In an update to our previous blog about processing delays in decisions being made on visa applications, the Home Office has started to contact people who have pending marriage and family visa applications, to offer them the opportunity to purchase a priority service to have their applications decided more quickly.
This will be a welcome development for many people who have been affected by lengthy delays in their application being decided as a result of the Home Office diverting resources last year to deal with applications from Ukrainians following the Russian invasion. During this time, standard service processing times for marriage and family entry clearance applications went from 60 days to 120 days. Furthermore, the priority service that provided for applications to be decided in 30 days was suspended.
The Home Office has confirmed that they hope to resume previous service standards and reintroduce the priority service options for new customers soon. In the meantime, the Home Office is in the process of contacting those with pending applications, offering the opportunity to purchase a priority service for their pending applications to be decided within 15 working days. The cost of this service is £573, and the 15 working days will start from the date that the Home Office confirms receipt of the payment.
The Home Office is contacting applicants by email to offer this service in date order, with those who have had pending applications the longest being contacted first.
We will update on the reintroduction of the priority service for new applicants as soon as we can.