Since January, students going to study in the UK are facing a substantial delay in the visa process. The delay in visa processing has become an unending nightmare for international students as they are forced to defer their course start dates.
The UK High Commission to India took to Twitter to explain the situation stating: “UK Visa Update: Due to extremely high global demand, standard UK visitor visas continue to experience a significant delay in processing. The vast majority of Super Priority visa applications and Priority visa applications are still being assessed within their service standards – end of next working day or five working days respectively.”
Again, in March, the UK government updated that “applications for study, work and family visas may take longer to process” as it is prioritising Ukrainians after the invasion of Russia, resulting in a large number of students missing the start of their courses. However, the Visa Application Centres remain open and people can apply for visas in any category.
The UK Visas & Immigration department has advised visa-seeking individuals not to make any irreversible decisions, such as booking flight tickets, renting accommodation, etc. It is unclear how long this delay is going to take.
Some students in India used the UK government’s “priority” and “super-priority” routes which is a fast process but also charges an extra fee to receive a decision after five or two working days respectively. However, the UK government suspended these options abruptly and is also rumoured to remain suspended till September.
Students fear that a long delay might result in missing out on a major portion of their course syllabus. However, a spokesperson for the University of Chester, UK said that the university was unaware of delays but that it was “happy to offer our support” to any students applying to the University of Chester.