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Priority Spouse Visa Outside UK

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Do you want your spouse to join you from overseas? If they are not a British citizen or if they don’t have settled status, they may need a spouse visa to gain UK entry clearance. You probably don’t want to wait months for a spouse visa application to be processed by the Home Office whilst you are kept apart from your husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried partner.

Immigration solicitors say there is a solution if your partner doesn’t want to wait and you want to be quickly reunited with a loved one; the priority service.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Lawyers and Spouse Visa Solicitors  

For spouse visa and immigration law advice call London-based OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

The priority visa service

The Home Office had suspended the priority visa service for spouse visa applicants and some are still unaware that the service has been reinstated. The suspension was due to the Home Office prioritising applications under the Ukraine schemes rather than family and spouse visas.

That all changed again in February 2023 when the Home Office said priority family visa applications could be recommenced.

Is it worth using the priority service?

The Home Office standard to process a spouse visa application is currently stated on their website to be 24 weeks. That’s if the application is made from outside the UK. This is less than half the time it was taking at the height of the delays. However, if you choose to use the priority service the timeline is reduced significantly.

Spouse Visa Solicitors warn that the standard process time of 24 weeks for a spouse visa application made outside the UK is not a guarantee. It is simply a standard to be aimed at by the Home Office. That’s why some visa applicants decide that they don’t want to risk relying on the standard service when they are unable to live as a family whilst waiting for their spouse visa application to be processed.

Even if you have the spare cash to pay the priority fee it is best to speak to your Spouse Visa Solicitors about whether the priority fees are justified in your circumstances. For example, paying a priority Home Office fee may not be justified if your application is complex or because of your immigration record or a prior visa refusal.

The cost of the priority spouse visa service

Spouse Visa Solicitors understand that many visa applicants will be reluctant to pay extra visa fees when the standard Home Office fees are already a stretch for some families, especially where they are applying for visas for dependent children. It is a question for every family whether a quicker processing time is worth the extra Home Office fees.

It is worth noting that if you are applying for a spouse visa from outside the UK with associated dependant visa applications for your children every visa applicant has to pay the priority fee. It can't just be the main visa applicant for the spouse visa who pays for the priority service as all the applications are considered together.

The priority fee is an extra £573.00 on top of the standard visa fee for a spouse visa. For a parent with 2 dependent children that’s over £1,700 in extra fees to use the priority service.

Applicants should note, however, that if an application is not straightforward then it may not be possible for the Home Office to meet the priority service standard.

How OTS Solicitors can help you

Our specialist Spouse Visa Solicitors can help you will all your spouse visa queries, including:

  • Spouse visa applications from within the UK or overseas
  • Family visas, civil partner visas, and unmarried partner visas
  • Spouse visa extensions
  • Spouse visa refusals and appeals
  • Spouse visa to indefinite leave to remain and UK settlement applications

Our expert immigration solicitors have an excellent track record in securing spouse visas and are here to help you with your application.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Lawyers and Spouse Visa Solicitors  

For spouse visa and immigration law advice call London-based OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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