Breytenbachs have excellent news for clients with a pending Marriage or Family Entry Clearance Application. The Home Office will begin to give such clients an option to upgrade to a Priority Visa Service.
Clients who opt for the Priority visa service will have their application ‘upgraded’ to a Priority Service and get a decision within 15 days.
Current delays in Marriage and Family EC Applications
Currently, there are severe delays in the Marriage and Family EC applications. Many spousal/parent visa applicants are facing waiting times of more than six months. These delays are causing much distress for families and spouses. The announcement by the Home Office is thus very welcome news and will bring relief to many families.
According to the Home Office, the current delays are caused by the prioritising of the Ukraine visa schemes. UKVI staff have instructions to prioritise Ukraine visa schemes.
The offering of the Priority Visa Service will bring a welcome relief! At the start of the Ukraine crisis, the normal service level agreement was increased to 120 days, and the priority visa service was suspended. Fortunately, it seems like service levels will begin to normalise again soon.
How does the Priority Visa Service work?
The Home Office will contact clients with an existing undecided application. They are contacting clients in date order, and will contact the oldest outstanding clients first.
Clients will receive the existing processing times to enable them to make an informed decision.
There is an additional fee of £573 payable for the priority service. They will then decide the existing application within 15 days should a client op for the priority service. However, our experience is that the turnaround time is faster than 15 days.
Note, however, that the priority service does not guarantee a successful outcome, only a faster decision time on your application. The Home Office also warns that if a case is complex or requires additional information, they may not be able to conclude the case in 15 days. In such a case, they will not offer a refund on the cost of the priority service.
Clients can, of course, decide not to opt for the Priority Visa Service. In such a case, the UKVI will continue to process the application in its date order.
Feedback from Breytenbachs on the Option of the Priority Visa Service
Breytenbachs is delighted to report that several of our clients who were offered the option of the priority service by the Home Office and decided to proceed had a turnaround time of one to two days! Our consultants are very happy with the quick turnaround time.
Clients, who are in a hurry to receive a decision, and have the additional money to pay for the priority service, will get a fast decision.
How Breytenbachs can assist with the Priority Service
If you qualify for the Priority Visa Service, your Breytenbachs consultant will automatically contact you.
However, you are also welcome to discuss this option with your consultant. The choice is available to pending applications, in date order.