biometrics at one of the following UKVACs 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

The average UK visa USA application processing times

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 Processing Times from New York5 days15 days30 days
Long Term Visit (more than 6 months)83%95%100%
General Visit (6 months or less)50%87%99%
Business Visit (6 months or less)68%86%100%
Family Visit (6 months or less)48%77%96%
Other Visit (6 months or less)68%88%100%
PBS Tier 279%99%100%
PBS Tier 560%97%100%

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.

UK Visa USA Processing Times Chicago May 20195 days15 days30 days
General Visit (6 months or less)48%69%100%
PBS Tier 266%96%100%

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.

UK visa USA processing times from Los Angeles5 days15 days30 days
General Visit (6 months or less)30%92%100%

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 processing times from Miami 20195 days15 days30 days
General Visit (6 months or less)47%94%100%

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 processing times from Seattle5 days15 days30 days
PBS Tier 264%98%100%

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) VAC (Visa Application Centre), USA, 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.

UK Visa Processing Time from DHS VAC, USA5 days15 days30 days
Long Term Visit (more than 6 months)55%95%99%
General Visit (6 months or less)36%93%99%
Business Visit (6 months or less)54%95%100%
Family Visit (6 months or less)29%91%98%
Transit (6 months or less)34%93%100%
Other Visit (6 months or less)25%91%97%
PBS Tier 24%98%99%
PBS Tier 412%98%99%
PBS Tier 51%96%99%
EEA Family PermitsN/A88%88%
Other Non-Settlement12%94%99%
Settlement4%41%50%

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.

UK visa USA processing times from Washington DC5 days15 days30 days
General Visit (6 months or less)40%90%100%

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