Visa processing times: applications outside the UK
Check how quickly you’ll receive a decision on your UK visa application if you are applying from outside the UK.
You are not required to book any travel before you apply or before a decision is made on your application.
You should allow enough time before you plan travel to make a visa application. You will only receive a refund of your application fee if we have not started to process your application.
You may be able to pay for a faster decision on a visa application.
When your application processing time starts
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) starts processing your application once you either:
verify your identity and submit your documents and application online using the UK Immigration: ID Check app. We’ll tell you if you can use this
attend your appointment at a visa application centre (VAC) to provide your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information)
Applications made in the USA
If you make an appointment at a USCIS Application Support Center to provide your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information), you must then send your passport and documents to the VFS processing hub in New York.
If you make an appointment at a VFS premium Application Centre to provide your fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information), you can submit your passport and supporting documents at that location.
In both cases, the processing time starts when VFS receive your application.
When your application processing time ends
You’ll get a letter or email to let you know that a decision has been made on your application.
If you attended a visa application centre, you should not visit one until you have been contacted to do so.
You do not need to contact UKVI to track your application if you’ve already made a visa application and it is still within the current processing times.
Current processing times
The processing times listed below are based on the current volume of visa applications.
All UK processing times are measured against agreed customer service standards.
|Standard Visitor||3 weeks|
|Permitted Paid Engagement||3 weeks|
|Marriage Visitor||3 weeks|
|Chinese tour group||3 weeks|
|Child Student||3 weeks|
|Study English in the UK||3 weeks|
|Family visas||24 weeks|
|Homes for Ukraine||As quickly as possible|
|Ukraine Family Scheme||As quickly as possible|
Popular work visas
|Skilled Worker||3 weeks|
|Health and Care Worker||3 weeks|
Temporary work visas
|Government Authorised Exchange||3 weeks|
|Charity Worker||3 weeks|
|Creative Worker||3 weeks|
|International Agreement||3 weeks|
|Seasonal Worker||3 weeks|
|Religious Worker||3 weeks|
Work visas you can apply for without a job offer
|Global Talent||3 weeks|
|Youth Mobility Scheme||3 weeks|
|India Young Professionals Scheme visa||3 weeks|
|UK Ancestry||3 weeks|
|High Potential Individual (HPI)||3 weeks|
Work visas to start a business
|Innovator Founder||3 weeks|
Work visas for an overseas employer
|Overseas Domestic Worker||3 weeks|
|Graduate Trainee||3 weeks|
|Secondment Worker||3 weeks|
|Senior or Specialist Worker||3 weeks|
|Representative of an Overseas Business||3 weeks|
|Service Supplier||3 weeks|
|UK Expansion Worker||3 weeks|
Other visas and permits
|British National (Overseas)||12 weeks|
|International Sportsperson||3 weeks|
|Minister of Religion||3 weeks|
|Scale-up Worker||3 weeks|
When you might wait longer
Your visa application may take longer to process, for example:
- the information in your application is not accurate or requires further consideration
- you need to provide further evidence, for example evidence of funds
- your supporting documents need to be verified
- you need to attend an interview
- further information is required on your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)
- UKVI is experiencing increased visa demand
You will be contacted by a letter or email if we need more information on your visa application.