Last week, I wrote about the issues the Home Office faces as a consequence of a surge of applications, a lack of caseworkers and the prioritisation of Ukrainian visa applications which has led to lengthy visa processing delays.
On Friday 12 August, the Home Office announced that after a four month hiatus, the option to pay for priority processing would be reinstated. This is welcome news for employers and applicants.
Priority processing is usually available for an additional fee of £150-200 upon submission and generally reduces the processing time from three to six weeks to one to two weeks.
Some applications (visitors and applications filed in the US) also have super priority options which generally means the application is decided within 48 hours.
Priority processing is now available for most visa applications filed outside of the UK including Skilled Worker, Global Business Mobility (the new name for Intra-Company Transfer) and Family routes.
The Home Office has not extended the option to pay for priority processing to Start-Up, Innovator or High Potential Individual visas at this time.
In general, we have noticed improved processing times in the last two weeks and the Home Office appears to be getting a handle on the situation.
Russian nationals are still subject to additional security checks and so, even with this good news, they should still expect significant delays.