Fiance Visa UK Processing Time in 2022 [AUGUST Update]

The fiance visa UK processing time in 2022 is currently 6 months if you submit a non-priority application and 6 weeks (30 working days) if you purchase the priority service (if available).

Fiance visa UK processing time in 2022

Standard (non-priority) applications

6 months
Priority applications

6 weeks (30 working days)

The Home Office changed its guidance on 11 May 2022 to state that out-of-country UK fiance visas may take “up to 24 weeks to receive a decision for those applying to join family in the UK”.

The following email has also been sent to out-of-country partner visa applicants:

Thank you for applying for a UK visa. Your visa application has been received and is under consideration.

We are writing to inform you that due to the humanitarian crisis caused by the invasion of Ukraine, UKVI is prioritising Ukraine Visa Scheme applications. This means that customers applying for other routes will experience some delays in the processing of their application. We have therefore made the decision to temporarily amend our Marriage and Family service standard to 24 weeks, from our usual service standard for this route of 12 weeks. This means you should get a decision within 24 weeks (120 working days) from the date you attended the Visa Application Centre to give your biometrics, rather than 12 weeks.

We are working to reduce the current processing time as quickly as possible and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. Where there are extremely compassionate or compelling circumstances (for example, a medical emergency), we may consider expediting specific cases. However, the bar for this is high and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If your request is exceptionally urgent you can contact https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk for help.

Please note that this is a chargeable service for overseas customers. For all other customers you will be contacted when a decision has been made and your passport is ready for collection at the Visa Application Centre.

In this article, we will discuss the priority service, along with other frequently asked questions relating to the fiancé visa UK processing time in 2022.

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General Fiance visa UK processing time in 2022 FAQs

Priority Fiance visa UK service FAQs


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General Fiance visa UK processing time in 2022 FAQs

“When does the fiance visa UK processing time begin and end?”

The fiance visa UK processing time will ordinarily begin on the date that the applicant attends their biometric appointment at the visa centre.

In the United States (US), this is slightly different. If the applicant submits their biometrics at a Department of Homeland Security Office, the processing date technically begins when the applicant’s passport is received in the VFS scanning hub in New York.

In both instances, the processing time for fiance visa applications will end on the day that the Home Office makes a decision on your application.


“Can the applicant keep their passport when they apply for a UK fiance visa?”

There is often an additional optional service which allows the applicant to keep their passport when they apply for a UK fiancé visa.

Such an option is therefore helpful for applicants who intend to travel between the period of submitting the online application and the application being decided.

This service can often be purchased on the VFS/TLS website (after you have submitted the online application by paying the Home Office fees).

Please note that if you opt for the priority service, the applicant will not be able to keep their passport.


“Do sponsors keep their original passport when a fiancé visa application is submitted?”

Yes – the applicant or sponsor never needs to physically submit the sponsor’s passport.

Rather, only a paper or digital copy of the sponsor’s passport is required.


“What will the start date of the fiance visa be?”

This largely depends on two things:

1) What you list as the ‘intended date of travel to the UK’ in the online application form; and

2) The date of decision (the date that the Home Office caseworker processes the application).

If the date of decision is before the ‘intended date of travel to the UK’ answer, the start date of the 6-month fiancé visa will usually be the intended date of travel to the UK answer.

If the date of decision is after the ‘intended date of travel to the UK’ answer, the start date of the 6-month fiancé visa will usually be on or shortly after the date of decision.


“We have recently submitted the UK fiance visa application by paying the Home Office fees but we now want to withdraw the fiance visa application. Can I get a refund?”

Only applicants who have not attended the visa centre appointment can get a refund on the fiance visa UK fee in 2022.

All applicants (even those who have attended the visa centre appointment), will be able to get a refund on the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) by withdrawing the application.


“How can I withdraw a UK fiance visa application?”

You can do this by logging into the fiance visa online application form.

Once you have logged in, you can click the ‘cancel your application’ link.

withdraw fiance visa application


“We submitted the fiancé visa application weeks ago and have only just received a confirmation email from the Home Office. Does this mean that our application will be delayed?”

Confirmation emails, such as the following, are sent out as standard:

Dear [APPLICANT’S NAME]

Regarding Visa Application: [GWF NUMBER]

Thank you for your online application which has been received at the UK Decision Making Centre. Your application is currently being prepared for consideration by an Entry Clearance Officer.

PLEASE NOTE: This email is to acknowledge receipt of your Settlement application, if you or your sponsor have not already submitted supporting documentation please ensure you follow the process listed below: UKVI is unable to consider your application without these documents.

Please ensure that your supporting documents are submitted within 5 working days of this email.

Please note, however, that these are sent out rather sporadically at random times.

Sometimes they are sent very shortly after submitting the online application, whilst other times they are sent days, weeks or even months after submitting the online application.

When you receive such an email, please note the following:

1) If the supporting documents have already been submitted, this does not mean that the supporting documents were not received – please note that it states “If you or your sponsor have not already submitted supporting documentation”.

Therefore, if you have already submitted the supporting documentation, there is nothing further that you need to do.

2) The date that you receive this confirmation email does not affect the processing time of the fiance visa UK application.

For example, if you receive the above email 2 months after submitting the online application, this does not mean that the processing time will start once the email is received.


“How do I check on the status of the UK fiance visa application that we submitted?”

Unfortunately, the Home Office does not provide any reliable method to track the status of the application.

Even if you are provided with a tracking tool like the following screenshot, these are often not reliably updated to reflect the application’s progress:

fiance visa uk online application form updateTherefore, once you submit the online application and supporting documents & then attend the visa centre, it is unfortunately pretty much just a waiting game.


“If we do not submit a required document or if one of our documents does not satisfy the Immigration Rules, can this delay the processing of the application?”

In some cases, this will delay the processing of the application.

This is because, if you do not submit a required document or if one document does not satisfy the Immigration Rules, there is a chance that the Home Office caseworker may get in touch with you (normally via email) and request that the documentation is sent to them (rather than refusing the application).

This inevitably will delay the application being processed to a certain extent (by a few days or weeks).

Please note: we have seen that some Home Office emails requesting additional documentation have gone into partner’s spam/junk folder (especially @hotmail or @outlook email addresses) so please check that regularly whilst the fiance visa application is being processed.

This is especially important as the Home Office email requesting additional documentation normally provides you with a rather short deadline to provide these documents.


“What if our financial situation changes after we submit the fiance visa application?”

The relevant date that the fiance visa UK financial requirement in 2022 must be met is the date that the fiancé visa application is submitted.

The financial situation after this date is technically not relevant to the Immigration Rules.

With the above being said, despite the above, we have seen that the financial situation changing just after the online application has been submitted has resulted in some complications.

Example of the financial situation changing just after the online application submission causing a complication

Hannah met the financial requirement alone via £62500 cash savings on the date that the online application was submitted.

Two days after submitting the online application, the cash savings dropped below the £62,500 level.

Hannah’s application was unfortunately refused because she did not satisfy the English language requirement and therefore wants to submit a new fiancé visa application after addressing this.

Whilst satisfying the English language requirement will only take her 2-3 weeks, she will have to wait until the required level of cash savings will have been held for 6 months until she can submit another fiancé visa application.


“We have previously come across a gov.uk website which provides more specific UK fiance visa processing times for the country that we are applying from. Where can I find this?”

The Home Office took down the website which provided more specific information about the processing time for specific countries.

This is because, whilst it used to be the case that the general processing time varies depending on the country where the application was submitted, this is generally no longer the case due to how the Home Office now processes applications.

fiance visa processing step 1


“When can we try following up on the application?”

Several approaches can generally be taken once three months have passed for standard applications, or, if you paid priority service, 30 working days have passed.

Please note that if you try to expedite the application without exceeding the above period, it is very unlikely for the below approaches to work (unless there are compassionate or compelling reason(s), such as the death of a family member or a case of serious illness).

May update:

Please note that the Home Office has said that they will only expedite the application if there are “extremely compassionate or compelling circumstances (for example, a medical emergency)”


“How should we try following up on the application?”

First, you can try using the Home Office contact form via this link.

Second, once you have exhausted the above, you may choose to get in touch with your local UK MP and ask them if they will be able to assist regarding following up on the application.

As of recent, this second approach has been relatively successful, and partners have been able to expedite the application shortly afterwards.

If all else fails, you can also submit a complaint using this link.

If you do submit a complaint, the Home Office will have to respond within 20 working days.

Submitting a complaint should not reduce the likelihood of the visa being granted.

 

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Priority Fiance visa UK service FAQs

“What is the fiance visa UK priority service in 2022?”

The fiance visa UK priority service in 2022 is an additional service which will change the expected processing time from 6 months to 6 weeks (30 working days).

Please note that the priority service for UK fiancé(e) visas has been suspended due to the Home Office’s Ukraine response. 

“How much will the fiance visa UK priority service cost in 2022?”

The fiance visa UK priority service in 2022 will cost you an additional £573.

Therefore, you will have to pay the standard fiancé visa UK Home Office fee (£1,538) plus the fiance visa UK priority fee of £573, resulting in a total of £2,111 for each applicant.


“We have children who are also applying for a visa at the same time as their parent. Will we need to pay the fiance visa UK priority fee just once or will this need to be paid for each of us?”

Unfortunately, if you opt to go for the priority service, you will need to pay the Home Office fee (£1,538) and the priority fee (£573) for every child who is applying.

Example

Jacob is applying for a UK fiance visa in 2022.

Jacob has two children who are also applying as part of the same fiancé visa application.

Jacob will have to pay £4,614 for the fiance visa Home Office processing fee (£1,538 x 3) and an additional £1,719 (£573 x 3) if he opts for the priority service.


“How do I find out if the priority service will be available to us?”

The priority service can be purchased:

  1. On the fiance visa UK online application form in 2022; or
  2. On the VFS/TLS website (after submitting the online application).

The availability of the priority service will be shown on the fiance visa online application form once you have answered all of the mandatory questions.

The availability of the priority service can also sometimes be found on the relevant VFS or TLS webpage.

“How do I find out the current availability on the VFS website?”

Step 1 – Visit this webpage, state the country where the application is being made and answer “United Kingdom” under the text “and I’m going to”.

Step 2 – Visit the “Premium Services” section.

This priority visa service is normally listed as “Priority Visa for settlement or migration service”.

VFS fiance visa priority service

Please note that the “Priority Visa Service”, which is listed as USD 306 in the above screenshot, is not relevant to fiancé visa applications.

If you cannot find your country on the VFS website, it will likely be visible on the TLS webpage (except a few countries like Cuba which are not handled by either TLS or VFS).


“How do I find out the current availability on the TLS website?”

Step 1 – Visit this webpage.

Select the country where the applicant will be making their application, as well as “United Kingdom”.

Step 2 – Find the “Added Value Services” area.

Step 3 – The priority service, if it is available, will appear as follows:

TLS fiance visa priority service

Please note that it is only the “Priority Visa Service (Settlement)” option which will be relevant.

The “Priority Visa Service (Non-Settlement)” which is listed for USD 220 is not relevant to fiance visa applications.


“Who is the fiance visa UK priority service not for?”

If one of the following applies, then it is very possible that the Home Office will not process the application within a 6 week (30 working day) period:

  • The applicant has previously overstayed in the UK;
  • The applicant has previously been refused a visa for the UK, the US, New Zealand, Australia, Canada or any of the Schengen countries;
  • The applicant has committed a criminal offence (in the UK or elsewhere);
  • The applicant’s leave has previously been curtailed (cut short) by the Home Office;
  • The applicant has previously been interviewed, detained or prosecuted by the police for any offence (in the UK or elsewhere); and/or
  • The applicant has unspent criminal convictions (in the UK or elsewhere).

Because of this, where one of the above applies, we do not generally recommend opting for the UK fiance visa priority service.


“When do we pay for the fiance visa UK priority service?”

The availability of the UK fiancé visa priority service can be found and purchased in two places.

i) The online application form

The fiance visa UK priority service can sometimes be purchased as part of the UK fiance visa online application form in 2022.

Once you have finished answering all of the relevant online application form questions, you will reach the payment page as part of the online application.

The payment page will always provide the standard option (which will cost £1,538), but it will also sometimes list the priority service (which will cost a total of £2,111).


ii) The VFS/TLS website

Once you have submitted the fiance visa application by paying the Home Office fee as part of the online application, you will be directed to the VFS or TLS website (depending on where the application is being made).

On the VFS/TLS website, you will be able to arrange the biometrics visa centre appointment, as well as pay for the priority service (if it is available).

Please note that, if you purchased the priority service as part of the online application form and it is listed on the VFS/TLS website, you do not need to pay for the priority service again on the VFS/TLS website.

Furthermore, if the priority service was not listed as being available on the online application form but was listed on the VFS/TLS website, it would be fine to purchase the priority service on the VFS/TLS website.


“Will there be a higher chance of our fiance visa application being granted if we pay for the priority service?”

No. Just because you paid for the priority service, it does not mean that there will be a higher chance of the application being granted.


Frequently Asked questions

When does the fiance visa processing time start?

For non-priority (i.e. standard) applications, the countdown will start from when the Home Office receives the application. For priority applications, this will start when the applicant attends the visa centres and provides the support documentation.

Is It Possible For Me To Keep My Passport Whilst I Wait For The Decision?

Yes, but only in some cases. We would advise that you check the VFS or TLS website for the particular country that you are applying from.

How Can I Get Updates About My Application?

Whilst it would be nice to get regular progress updates, this is something that rarely happens. In fact, it is extremely unlikely that you will only get a response from the Home Office once a decision has been made.

Is the priority service worth it?

Since paying for the priority decision is unlikely to increase the chances of a successful application, this is a question only you and your partner can decide. Is it worth the extra cost for you both to receive a decision faster?


Want help?

If you’d like a tailored fiancé(e) visa document checklist, as well as a set of tailored letter templates that you’ll need in your application, feel free to check out our DIY Application Pack Service.

On the other hand, if you would like for us to help you with your application from start to finish, you may be interested in our full legal representation service. 

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