One of the primary causes of delays in issuing visas is the inability to directly contact potential travellers in a timely manner when officials require additional information. This issue often arises when individuals provide their travel agents’ information instead of their own.
Dominique Hardy, the head of visit visas and international networks at UK Visas and Immigration, has announced that the country’s visa application process is now running smoothly. She announced this week that her team has restored the previously disrupted process to its normal operation. At the conclusion of her 10-week tour, she offered apologies for the 18 months of significant delays in visa processing.
June 2022 was a particularly challenging period for the organization, and their service level was at its lowest point during that time.Dominique Hardy
The positive news is that the UK visa processing time has returned to 15 working days from the application date to the issuance date globally. Hardy emphasized their commitment to preserving this processing time and doing everything possible to maintain it.
Ian Crouch, a resident of Cape Town, was one of many whose vacation plans were disrupted due to significant delays in obtaining UK visas. He and his family, consisting of his wife and two children, applied for visas six weeks before their scheduled trip to London in June of last year. However, the visa issuing authorities issued the visas only after 12 weeks, which compelled the family to postpone their trip until December at considerable expense.
Although normal service resumed in January, with a turnaround time of 15 working days, Hardy recommends that potential travellers apply for their visas three months in advance of their intended trip whenever possible. She also advises potential travellers not to pay for flights until they have received their visas.
The standard validity for a visitor visa is six months, but there is an option to apply for a multiple-entry visitor visa that is valid for two, five, or ten years. This visa allows for multiple entries during its validity period, eliminating the need to apply for a new visa for each trip.
For those who have urgent or unplanned travel needs, a five-day urgent UK visa service is available at the UK government’s commercial partner visa application centres for an additional fee. She also mentioned that a next-day visa service is now available, which is highly popular among business travellers.
Another recent addition is the “keep your passport while you apply” feature.
Top Tips for Visa Issuance
- In your application, provide your personal contact details instead of those of your travel agent
- Ensure to promptly provide any additional information requested of you
- Always tell the truth and avoid omitting or fudging any information
Hardy said that immigration officials primarily evaluate an individual’s financial capacity to support themselves during their visit. Immigration officials may still grant short-term visas for compassionate reasons, such as attending a family member’s funeral in the UK, even if the applicant does not meet the financial requirements.