May 28, 2010

From next Tuesday, June 1, British Consulates in the U.S. are introducing a “priority processing” route for visa applications.

Detailed information is yet to be announced, but Pro-Link GLOBAL has worked directly with the UK Consulate in Los Angeles to provide you with this advance alert.

The “priority” fee is an additional $150USD (on top of the standard visa fee, which varies depending on visa type) and will put your application to the front of the queue.  The participating consulates (in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago) will endeavor to process such applications within 48 hours, although cannot give any guarantees. 

Who Can Use This? 

“Priority processing” will be available for all non-settlement visas.  However, we recommend that our clients consult with us first, as there are additional factors (for example, an adverse immigration history) that could impact decision time, even where priority processing is used.

Currently, this new route is only available at UK consulates in the U.S.  The implementation in the U.S. is partly possible because biometric data (fingerscans) for visa applications are already collected for each applicant through one of the 129 Application Support Centres throughout the United States. 

What About “Non-Priority” Applications? 

Standard applications should be unaffected by the introduction of “priority processing” and remains at approximately five working days.  The Consulate in Los Angeles has additionally confirmed that, “In the long term we hope to maintain or improve our turn-around times for the non-priority applications.” 

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS 

  • If you wish to take advantage of the new priority processing route, available in the U.S. from 1 June 2010, and have more questions, contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL Immigration Specialist.
  • If you have an active case to the UK with us, and may benefit from the new route, your Pro-Link GLOBAL Immigration Specialist will reach out to you to discuss this in more detail.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader 

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification.

Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with the UK Consulate in Los Angeles to provide this Global BRIEF alert to you.