This past month the UK authorities have expanded their Super-Priority Visa Service to several countries. Initially introduced in India on May 2013 as a fast-track (1 day) process to obtain multiple entry UK visitor visas for certain eligible applicants, the Super-Priority Visa Service has also been introduced in China as of summer 2014. In this last month, the service become available in five additional countries (France, US, South Africa, Turkey and UAE), and it will be launched on March 30 in Thailand. Additional countries are expected to be added to this list within the coming months.
Although the Super-Priority Visa Service provides a great opportunity for travelers with last minute travel plans, the service does not come cheap: applicants will need to pay the local equivalent of £600 in addition to the normal visa fee to make use of this service. It varies by country if the 1 day service means that the visa can be collected on the same day as the application has been submitted, or early next morning.
Applicants should realize that this high fee for expediting the process to 1 day only does not guarantee a positive outcome of the application – applications will need to fulfill the same requirements as non-priority applications and therefore applicants with any form of adverse immigration history are strongly advised not to make use of this service.
Details regarding which visas and which applicants qualify for the service vary by country, and the service is not offered by all the consulates in the participating countries. For example, in the US the service is only offered in New York and is available for visitor visas, TIER 2, TIER 4 and TIER 5 visas. At most consulates who offer the service, including the consulates in New York and Paris, it is possible for people on visitor status to that country to use the Super-Priority service for UK visitor visas; however, in some locations (Istanbul, Turkey for example) only residents can make sure of this service even for visitor visa applications.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Pro-Link GLOBAL Immigration Specialist for a case specific assessment of your eligibility if you are considering to make use of the Super-Priority Visa Service.
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