The UKVI (UK Visas & Immigration) have announced that they are prioritising visa applications under the Ukraine Visa Scheme (which we discussed in our previous blog of 7 March). In view of the appalling humanitarian crisis in Ukraine this seems reasonable, but it has evidently had a knock-on effect on other types of visa application.
As a result of the situation the UKVI has changed its “service standard” for partner and family visa applications. The service standard provides a hopefully realistic idea of how quickly visa applications are likely to take to be processed. Whereas previously the service standard for such applications was 12 weeks it has now been temporarily amended to 24 weeks. The 24-week period begins on the date that the applicant visits the UK visa centre to submit their biometric details.
If the applicant claims that there are “extremely compassionate or compelling circumstances” (and the UKVI gives the example of a medical emergency) they may apply for their application to be expedited. However, the UKVI makes clear that “the bar for this is high” and they also make clear that this extra service entails an extra fee.
If you would like further advice or help with these issues we will be able to assist you.
OISC Level 3 Immigration Law Firm based in London