Home Office written question – answered on 20th February 2023.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of removing priority service fees for applicants who have waited beyond the usual service standard.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applicants have been retrospectively offered priority service since the service was temporarily suspended for spouse visa applicants in March 2022.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether new spouse and partner visa applications are offered priority service after they have been submitted.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when Priority and Super Priority visa services will be fully reinstated for spouse visa applicants.
From 9 January 2023, UKVI re-introduced priority visa services for customers with an outstanding family overseas visa application.
Priority visa services for new family overseas visa applications will be made available from 20 February 2023.
Super Priority visa services are currently offered for individuals applying for family leave to remain and family indefinite leave to remain applications from within the UK, and this service has been available throughout 2022.
Customers who submit a family overseas visa application prior to 20 February 2023 will be offered the opportunity to use the Priority visa service in line with the current offer for customers who have an outstanding application.
Data on the number of applicants retrospectively offered priority service since the service was temporarily suspended does not form part of any current transparency data and is not published.
However, the transparency data does include a range of processing and service standard data and can be found at: Migration transparency data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
UKVI are offering the Priority visa service to customers with existing family visa applications in date order. Customers with the oldest outstanding family visa applications have been contacted first in fairness to those who have waited the longest in the queue. Alongside this, work has continued to reduce standard processing times for family visa applicants currently awaiting a decision.
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