As of the time of writing (14/01/2021) the Home Office has confirmed they will be reintroducing priority and super priority services for certain visa categories with immediate effect. These services had been suspended since March 2020 due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19.
Until 01/01/2021 there were concessions in place which allowed applicants for the Skilled Worker or old Tier 2 route to start work from the day the submitted an application provided their Certificate of Sponsorship had been allocated. With the abolition of these concessions and standard processing times taking up to 8 weeks this has caused significant problems for employers hoping to have new employees start immediately. It is therefore a relief to see these options back on the menu, even if they are not available to all visa types.
Applicants for most worker routes, including Skilled Worker and the new Health and Care visa, will be able to make use of the priority services. A full list of all visas covered is available here. Most family and private life routes are not able to use these services at present.
The costs to make use of these services will remain as they were prior to suspension, with priority service costing an additional £500 and super priority costing an additional £800. Priority service reduces the target decision time from 8 weeks to 5 working days and super priority service reduces it even further to 24 hours or the next working day, if the appointment is made on the weekend or a Friday.
It is important to note that the clock will not start until a biometric appointment has been attended, so you can expect a decision within 24 hours or 5 working days of the date of the appointment, not the date on which the application was submitted and the Immigration Health Surcharge paid.
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