The ‘super-priority’ service will guarantee processing of applications within 24 hours. In fact, in UAE, applicants who submit visa applications in the morning will normally receive their decision and documents later the same day.
The new service, which costs £600 in addition to the regular visa fee, is aimed at those who want extra speed and flexibility. It is completely optional. The service can be used to apply for long term, multi-entry visas, valid for up to ten years, and also for long term study and work visas.
The UK’s Ambassador to the UAE, Philip Parham, said:
I am delighted that we are launching the UK super-priority visa service in the UAE - one of only a handful of countries where we provide this service. This underlines our strong commitment to making our already excellent visa service even more flexible. Opportunities in the UK often arise at short notice. The super-priority visa service offers another option for tourists, business people and students who need to travel to the UK at the last minute.
Emiratis wishing to visit the UK for up to six months will still be able to take advantage of the electronic visa waiver, which offers visa-free travel for those who register online at least 48 hours before their departure to the UK.
The following categories of customer will be eligible for the super-priority service for the following types of visa:
Tourist and short stay visas: Residents of the UAE or one of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries
Tier 2 (i.e. worker) visas: UAE residents
Tier 4 (i.e. long-term student) visas: UAE residents who are subject to different documentary requirements under Tier 4 of the Points Based System
Tier 5 (i.e. temporary worker) visas: UAE residents
Tier 5 (Creative and Sporting) visas: those currently in the United Arab Emirates for a purpose similar to the activity proposed to be undertaken in the UK
From the 23rd March, eligible customers who wish to use the new service, should book a super-priority visa service appointment when they make their visa application online. Super-priority service appointments will be available between 08:00 and 10:00 Sunday to Thursday at the Visa Application Centres in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Full details of the service are available here.
In addition to the introduction of the new service, the UK will make a number of other changes from April in line with new immigration rules. These will include streamlining and simplifying the visit visa routes, and introducing a health surcharge for visitors who are not nationals of European Economic Area member states, and who wish to go to the UK for six months or longer. Those who have paid the surcharge, or are exempt, will be able to use the National Health Service (NHS) in the same way as a permanent UK resident. You can view the statement of changes to the UK’s immigration rules here.