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uk tourist visa long processing times


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Hi, my wife applied for uk tourist visa on 4th November, still waiting on 1st December.

 

No news/emails except generic facebook post on 'UK in Thailand' saying "significant delays".    Finally get chance to visit UK family and visa is taking ages, so frustrating after 2years of travel restrictions.

 

Anyone else applied in November got passport back yet from standard service?

 

Anyone gone to UK without yellow vaccination book?  Passport is stuck with visa service so unlikely to have any time to get this (and appointments on mor prom app full til mid-Jan).  Planning to go with hospital vaccination cert and mor porm screenshot (english name but doesn't have date of birth).

Edited by clarky23
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5 hours ago, clarky23 said:

thanks for info @AliG.   7weeks is so long 😞

 

 

Just after 15 working days you should get a 'holding' email from UKVI:-

 

Thank you for your UK visa application which has been received and is under consideration.  We aim to process applications:

Non-settlement within 15 working days
Priority Visas within 5 working days
Settlement within 60 working days.

Due to high demand for UK visas your application is still waiting to be assessed by a UKVI decision maker. Please accept our apologies for this delay, we are working hard to complete your visa application as quickly as possible.. You do not need to do anything; we will contact you should we require any additional information from you

Please be assured that we will continue to progress your application to enable a decision to be made as soon as possible. We will notify you by email once a decision has been made.

Please do not go to the visa application centre until you have been advised that your passport is ready for collection.  If you are applying in the Passport Passback category and have not already submitted your passport please do so as soon as possible as assessment of your application cannot be completed until this is received.

Replies to this email will not be answered. You will find our contact details at www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-outside-uk.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Yours Sincerely,

UK Visas and Immigration
South and South East Asia Region

 

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On 12/2/2021 at 4:41 PM, clarky23 said:

@hotandsticky 15 working days from submitting biometrics?  I'm well over 15 working days from application/payment date.

A friend has just received advice of a decision on his wife's application submitted 15th October............., 7 weeks...... exactly.

Edited by hotandsticky
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There is something amiss re the delays. My 'wife' applied 7-8 weeks ago and when she went for bio-metrics she was in and out in 15 minutes, and the appointment was made only one day previous.

Therefore I do not accept that they have 'unusual'  high demand, however I'm sure the Home Office are going to give me an accurate answer if any answer at all.  Having gone through the complaints procedure once with the Home Office that took me 18 months and intervention from my local MP just to receive a refund of 6 pounds and a few coppers I don't recommend anyone communicating with them.

The annoying part is my 'wife' has had 15 previous 'tourist' (general) visas and I don't understand why it isn't almost an automatic 'au fait accompli' decision.

To rub salt into the wound I paid for a 2 year multi (320 GBP  ish) which due to covid she only used once 2 years ago. On top of that our plan was to go back early November so I could pick up on my business activity....that is now too late and if her visa comes in the next few days dated December 4th it will only be valid until early June that will necessitate another visa to see us through our trip next year.

 

 

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@DaLa agree, when my wife submitted biometrics it was empty, on other years its been packed and passport back in 2weeks.   

 

I don't get how there can be massive demand when there is only Thai Airways airline flying direct and only 4 days of the week .  Previously there was BA, Eva and Thai airways all flying direct.  Emirates only started backup the A380 from Bangkok on 28th November. 

 

Why are they so under staffed to process this return in demand?  We knew travel was coming back.   Its been 1month since we submitted/payed for application, still waiting without any update.

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wait one month and more is now normal in Italy.  All has been concentrated in Rome consulate.
In the past years I got visa in 30 minutes at different Italy consulates

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13 hours ago, clarky23 said:

@DaLa agree, when my wife submitted biometrics it was empty, on other years its been packed and passport back in 2weeks.   

 

I don't get how there can be massive demand when there is only Thai Airways airline flying direct and only 4 days of the week .  Previously there was BA, Eva and Thai airways all flying direct.  Emirates only started backup the A380 from Bangkok on 28th November. 

 

Why are they so under staffed to process this return in demand?  We knew travel was coming back.   Its been 1month since we submitted/payed for application, still waiting without any update.

The processing delays are totally unreasonable. There must be lots of applicants hoping to go to the UK for Christmas, see family, etc, and I agree that "demand" is  a totally unreasonable excuse for the delays.  But, I think you are wrong to cite demand from Thailand only, and the four flights a week, etc.  Visa applications for Thailand are processed in New Delhi, India, but that Centre is not only dealing with Thailand applications. New Delhi deals with Visit, Short Term Student and Other Non-Settlement applications from India, Bangladesh, Burma, Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Vietnam and Thailand. Pre-covid they were dealing with more than 200,000 applications a year (I think) so they could be a little busy, I guess.

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@Tony M fair, didn't know they were processed centrally for many countries.  Thanks for insight.

 

My points is more,

a) long processing times compared to previously is poor (last two tourist visas took 2 weeks to return passport to my wife). I bet there are many families like mine trying to return back to the UK after 2years not seeing each other.

b) lack of visibility into queue times.  If it was me, I'd publish current queue time from biometrics to decision on a website and update daily.  At least people know where they stand then.   Currently I don't even know if we are able to get back for Christmas, sad as when we applied start of November we were dreaming of having month or so with the family before Christmas arrived.  Now we are stuck just waiting in the unknown.  

Edited by clarky23
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12 minutes ago, clarky23 said:

If it was me, I'd publish current queue time from biometrics to decision on a website and update daily.  At least people know where they stand then.   Currently I don't even know if we are able to get back for Christmas, sad as when we applied start of November we were dreaming of having month or so with the family before Christmas arrived.  Now we are stuck just waiting in the unknown.  

 

Whilst I fully agree that an indicative queue time, regularly updated, would be of benefit to those in your position, all the time the UKVI offer a queue jumping service for those who are prepared to fork out almost 10,000 Baht, it is difficult to manage a queue.

 

As far as I'm aware this option is stiil available, and whilst I think it's morally wrong, it might be appropriate in exception circumstances, though I'm of the view that fast tracking the event of an emergency should be free. 

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I'm in a similar boat Clarky, a rudderless one with a dodgy engine!

 

My Thai wife submitted all the usual nonsense in BKK on 26th October and we are still awaiting the visa.  She has had 2 holding emails, 1 last week the other the week before that.  She said the application center (Trendy building BBK) was busy when she went there.  It's a total shamble!

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@Bushtuckaman.  thanks for info, what a mess.   We are starting to get worried about missing planned Xmas with the UK family, would be such as shame after 2years of covid restrictions 😞

 

Your wife must be ahead of mine in the queue, let me know if you hear anything please. 

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2 hours ago, clarky23 said:

@Bushtuckaman.  thanks for info, what a mess.   We are starting to get worried about missing planned Xmas with the UK family, would be such as shame after 2years of covid restrictions 😞

 

Your wife must be ahead of mine in the queue, let me know if you hear anything please. 

I don't know if this helps you with estimating where you are with timescales, my wife applied 15th October and received passport back yesterday. 

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Would like to update, maybe useful for others waiting on uk tourist visa:

 

1. Submitted application/payment online: 4th Nov, biometrics in Bangkok 11th Nov, finally received passport back this morning (10th Dec), was valid from 7th Dec so guess this is the day they processed it.

 

2. Didn't bother trying to get yellow vacaination book, check the mor phorm app, click international certificate, we were able to select 'receive by email', was free, waited a day, then QR code appeared on this page in the app.  Scanned it and takes you to full digital international vacination certificate with name in english, date of birth, vaccination info, all that is required by UK.  Printed this and will use for trip.

 

Hope other people waiting in Uk visa queue will received it soon in time for xmas.

 

Its been an uncertain week few, something that could be avoided with better visibility into application process and current processing times.

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