Visa applications and travel over the festive period

Whilst we understand individuals are keen to travel internationally over the winter period, those with a visa expiring in December and January must take into consideration the following points below and the continuing Home Office delays to visa processing times:

  • Travel outside of the UK Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) whilst a visa application is pending automatically cancels their application
  • The standard processing times for some in-country visa applications have long delays, please contact us for further advice on Skilled Worker in-country visa applications. 
  • Priority services may be available to reduce the decision time:
    • Priority service costs £500 per applicant and in most circumstances a decision received in 5 working days
    • Super priority service costs £800 per applicant in most circumstances for a decision in 24 hours
  • UKVCAS centres for biometric appointments remain busy, obtaining appointments, especially in the closer appointment centres can be difficult and we cannot provide any details or assist on appointment availability
  • Individuals need to think carefully about travelling and then returning to the UK very close to their visa expiring. Throughout the pandemic travel arrangements and country policies on travel change without notice. Individuals prevented from returning prior to their current visa expiring will have to be discussed on a case by case basis and this will affect their continuous residence for ILR (Settlement).

Action for HR Colleagues to take now:

  • Please contact us for further advice on delays to Skilled Worker in-country visa applications
  • The visa expiry reminders for visas expiring in January 2023 have already been circulated, please respond to confirm whether or not an extension is required as soon as possible
  • Consider the ATAS requirements as early as possible, to allow good time for the ATAS certificate to be received (if applicable)
  • Submit requests for extensions as soon as possible
  • Contact the team for guidance on specific cases.


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