UK visa decision waiting times

If you submit your application outside the UK, you should receive a decision within 3 – 12 weeks once you attend your appointment at the visa application centre or you verify your identity by using the UK Immigration: ID Check app.

Waiting time within 3 weeks if you submit your application outside the UK and if you are applying for the following:

  • Visit the UK– Standard Visitor visa and Marriage Visitor visa;
  • Study in the UK – Short-term study visa, Student visa, Child Student visa;
  • Work or invest in the UK – Skilled Worker visa, Tier 1 Investor visa, Innovator visa, UK Ancestry visa etc.

If you are applying for settlement outside the UK, such as the spouse, partner or family member of a British citizen or a settled person in the UK, the waiting time is within 12 weeks once you attend your biometric appointment or verify your identity.

In addition, if you are applying as a returning resident, or to replace your biometric residence permit/card, and/or transfer your visa from your passport or Certificate of entitlement, you should receive a decision within 3 weeks.

Applications submitted in the UK

If you are applying the following types in the UK, you should receive a decision within 8 weeks once you attend the biometric appointment or verify your identity:

  • Switch to or extend a Student or Child Student visa;
  • Switch to or extend a family visa, such as spouse or partner, fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, child or parent;
  • Switch to or extend a work visa- Global Talent, Innovator, Intra-company, Skilled Worker, Entrepreneur, Investor, Domestic Worker, Sole representative etc;

However, if you are applying for a Health and Care Worker visa or switching into to a Start-up visa, a decision should be made within 3 weeks.

For those who are applying for settlement, migrants should usually receive a decision within 6 months.

Individuals can also choose priority service in order to receive a decision within 5 working days or a super priority service to receive a decision within 24 hours.

Please note that the waiting time might be longer if the application is not straightforward and more information is required.

For those who need to register in the police station in London, please refer to the below information:

Overseas Visitors Record Office (OVRO) to re-open

Depending on your UK visa category, you may be required to register with the police or Overseas Visitor Registration Office (OVRO) if you reside in London. During the pandemic OVRO was closed, but it will re-open on 29 March 2021.  As a result, migrants have been advised the following:

Pre-booked appointments between 29 March 2021 and 30 April 2021

If you have a pre-booked appointment under the current system (between 29 March 2021 and 30 April 2021), you will be able to attend your appointment. You will need to bring your current passport and the correct documents.

Pre-booked appointments between 4 May 2021 and 16 August 2021

If you have a pre-booked appointment between 4 May 2021 and 16 August 2021, then you will be asked to make a new booking once the system is introduced in April 2021. In order to make a booking, you will need to create a fresh account as the old account will be deactivated.

Please note that you will need to comply with OVRO’s Covid-19 and safety standards whilst on site.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the spouse visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075.

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.


We remain open for business and can arrange meetings by phone call or video conferencing to advise and assist with any UK immigration matters.
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