LONDON : The UK has now opened its expensive priority and super priority visas for students applying for the same in India, given the huge demand and long waiting period this year.
The priority visa service costs an additional Pounds (£) 500 (Rs 47,000 at current exchange rate) and a decision comes within five days. The super priority visa costs £800 (Rs 75,000 at current exchange rate) over the regular visa application fees and decision on that comes in (about) a day, according to the UK government website.
While the UK says its is processing regular student visas in about 15 days, many have been waiting for much longer than that.
British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis on Tuesday said in an update for Indian students heading to the UK this fall said the priority and super priority visas are now available for students, citing a high demand. “….we are beating our own records for the number of student visas which we have issued globally until June 2022. This coming academic year with you will get even more and India is the number one source country of students coming to the UK. So if you are going to study in the UK this year, please apply for your visa now,” Ellis said.
“Make sure that you’ve included the right documentation. That is the offer letter from the university, the CAS, the TB certificates and your proof of funding. If you want… can apply for the priority visa which gets you there with turnaround about five days or a super priority visa even quicker than that. At the moment, we’re dealing with student visas in about 15 days. There is huge demand. So please, Indian students great that want to come to the UK. Apply now, get the documentation right,” Ellis said.
The UK government website says: “If you’re eligible you can choose the ‘priority service’ when you apply. It costs £500 in addition to the application fee. You’ll get a decision within five working days. The time starts from either the day of your appointment… (or)… working day after you finished uploading your documents…”
To get a decision by the end of the next working day, a person can select the “super priority service” when you apply. “You’ll get a decision: by the end of the next working day after your appointment, if your appointment is on a weekday (or) two working days after your appointment, if your appointment is at the weekend or on a bank holiday,” the UK website says.
India has overtaken China as the largest nationality being issued sponsored study visas in the UK.“Indian nationals were issued the largest number of UK study, work and visitor visas in the year ending June 2022,” British High Commissioner to India had said last week.
Indians also accounted for the highest proportion (28%) of visitor visas granted by the country and Indian nationals continue to be the top nationality granted skilled worker visas, accounting for 46% of all skilled work visas granted globally.
According to the latest UK Immigration Statistics published Thursday (August 25), nearly 118,000 Indian students received a student visa in the year ending June 2022 – an 89% increase from the previous year. India has now overtaken China as the largest nationality being issued sponsored study visas in the UK, the UK HC said in a statement.
Ellis had last week said, “India first again. I’m delighted that Indian nationals were issued the largest number of UK study, work and visitor visas in the year ending June 2022.” Indian nationals accounted for the highest proportion (28%) of visitor visas granted by the UK. More than 258,000 Indian nationals received visit visas in the year ending June 2022,– a 630% increase compared to the previous year (when travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic were still in place).
“In the year ending June 2022, Indian nationals also received nearly 103,000 Work visas (which includes skilled and seasonal workers) – a 148% increase over the previous year. Indian nationals continue to be the top nationality granted skilled worker visas, accounting for 46% of all skilled work visas granted globally,” the UK HC had said in a statement last week.