UK resumes priority visa services
The UK has reopened some of its priority visa services, allowing incoming international students to pay extra for a faster decision on their application ahead of the new academic year in September.
The priority visa and super priority visa services for students resumed on August 12, meaning applicants who are prepared to pay more will now able to receive their visas in as quickly as 24 hours.
The government suspended this service without prior warning in March, saying at the time that it was prioritising processing visas for Ukrainian refugees arriving in the UK.
Months of visa delays followed, causing some students to miss their university start dates.
Stakeholders have welcomed the latest announcement, with agents believing that the change has come just in time for the upcoming academic year.
Good news, Priority and Super Priority visas are available for Student visas. We anticipate high demand over the next few weeks so recommend that you apply for your visa as soon as possible. Remember, it can take time to prepare your supporting documents so start this now. pic.twitter.com/xSePrWM2D9
— UK in India (@UKinIndia) August 12, 2022
“I believe that it has just come at the right time,” said Amar Bahada, director at Indian agency Meridean Overseas Education Consultants. “If it had been a couple of more weeks, we would have ended up in a really messy situation.”
Bahada also said a quicker decision would give students more time to book flights, preventing them from being forced to pay for expensive last-minute journeys.
“If it had been a couple of more weeks, we would have ended up in a really messy situation”
The government is advising students to apply for their visas as soon as possible.
A spokesperson from Universities UK International said, “The resumption of priority visa services is a significant and positive development from UKVI which will help those international students looking to come to the UK in the autumn.
“We know that demand for student visas is high at this time of year and, with the start of the new academic year fast approaching, it is crucial that students apply for their visas as soon as possible to avoid any delays,” they continued.