The return of priority services for applicants of UK family or partner visas
After many families have been left in “limbo” with delays to the processing of visa applications in the Home Office, it has now been announced that priority services will be made available again to those applying for Family Visas.
The option to expedite Family or Marriage visa applications was suspended following the introduction of new immigration schemes for those fleeing the invasion of Ukraine. The diversion of Home Office staff to process visa applications of this nature naturally took priority, leading to increased waiting times for entry clearance applicants for other types of visas, including Partner applications.
Following the return of priority services for work visas in August 2022, applicants with outstanding Family or Marriage visa applications can expect to receive emails from the Home Office regarding the reinstatement of priority services from 9 January 2023 onwards. Those who have been waiting the longest can also expect emails offering them the opportunity to pay for the upgrade to a Priority Visa.
The Home Office aims to cut the current waiting time for Family and Marriage visa applications from six months to 12 weeks this year. This development is likely to be a relief for those who are eager to join family residing in the UK and are willing to pay extra to accelerate the process.