What are the UK ILR Priority Services?
UK Visa waiting times are considerably longer. It is not unusual for applicants to be left waiting
months for a decision on their application – which is only met with further frustration if the
application is refused.
For those seeking Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), the wait can be agonizing. After all, you are
seeking permission to make the UK your permanent home. You may feel as though your life is on
hold while you wait for the green light from UKVI. Indeed, ILR is certainly one application where you
hope for a fast turnaround.
However, UKVCAS (UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services) suffers from a backlog of
applications. Not only does it outsource the processing part to a private company, but the Covid-19
pandemic has piled on the pressure and has only served to exacerbate waiting times for decisions on
all UK visas, citizenship applications, and ILR applications.
But despite the backlog, some applicants are able to jump ahead of the queue. This is known as ‘priority processing’. In this blog, we’ll be answering all your questions regarding the UK ILR Priority Services and what else UKVI offers to speed up the process for those seeking ILR status.
What is the role of UKVCAS in the UK ILR application?
UKVCAS invites ILR UK applicants to attend a meeting. This is to confirm your identity and register
your biometric information. This information is then passed from UKVCAS onto UKVI, where an immigration decision-maker will thoroughly assess your application. The key difference here is that while UKVCAS deals with
processing, UKVI examines your application – such as your personal eligibility and if you have met all
the ILR requirements.
How long does it take for the UK to process ILR applications?
Standard processing time can take as little as eight weeks. However, other times, it can take as long
as six months.
The waiting period depends on the following things:
Where the applicant has applied from (the UK or overseas)
If there are any errors in the application
What type of visa or status the applicant is seeking (e.g., British citizenship by naturalization
typically takes longer than a Work Visa)
If the applicant has paid for a super-priority service
What are the ILR Super Priority Services?
Fortunately, there is one way you can mitigate against a six-month wait: by opting for a Super
Priority Service. The Super Priority Service route for ILR applicants costs £800. This fee is in addition to the usual ILR application fees. However, ILR priority applicants benefit from a leap ahead in the queue – and can
expect to receive a decision by the next working day.
What other fast-track services are there for ILR?
In addition to the priority route, those seeking ILR can opt for a fast-track service instead.A fast-track service significantly speeds up the processing time but isn’t as expensive as the super-priority route. Instead, an ILR fast-track applicant can expect to pay around £500 on top of their ILR application and can expect a verdict on their application within five working days.
Does a fast-track or priority visa increase the success rate?
It is important to note that a fast-track and super-priority service offered by UKVCAS does not influence UKVI’s decision on your application. You are simply paying to speed up the processing time. In fact, you may still experience delays if you have made a mistake in your application or UKVI needs further clarification on a certain aspect of your application. Therefore, there is no actual 100% guarantee that you will receive a verdict in a 24- hour or 5-day window.
Should I use a fast-track processing service with my ILR application?
Not every single person seeking ILR will benefit from a fast-track service. Your immigration lawyer
may even advise you against the super-priority service. Equally, if you decide not to hire an immigration lawyer and you attempt to complete the application alone, you are more likely to make tedious mistakes. As innocuous as they may be, these mistakes could cost you your entire application, or at least will certainly jeopardize the processing time. UKVI may have to contact you again for further information to rectify the mistake. If your application is delayed due to errors you have made, even after forking out for a super-priority or fast-track service, it is unlikely you will get your money back.
How can your immigration lawyers help?
Although we cannot change UKVCAS’ processing time, we can streamline the ILR application process.
Our immigration lawyers can assist you from start to finish with your ILR application, which includes
full guidance, legal advice, and a thorough document review.