How to Fast Track UK Visa and Settlement (ILR) Applications?

This relates to UK Priority and Super-Priority (aka premium or express visa) Service to fast track processing time of settlement, non-settlement, extension, switching and indefinite leave to remain (ILR) applications. The post also explains the reasons for delays in processing of fast track applications and UK priority and super-priority visa and settlement (ILR) service fees refund. Since March 2022, UKVI has suspended the priority and super priority services for new study, work, and family visa applications.

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1. How to Fast Track Visa Applications from Outside the UK?

From outside the UK, applicants can fast track non settlement (visitor, tourist, work, and study) and settlement (spouse, join family) applications by purchasing Priority or Super Priority (aka Premium or Express visa) Service. The priority and super-priority services fast track processing time by putting UK visa or settlement application at the front of the queue. If an applicant has applied for a priority or super priority visa and the application is not straightforward, then they may have to wait longer. However, UKVI will still put their fast track visa or settlement application at the front of the queue at every stage of the decision-making process.

Suspension of Priority and Super-Priority Visa Service

After the coronavirus (covid-19) outbreak in March 2020, the priority and super-priority service remained suspended for few months. From July 2020 onwards the service gradually resumed. However, in March 2022, UKVI has again suspended the priority and super priority visa service for new study, work, and family visa applications due to Ukraine Scheme.

‘Priority and super priority visa services have been temporarily suspended for new study, work and family visa applications.

Visa decision waiting times: applications outside the UK

Priority (Non-Settlement) Visa from Outside the UK

From outside the UK, the £250 priority (non-settlement) service is used to fast track processing time of visitor, student, and work visa applications within 5 working days. However, the availability of priority (non-settlement) visa service from outside the UK depends on whether an applicant proves their identity at a TLS Contact or VFS Global visa application centre or uses the UK Immigration: ID Check app. An applicant may find out if they can get a faster decision when they apply for a visa application from outside the UK.

TLS Priority Visa Service

If an applicant is applying for UK visit, work, or student visa from Europe, Africa, Jordan, Israel then can check the availability of priority service from TLS Contact i.e. first selecting the nearest (most convenient) TLS Contact centre, and then checking the ‘Added Value Services’ section for the selected application centre to see if the option of priority or super-priority is available.

VFS Global Priority Visa Service

If an applicant is applying from elsewhere (i.e. outside UK, Europe, Africa, Jordan, Israel) then can check the availability of priority service from VFS Global i.e. first selecting the nearest VFS Global centre, and then checking the ‘Premium Services’ section for the selected application centre to see if the option of priority or super-priority service is available.

Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can only pay for a faster decision through some visa application centres.

Get a faster decision on your visa or settlement application

Priority Visa Service Processing Time from Outside the UK

From outside the UK, the priority visit, work, and student visa processing time are within 5-working days. If an applicant has visited TLS or VFS Global application centre to prove their identity, then priority visa processing time starts from the appointment day, when they provide their biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph).

If an applicant has used the UK Immigration: ID Check app to prove their identity, then priority visa processing time starts from the working day after they have finished uploading their documents.

The priority processing time ends when applicants receive an email from UKVI containing the decision on their visa application. The email usually states that UKVI has processed the application and the UKVAC (TLS Contact or VFS Global) will inform when their passport is ready from collection.

UK Priority Visa Service Processing Time 2021

In 2021Q3 (July-Sept) 152,902 applicants used the priority service to fast track processing time of following types of non-settlement visa applications from outside the UK:

  • Visitor 22,192
  • Tier 1 Entrepreneur 20
  • Tier 1 Other 504
  • Skilled Worker (Tier 2) 11,844
  • Student (Tier 4) 112,412
  • Temporary Worker (Tier 5) 1,966
  • Other Non-Settlement 3,964

In 2021Q3 UKVI assessed 9,357 priority non-settlement applications (6.12% of the total 152,902) as not-straightforward. The UKVI decided 96.56% straightforward priority non-settlement visa applications within 5-working days. Therefore, in 2021Q3, 9-10% applicants experienced delays in fast track processing time of priority non-settlement visa application from outside the UK.

Super Priority Visa from Outside the UK

From outside the UK, £956 Super Priority Visa Service is used to fast track processing time by end of next working day. The availability of super priority visa service from outside the UK depends on whether an applicant proves their identity at a TLS or VFS visa application centre or uses the UK Immigration: ID Check app.

From outside the UK, the super priority visa service is available at a few TLS Contact and VFS Global application centres. For instance, the super priority service in India is only available at UK visa application centres in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai.

If the applicant is using ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app, then super priority service is only available for student, skilled worker, and health and care worker visa applications.

From outside the UK, the next day super-priority service is mostly used to fast track student visa applications.

Super Priority Visa Service Processing Time from Outside the UK

From outside the UK, the super priority visa processing time are by next working. If an applicant has visited TLS or VFS Global application centre to prove their identity, then super priority visa processing time starts from the appointment day, when they provide their biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph).

If an applicant has used the UK Immigration: ID Check app to prove their identity, then super priority visa processing time starts from the working day after they have finished uploading their documents.

The super priority processing time ends when applicants receive an email from UKVI containing the decision on their visa application. The email usually states that UKVI has processed the application and the UKVAC (TLS Contact or VFS Global) will inform when their passport is ready from collection.

UK Super Priority Visa Service Processing Time 2021

In 2021Q3 (July-Sept) 10,461 applicants used the super priority service to fast track processing time of following types of visa applications from outside the UK:

  • Visitor 1,031
  • Tier 1 Entrepreneur 1
  • Skilled Worker (Tier 2) 778
  • Student (Tier 4) 7,905
  • Temporary Worker (Tier 5) 184
  • Other Non-Settlement 202
  • Settlement 360

In 2021Q3 UKVI assessed 730 super priority visa applications (6.98% of the total 10,461) as not-straightforward. The UKVI decided 97.70% straightforward super priority visa applications by next working day. Therefore, in 2021Q3, 9-10% applicants experienced delays in fast track processing time of super priority visa application from outside the UK.

Priority Settlement Visa Service from Outside the UK

From outside the UK, the £573 Priority Settlement Visa Service is used to fast track processing time of Spouse, Partner, Fiancé, and other family visa applications under Appendix FM within 30 working days (6 weeks).

The priority settlement visa service is available to fast track processing time through TLS Contact and VFS Global.

Priority Settlement Visa Processing Time from Outside the UK

From outside the UK, the priority settlement visa processing time are within 30-working days. If an applicant has visited TLS or VFS Global application centre to prove their identity, then priority settlement visa processing time starts from the appointment day, when they provide their biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph).

If an applicant has used the UK Immigration: ID Check app to prove their identity, then priority settlement visa processing time starts from the working day after they have finished uploading their documents.

The priority settlement visa processing time ends when applicants receive an email from UKVI containing the decision on their application. The email usually states that UKVI has processed the application and the UKVAC (TLS Contact or VFS Global) will inform when their passport is ready from collection.

UK Priority Settlement Visa Processing Time 2021

In 2021Q3 (July-Sept) 2,336 applicants used the priority settlement visa service to fast track processing time from outside the UK. 184 priority settlement visa applications (7.88% of the total 2,336) assessed as not-straightforward. The UKVI decided 92.89% straightforward priority settlement visa applications within 30-working days. Therefore, in 2021Q3, 15% applicants experienced delays in fast track processing time of priority settlement visa application from outside the UK.

Collection of Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

After a successful priority or super-priority visa or settlement application, if a person is coming to the UK for more than 6 months and have verified their identity at a visa application centre then they need to collect biometric residence permit (BRP)- once they are in the UK. Therefore, such persons need to collect their BRP in the UK before the vignette sticker in their travel document (passport) expires or within 10 days of arriving in the UK, whichever is later.

If an applicant has verified their identity through the UK Immigration: ID Check app, and visa or settlement application is successful, then they do not need a biometric residence permit (BRP) as their immigration status is completely online.

Delay in Fast Track Visa Processing from Outside the UK

Applicants outside the UK may need to wait longer for a decision if their priority or super-priority visa application is not straightforward. In such instances, UKVI may require more information before deciding. The further information may include but not limited to:

  • Verification of supporting documents
  • Interview for assessing the eligibility of the applicant
  • Personal circumstances of the applicant such as criminal conviction, past immigration history etc

If an application takes longer than expected, then UKVI informs the applicant. It is advisable to keep correspondence to a minimum during the consideration process.

If you have applied for a super priority next working day or priority 5 working day service, we will contact you within the service standard if there is a problem with your application.

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UKVI Email for Delays in Priority Visa Service Processing Time

From outside the UK, if there are delays in priority or super priority visa processing time, then UKVI usually send an email, such as:

Dear Customer,
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE. THIS MAILBOX IS NOT MONITORED.

Your UK visa application is currently under consideration.

We are aware that you purchased the UK priority visa service. And I can confirm that your application was assessed ahead of other visa applications. Unfortunately, the processing of your application has been delayed while we undertake further assessment. This means that we will be unable to make a decision within our published customer service standards.
We will notify you when your application has been concluded. And you will be contacted by the Visa Application Centre when your documents are ready for collection. Please do not go to the Visa Application Centre before they have contacted you.
Please avoid making travel arrangements until you have collected your passport.

We would be grateful if you could keep your correspondence to a minimum during the consideration process. If, however, you need to contact us or would like to track the progress of your application, you can do so via our International Enquiry Service at www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-outside-uk.

Kind regards,
UK Visas and Immigration
British Embassy Abu Dhabi

How to Track UK Priority or Super-Priority Visa Application?

A few years ago, applicants were able to track their application status online. After the introduction of the GWF number, there is no free online service for tracking the UK visa application status. If an applicant is keen to know about the UK visa application status, then may contact UKVI. However, it is not a free service but a paid service.

Fast Track Visa Fees Refunds from Outside the UK

If the delay in making the decision is due to UKVI, then an applicant may seek refund of UK fast track visa and settlement fees. Accordingly, an applicant may get Full Refund of priority or super priority fees, if the UK visa or settlement application is:

  • Withdrawn and the applicant is entitled to a refund of their visitor, study, work, spouse, family settlement visa application fee
  • Void
  • Rejected as invalid
  • Non-complex, and is not processed within the next working day or 5 working days or 30 working days service standard due to an official error
  • Application is determined within the service standard, but it is not communicated to the customer that their decision is available for collection

Please note, an official error does not include maladministration but may include errors such as IT failure, lack of resource to process the application, administrative error etc. If a super priority non-settlement application is processed in 5-working days due to an official error, then the applicant may get a partial refund of £706 i.e. difference between the priority non-settlement (£250) and super-priority (£956) visa fees.

An applicant may get an Ex-Gratia payment instead of a refund:

  • if there is maladministration by UKVI, or
  • where UKVI has incorrectly advised the applicant

No Refund of Fast Track Visa Fees from Outside the UK

If the delay in making the decision is not due to UKVI, then the applicant may not get refund of UK fast track visa fees. Accordingly, there is No Refund if the priority or super priority visa application is:

  • Withdrawn and the applicant is not entitled to a refund of their visitor, student, work, spouse, or family settlement visa application fee. For instance, after biometrics have been submitted
  • Refused (on eligibility or suitability grounds)
  • Assessed as Complex by the Home Office, and excluded from the next working day or 5-working days or 30-working days service standard
  • Excluded from the service standard if the applicant has not supplied required information in time (this may not include invalid cases or submitting biometrics)
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Priority Visa UK 2021 Premium Service to Fast Track Timelines

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    Multilingual qualified London based immigration specialists will get back to you, usually within 2-3 working days. If you have not attached any documents, then the UK based Law firm may ask for the relevant Case-Specific Document(s) such as Refusal Letters, Deportation Orders, Application Forms etc. Moreover, after reviewing the papers and information, the legal advisor may advise a course of action and quote the fees for processing the application.

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    2. How to Fast Track Visa Applications from Inside the UK?

    From inside the UK, migrants can fast track extension or switching applications processing time by purchasing Priority or Super Priority (aka Premium or Express visa) Service. Both priority and super-priority service fast track processing time by putting an extension or switching UK visa application at the front of the queue. If a migrant has applied for a priority or super priority visa and the application is not straightforward, then they may have to wait longer. However, Home Office will still put their UK visa fast track application at the front of the queue at every stage of the decision-making process.

    From inside the UK, there is a limit on number of priority and super-priority visa applications. Therefore, if a migrant is not offered the option to apply for a faster decision, then can still complete a standard application.

    Priority Visa Service from Inside the UK

    From inside the UK, the £500 Priority Visa Service is used to fast track processing time of extension or switching application within 5 Working Days. Migrants can use the 5 working day UK Priority Visa Service to fast track processing time through UKCAS for following types of extension or switching applications:

    1. Child student visa
    2. Global Talent visa
    3. Health and Care Worker visa
    4. Innovator visa
    5. Intra-company visas
    6. Investor visa (Tier 1)
    7. Minister of Religion visa (T2)
    8. Skilled Worker visa
    9. International Sportsperson visa
    10. Start-up visa
    11. Student visa
    12. Temporary Work – Charity Worker, Creative Worker, Government Authorised Exchange, International Agreement, Religious Worker, Seasonal Worker,
    13. Applying as the dependent child or partner on a work, student, global talent, start up or innovator visa
    14. Applying as the dependent child or partner on an investor visa

    If the applicant is using ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app, then Priority Service is only available for student, skilled worker, and health and care worker visa applications.

    Priority Visa Service Processing Time from Inside the UK

    From inside the UK, the priority visa service processing time is within 5 working days. If an applicant has visited UK Visa and Citizen Application Services (UKVCAS) appointment centre to prove their identity, then priority visa processing time starts from the appointment day. However, if a migrant has used the UK Immigration: ID Check app to prove their identity then priority visa processing time starts from the working day after they have finished uploading their documents. The priority processing time ends when a migrant receives decision letter from Home Office.

    If Home Office determines priority visa application within 5 working days but does not communicate decision, then the migrant may claim full fee (£500) refund. In case of a successful UK visa application, the decision email also mentions the outcome. Migrants may get the Biometric Residence Card (BRC) within 7-10 days after decision. In case of rejection, migrants may get the refusal letter by post.

    Priority Visa Service Processing Time from Inside the UK 2021

    During 2021Q3 (July-Sept) 12,889 migrants used the priority service to fast track processing time of following types of extension or switching visa applications from inside the UK:

    • Tier 1 Entrepreneur 108
    • Tier 1 Other 143
    • Skilled Worker (Tier 2) 9,847
    • Student (Tier 4) 2,690
    • Temporary Worker (Tier 5) 100
    • Spouse/Partner 1

    In 2021Q3 UKVI rejected 20 applications as invalid and assessed 1,522 priority applications (11.81% of the total 12,889) as non-straightforward. The UKVI decided 87.54% straightforward priority extension or switching visa applications within 5-working days. Therefore, in 2021Q3, 25% applicants experienced delays in fast track processing time of priority extension or switching visa application from inside the UK.

    Super Priority Visa Service from Inside the UK

    From inside the UK, the £800 Super Priority Visa Service is commonly known as Premium Service or Home Office Same Day Service. The £800 UK Super Priority (aka Premium or Express Visa) Service is used to fast track extension and switching applications by Next Working Day. However, migrants cannot use the Super Priority (Premium or Express Visa) Service if they apply using the UK Immigration: ID Check App to confirm their identity. Therefore, migrants can only avail the Super Priority (Premium or Express) Service if they are making their application through UKCAS for the following types of UK extension or switching visa applications:

    1. Child student visa
    2. Global Talent visa
    3. Health and Care Worker visa
    4. Innovator visa
    5. Intra-company visas
    6. Minister of Religion visa (T2)
    7. Skilled Worker visa
    8. International Sportsperson visa
    9. Start-up visa
    10. Student visa
    11. Temporary Work – Charity Worker, Creative Worker, Government Authorised Exchange, International Agreement, Religious Worker, Seasonal Worker,
    12. Applying as the dependent child or partner on a work, student, global talent, start up or innovator visa
    13. Form FLR(FP) or Form FLR(M)) on the basis of family life as a partner, parent or dependent child or on the basis of private life in the UK
    14. Applying for human rights claims, leave outside the rules and other routes through form FLR(HRO)
    15. Applying for other routes through form FLR(IR)

    Super Priority Visa Processing Time from Inside the UK

    From inside the UK, if the appointment at UKCAC is on a weekday, then super priority visa processing time is by the end of the next working day after appointment. For instance, if the appointment is on Monday, then the super priority visa decision will be by the end of Tuesday. However, if appointment is on a weekend or on a bank holiday, then the super priority (premium or express visa) service processing time is 2 working days after appointment.

    If Home Office determines super priority visa application by next working day (or 2 working days) but does not communicate decision, then the migrant may claim full fee (£800) refund. In case of a successful extension or switching application, the decision email also mentions the outcome. Migrants may get the Biometric Residence Card (BRC) within 7-10 days after decision. In case of rejection, migrants may get the refusal letter by post.

    Super Priority Visa Processing Time from Inside the UK 2021

    In 2021Q3 (July-Sept) 7,013 migrants used the super priority service to fast track processing time of following types of extension or switching visa applications from inside the UK:

    • Spouse/Partner 3,399
    • Tier 1 Entrepreneur 21
    • Skilled Worker (Tier 2) 2,946
    • Student (Tier 4) 495
    • Temporary Worker (Tier 5) 115
    • Other Non-PBS 37

    During 2021Q3 UKVI rejected 1 application as invalid and assessed 831 super priority applications (11.85% of the total 7,013) as non-straightforward. The UKVI decided 98.50% straightforward super priority extension or switching visa applications within 5-working days. Therefore, in 2021Q3, 13-14% applicants experienced delays in fast track processing time of super priority extension or switching visa application from inside the UK.

    UK Visa Decision Email from the Home Office

    From inside the UK, once a migrant has applied fast track visa application then will get an email followed by a decision letter either in the post or by email from Home Office. If Home Office approves the fast track extension or switching visa application, then the email will mention the outcome. However, if Home Office rejects the fast track application, then the email will not mention the outcome.

    Biometrics Residence Permit (BRP) Premium Processing Time

    The Home Office usually sends biometric residence permit (BRP) at the address mentioned on UK extension or switching application within 2 to 3 working days of decision. Therefore, after a successful UK extension or switching visa application, Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) Premium Processing Time is usually 7-10 days.

    Delay in Fast Track Visa Processing Time from Inside the UK

    Migrants in the UK may need to wait longer for a decision if their priority or super-priority extension or switching visa application is not straightforward. In such instances, Home Office may require more information before deciding. The further information may include but not limited to:

    • Verification of supporting documents
    • Interview for assessing the eligibility of the applicant
    • Personal circumstances of the applicant such as criminal conviction, past immigration history etc

    Fast Track Visa Fee Refund from Inside the UK

    If the delay in making the decision is due to UKVI, then migrant may seek refund of fast track fees. Accordingly, an applicant may get Full Refund of priority or super priority visa fees, if the application is:

    • Withdrawn and the applicant is entitled to a refund of their extension or switching application fee
    • Void
    • Rejected as invalid
    • Non-complex, and is not processed within the next working day or 5 working days service standard due to an official error
    • Application is determined within the service standard, but the decision is not communicated to the customer

    Please note, an official error does not include maladministration but may include errors such as IT failure, lack of resource to process the application, administrative error etc. If a super priority application is processed in 5-working days due to an official error, then the applicant may get a partial refund of £300 i.e. difference between the priority (£500) and super-priority (£800) visa fees.

    An applicant may get an Ex-Gratia payment instead of a refund:

    • if there is maladministration by the Home Office, or
    • where Home Office has incorrectly advised the applicant.

    No Refund of Fast Track Visa Fees from Inside the UK

    If the delay in making the decision is not due to Home Office, then migrant may not get refund of fast track fees. Accordingly, there is No Refund if the priority or super priority visa application is:

    • Withdrawn and the applicant is not entitled to a refund of their extension or switching application fee. For instance, after biometrics have been submitted
    • Refused (on eligibility or suitability grounds)
    • Assessed as Complex by the Home Office, and excluded from the next working day or 5-working day service standard
    • Excluded from the next working day or 5-working day service standard if the applicant has not supplied required information in time (this may not include invalid cases or submitting biometrics)

    3. How to Fast Track Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Applications?

    From inside the UK, migrants can fast track indefinite leave to remain (ILR) application processing time by purchasing ILR Priority Service or ILR Super Priority (aka Premium) Service. Both priority or super-priority (premium or express visa) service fast track processing time by putting an ILR application at the front of the queue. If a migrant has applied for a priority or super priority visa and the ILR application is not straightforward, then they may have to wait longer. However, Home Office will still put their ILR fast track application at the front of the queue at every stage of the decision-making process.

    ILR Priority Service

    From inside the UK, the £500 Indefinite Leave to Remain Premium Service is commonly known as ILR Priority Service. The ILR Priority Service is used to fast track indefinite leave to remain (settlement) applications within 5 working days. The ILR Priority Service is available through UKCAS for following types of indefinite leave to remain premium applications:

    1. SET(O) – if a migrant work, establish a business, or invest in the UK. And dependent child or partner of such migrants
    2. Innovator, and dependent child or partner of an innovator

    ILR Priority Service is only available for applications to settle as an Innovator if the applicant is using ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app instead of UKCAS.

    ILR Priority Service Processing Time

    The ILR priority service processing time is within 5 working days. If an applicant has visited UK Visa and Citizen Application Services (UKVCAS) appointment centre to prove their identity, then ILR priority visa processing time starts from the appointment day. However, if a migrant has used the UK Immigration: ID Check app to prove their identity then ILR priority visa processing time starts from the working day after they have finished uploading their documents. The ILR priority processing time ends when a migrant receives decision letter from Home Office.

    If Home Office determines ILR priority application within 5 working days but does not communicate decision, then the migrant may claim full fee (£500) refund. In case of a successful ILR application, the decision email also mentions the outcome. Migrants may get the Biometric Residence Card (BRC) within 7-10 days after decision. In case of rejection, migrants may get the refusal letter by post.

    ILR Priority Service Processing Time 2021

    In 2021Q3 (July-Sept) 3,743 migrants used the ILR priority service to fast track processing time of following types of indefinite leave to remain (settlement) applications from inside the UK:

    • Tier 1 High Value 274
    • Tier 2 Skilled Worker 3,469

    During 2021Q3 UKVI rejected 2 applications as invalid and assessed 479 priority ILR applications (12.80% of the total 3,743) as non-straightforward. The UKVI decided 79.38% straightforward ILR priority applications by next working day. Therefore, in 2021Q3, 33-35% applicants experienced delays in ILR fast track processing time of their indefinite leave to remain priority (premium or express visa) application from inside the UK.

    Indefinite Leave to Remain ILR Super Priority Premium Service

    From inside the UK, the £800 Indefinite Leave to Remain Super Priority Service is commonly known as ILR Premium Service or Home Office Same Day Service. The £800 ILR (aka Premium or Express Visa) Service is used to fast track indefinite leave to remain applications by Next Working Day. However, migrants cannot use the ILR Premium (Super Priority) Service if they apply using the UK Immigration: ID Check App to confirm their identity. Therefore, migrants can only avail the ILR Super Priority (Premium or Express) Service if they are making their application through UKCAS for the following types of indefinite leave to remain applications:

    1. UK Ancestry on SET(O)
    2. As a former member of HM Forces on SET(AF)
    3. Child under 18 on SET(F)
    4. Long Residence – if the migrant is in the UK legally for 10 continuous years
    5. SET(O) – if a migrant work, establish a business, or invest in the UK. And dependent child or partner of such migrants
    6. SET(M) – if the migrants is partner of a person, or parent of a child, who is present and settled in the UK
    7. Innovator, and dependent child or partner of an innovator

    ILR Super Priority Premium Service Processing Time

    If the appointment at UKCAC is on a weekday, then ILR super priority service processing time is by the end of the next working day after appointment. For instance, if the appointment is on Monday, then the ILR super priority visa decision will be by the end of Tuesday. However, if appointment is on a weekend or on a bank holiday, then the ILR super priority (premium or express visa) service processing time is 2 working days after appointment.

    If Home Office determines ILR super priority application by next working day (or 2 working days) but does not communicate decision, then the migrant may claim full fee (£800) refund. In case of a successful ILR application, the decision email also mentions the outcome. Migrants may get the Biometric Residence Card (BRC) within 7-10 days after decision. In case of rejection, migrants may get the refusal letter by post.

    ILR Super Priority Premium Service Processing Time 2021

    In 2021Q3 (July-Sept) 4,323 migrants used the ILR super priority (premium or express visa) service to fast track processing time of following types of indefinite leave to remain (settlement) applications from inside the UK:

    • Spouse/Partner 1,728
    • Tier 1 High Value 158
    • Tier 2 Skilled Worker 1,341
    • Long Distance 794
    • Other Settlement 302

    During 2021Q3 UKVI assessed 505 priority applications (11.68% of the total 4,323) as non-straightforward. The UKVI decided 97.38% straightforward ILR super priority applications by next working day. Therefore, in 2021Q3, 14-15% applicants experienced delays in ILR fast track processing time of their indefinite leave to remain super priority (premium or express visa) application from inside the UK.

    ILR Decision Email from the Home Office

    Once a migrant has applied ILR fast track application then will get an email followed by a decision letter either in the post or by email from Home Office. If Home Office approves the fast track ILR application, then the email will mention the outcome. However, if Home Office rejects the ILR fast track application, then the email will not mention the outcome.

    Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) Premium Processing Time

    The Home Office usually sends biometric residence permit (BRP) at the address mentioned on ILR application within 2 to 3 working days of decision. Therefore, Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) Premium Processing Time is usually 7-10 days after the decision.

    ILR Fast Track Priority and Super Priority Service Delay

    Migrants in the UK may need to wait longer for a decision if their ILR priority or super-priority application is not straightforward. In such instances, Home Office may require more information before deciding. The further information may include but not limited to:

    • Verification of supporting documents
    • Interview for assessing the eligibility of the applicant
    • Personal circumstances of the applicant such as criminal conviction, past immigration history etc.

    Accordingly, an applicant may receive an email from UKVI/Home Office stating:

    We are sorry that your case is outside of the published service standards. We aim to complete all applications within the (24-hour or 5-working days) service standard. However, where we are not able to do this, we will complete the application as quickly as possible. If the delay in making the decision is due to UKVI, we will refund the super-priority service fee. The team will be in touch once they have made a decision.
    Please note the onus is upon individual customers to ensure that they satisfy the requirements.

    ILR Fast Track Fees Refund

    If the delay in making the decision is due to UKVI, then migrant may seek refund of ILR fast track fees. Accordingly, an applicant may get Full Refund of indefinite leave to remain (ILR) priority or super priority (premium or express visa) service fees, if the application is:

    • Withdrawn and the applicant is entitled to a refund of their ILR application fee
    • Void
    • Rejected as invalid
    • Non-complex, and is not processed within the next working day or 5 working days service standard due to an official error
    • Application is determined within the service standard, but the decision is not communicated to the customer

    Please note, an official error does not include maladministration but may include errors such as IT failure; lack of resource to process the application; administrative error. If a super priority ILR application is processed in 5-working days due to an official error, then the applicant may get a partial refund of £300 i.e. difference between the priority (£500) and super-priority (£800) visa service fees.

    An applicant may get an Ex-Gratia payment instead of a refund:

    • if there is maladministration by the Home Office, or
    • where Home Office has incorrectly advised the applicant.

    No Refund of ILR Fast Track Fees

    If the delay in making the decision is not due to UKVI, then migrant may not get refund of ILR fast track fees. Accordingly, there is No Refund of Indefinite Leave to Remain Premium Service fees if the ILR application is:

    • Withdrawn and the applicant is not entitled to a refund of their ILR application fee. For instance, after biometrics have been submitted
    • Refused (on eligibility or suitability grounds)
    • Assessed as Complex by the Home Office, and excluded from the next working day or 5-working day service standard
    • Excluded from the next working day or 5-working day service standard if the applicant has not supplied required information in time (this may not include invalid cases or submitting biometrics)
    Fast Track UK Visa, ILR Super Priority Premium Service 2022

    4. FAQs

    What is priority visa service UK?

    The purpose of priority service is to fast track processing time by putting UK visa and settlement application at the front of the queue. If the priority or super priority visa and settlement (ILR) application is not straightforward, then it may take longer. However, UKVI (Home Office) will still put the fast track visa or settlement (ILR) application at the front of the queue at every stage of the decision-making process.

    If the UK visa or settlement (ILR) priority or super-priority (premium or express) application is assessed as complex (non-straightforward), then the applicant may not get refund due to delay in processing. Therefore, it is not advisable to use priority or super priority (premium) visa and settlement (ILR) service from inside or outside the UK if an applicant:

    1. has an adverse immigration history due to past visa refusal of UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the USA, or the Schengen countries
    2. was refused a leave to enter at the UK border control
    3. had overstayed and subsequently was deported or removed from the UK
    4. was refused or curtailed a leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office
    5. was interviewed, detained, or prosecuted by the police for any offence in the United Kingdom or elsewhere
    6. has an unspent criminal conviction in any country
    7. has committed a criminal offence in any country

    How many days does UK priority visa take?

    The priority visa processing time after biometrics is 5-working days for non-settlement (visitor, work, student) applications from outside the UK, extension, switching, and ILR applications from inside the UK. In most of the instances, an applicant receives a decision of a priority visa UK within 3-7 working days. The priority settlement (spouse) visa processing time is usually 30-working days (6-weeks) from outside the UK. Super-priority visa and settlement (ILR) processing time is by the end of next working day.

    Is priority service available for ILR?

    The next working day super-priority service is available for several types of settlement (ILR) applications. However, the 5-working day priority service is available for ILR through UKCAS for following types of indefinite leave to remain premium applications:

    1. SET(O) – if a migrant work, establish a business, or invest in the UK. And dependent child or partner of such migrants
    2. Innovator, and dependent child or partner of an innovator

    ILR Priority Service is only available for applications to settle as an Innovator if the applicant is using ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app instead of UKCAS.

    How to get super priority service for ILR?

    A migrant can get super priority service for ILR by paying £800 additional charges to UKCAS (Home Office). Super priority service for ILR is available for several types of settlement applications. However, there is a limit on number of priority and super-priority ILR applications. Therefore, if a migrant is not offered the option to apply for a faster decision, then can still complete a standard ILR application.

    Is the Super Priority Service available for NTL applications?

    The next working day super priority (premium or express visa) service is available for fast tracking processing of NTL applications. From April 2019 to Dec 2020, 3,150 applicants used the super priority service for No Time Limit (NTL) applications.