UK Spouse Visa Processing Times in 2022
UK Spouse Visa

UK Spouse Visa Processing Times in 2022

Long waiting times for visa approvals can be very unsettling and concerning. However, it’s crucial to manage your expectations reasonably. This helps you to plan your activities more realistically and also saves you any unnecessary disappointments. At Cromwell Wilkes, we have analysed the factors affecting UK spouse visa processing time in 2022. Based on our analysis, we have provided guidance below on when to expect your visa to be ready for collection.

How long does an out-of-country UK spouse visa application take?

Due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the Home Office have extended the processing times. On out-of-country spouse applications from 3 months to 6 months, and have temporarily the suspended the priority service.

The processing time begins from the moment you attend your appointment at a visa application centre, following the submission of your application online. Once you have attended your appointment, you can expect a decision on your application within 6 months.

We have managed to successfully half the decision-making time to three months in the most exceptional circumstances. If there is a reason why you need to be in the UK urgently, let us know and we will do our best to make the decision-making time as short as possible.

How long does an in-country spouse application or extension take?

If you meet all of the rules for an extension to your existing spouse visa, or you are planning to switch into a spouse visa whilst in the UK on an eligible visa type, the decision-making time is closer to 3 months, and sometimes even 2 weeks.

However, if you want a decision within one working day, then you can use the super-priority service at an additional cost. If the correct application form is filled in without mistakes, with all of the required information supplied and supporting documents provided. Then the application may process within 24 hours from registering your biometric information. However, if the application is more complex, perhaps because the Home Office has to complete some administrative checks and verifications to confirm your eligibility. Then you may have to wait longer for a decision, but it is still likely to process it quicker than a standard service application. We will be happy to advise you on how likely the Home Office will adhere to the priority service standards, based on the specific facts of your case.

Note that if you applied for a spouse visa using the super-priority service on a Friday, then you will most likely get a decision on the following Monday.

With more complex applications, where the rules are not met, decisions can take up to 12 months.

The Effects of Covid Disruptions

Considering the disruptions that the pandemic has caused in travel, the UK spouse visa processing time in 2022 could be longer than in pre-Covid years. This is because the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) might experience delays in assessing applications. Your application could be affected by such delays.

Fortunately, the Home Office will communicate these possible delays beforehand, within the standard timelines for your visa processing. 

How will I know when my Visa is ready?

Waiting for a decision on your visa application can be an anxious experience. You will receive a letter or email from the Home Office informing you about the final status of your application.

If your application is successful and you’re applying from within the UK, you should get your Biometric Residence Permit within 7 to 10 days after receiving the decision letter by email.

In case the application is from outside the UK, you will get an email from the visa application centre asking you to collect your passport, or await the return of your passport to your home address by courier. If your application has been successful, you will not receive the final decision, or know the outcome of the application, until you have received your passport and accompanying letter. In case the application has been refused, you will typically receive a refusal letter by email, before your passport is returned or collected.

If successful, your passport will include an Entry Clearance visa, usually valid for three months. You must enter the UK before the expiry of this visa and then collect your Biometric Residence Permit within 2 weeks of your arrival.

However, if you are unable to travel before the expiry of the visa in your passport, you may apply to extend this for a further period for a small fee.

How to track the status of your application

The Home Office do not provide live updates on the status of your application, but if there is anything else they need, the Home Office will contact you and give a short time frame by which to provide the further documents or information.

In rare cases, if an application has been pending for more than six months, or your situation has changed and you need to enter the UK urgently, it is possible to contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) by phone or email to request an update on your application, or to provide them with additional information.

Please note that contacting UKVI via phone or email comes at a cost. In addition to your normal network charges, calling by phone will cost you £1.37 per minute. An email enquiry currently costs £2.74.

After looking into your request, a caseworker will respond with an update on your application’s status and possibly inform you of how long you need to wait for a final decision. However, you may have to wait for fifteen working days for this feedback.

Get A Free Consultation

Would you like expert help to get your spouse’s visa application process it quickly? Our team will ensure that your application process is seamless, in order to optimise your chances of approval within the shortest possible time frame.

Contact our team today for a free consultation.