When you’ve applied for a UK spouse visa, keeping track of your application’s status is a critical step in the immigration journey. This guide is tailored to help you navigate the tracking process efficiently, whether you’re applying from within the UK or abroad.
We’ll discuss various ways to track your application, helping ease the stress and uncertainty often accompanying visa processing times. Let’s get started.
What Do I Need to Track Spouse Visa Application UK Status
When tracking the status of your UK spouse visa application, certain details are required. These include:
- Passport Number: The passport number used for the visa application is required as an additional layer of identity verification.
- Personal and Contact Details: Your full name, date of birth, nationality, and email address are on your application form.
- GWF Reference Number: A unique 9-digit number assigned to your application, essential for tracking purposes.
- Application and Biometrics Dates: The date you submitted your visa application and the date of your biometric information submission are important milestones in your application timeline.
- Visa Category: Clarify the specific visa category or immigration route you applied for, as this is necessary to track the relevant application.
- Application Location: If you applied from outside the UK, the location of the visa application centre from where you submitted your application is needed.
- Application Reference Number: A 16-digit number is provided for certain types of visa applications required to access specific application details.
- Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) Reference Number: If applicable, your IHS reference number might be requested, especially when tracking applications that involve health surcharge payments.
Having these pieces of information readily available not only streamlines the process of checking your UK visa application status but also ensures you can promptly address any queries or follow-up steps required by the UKVI or related entities.
How to Track the Status of Your UK Visa Application Inside the UK
The in-country applications are now made through UKVCAS. During the UKVCAS appointment, applicants must confirm their identity, enrol biometric information, and submit necessary documents.
Post-appointment, your application and documents are forwarded to UKVI for processing. As a branch of the Home Office, UKVI is in control of the UK’s visa system and assigns case workers to make a conclusion on your UK visa.
For already presented their spouse visa application and are awaiting the result, the GOV.UK website offers basic information and updates on visa processing from UKVI. However, tracking the advancement of your particular visa application online is not an option through either UKVCAS or UKVI.
Instead, you can use an online tool on the GOV.UK website to determine the appropriate department within UKVI to contact. To do so, you will need to enter information like your application reference number to guide you towards the correct contact information.
If you want to talk directly with someone regarding your application status, UKVI’s contact centre can be reached at +44 (0)0300 790 6268. Choose option 2 for service, available Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 4:45 pm and Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm, excluding bank holidays.
Additionally, inquiries about British citizenship applications should be directed to the Citizenship and Nationality Enquiries team, reachable via email at email@example.com or by the same phone number and hours as the UKVI contact centre.
How to Track the Status of Your UK Visa Application Outside the UK
For UK spouse visas from outside the UK, you have access to several methods to track your UK visa application status. These include:
Using the VFS Global Website
- Visit https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/.
- Choose the Visa Application Centre (VAC) location where you submitted your biometric data.
- Click ‘Track your application’ at the top of your VAC’s page on the VFS Global site.
- Select ‘Track your visa application status online,’ highlighted in orange.
- Enter your reference number (GWF number or VAC reference number) to verify your identity.
- Input your last name in the specified field.
- Click ‘Submit’ after verifying you are not a robot to check your application status.
- If a decision has been made or if the submission is still being processed, it will be indicated by the displayed status.
From the UKVI Website
- Visit the UKVI website at https://ukvi.mysecurepay.co.uk/Home.
- Click on ‘Start’ highlighted in green to begin the process.
- Select ‘General Enquiry,’ also highlighted in green.
- Fill out the online form, ensuring that you specify that your enquiry is about the status of your visa application. Mention if the standard processing duration has been surpassed.
- Click ‘Continue’ to proceed to the fee page.
- Complete your payment details and click ‘Submit’ to finalise your enquiry. Note that the enquiry costs £2.74, which includes the initial email and any follow-up emails related to the same enquiry.
- You should expect a reply within five working days, excluding weekends and public holidays.
Check Through the TLScontact Website
- Locate the confirmation email from UK Visas and Immigration containing your application details.
- Follow the link in the email to sign in to your application on the GOV.UK website.
- After signing in, select ‘Provide Documents and Biometrics’ followed by ‘Continue,’ which redirects you to your TLScontact account.
- Select ‘Track’ to view the real-time situation of your application.
- The status will show stages like biometric enrolment completion, transfer of your application to the Decision-Making Centre (DMC), receipt of the decided application by the VAC, and whether you have collected your passport from the VAC.
You can call UKVI on +44 (0)300 790 6268 and select option 1 to enquire about the advancement of your application. The line is open 24 hours a day on all working days in the UK. Be aware that calls are charged at 69 pence per minute in addition to your usual network expenses. If you cannot reach the number, use the alternative number: +44 (0)203 875 4669.
What is the Current Processing Time for a UK Spouse Visa?
Understanding the processing time for a UK spouse visa is crucial for applicants, as it helps plan and set realistic expectations. The length of the processing period varies based on a number of variables, such as the nation from where you are applying, the accuracy and completeness of your application, and the supporting documentation you provide.
Generally, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) try to process your application within 12 weeks of the application date if you are applying from outside the UK. For in-country applications, the goal is to process them within eight weeks. However, these timelines are subject to change and can be influenced by personal circumstances and the volume of applications received.
It’s important to note that processing times usually start from the date you attend a visa application centre to present your biometric information. During peak periods, processing times may be longer, and if your application is complex – for example, due to immigration history or criminal records – additional time may be required.
If you want a faster decision made on your application, you can opt for the Home Office Priority Service, with which you can expect to receive a decision within five working days or Super Priority Service, which promises a decision within two working days. Obviously, both options come at an additional fee.
Let Spouse Visa Lawyers Help You With Your Application
Our experienced team at Spouse Visa Lawyers offers personalised guidance and expert advice to simplify your journey to the UK as a spouse. From ensuring your application is complete to tracking its progress, we’re here to support you at every step.
Contact us today to secure the professional assistance you require for a successful visa application.
You Ask, We Answer
The information provided in our articles is intended solely for guidance and should not be considered legal advice. We do not assume responsibility for any liabilities arising from the information in written articles and recommend that all readers seek professional advice before taking any action. For those wishing to discuss their case with a professional, please feel free to contact us directly.
Dr Bernard Andonian has over four decades of experience as a London-based UK Immigration Solicitor and was also a former immigration Judge. He has been awarded a PhD in Law from the University of West London for his in-depth knowledge of UK immigration and nationality law. He has served on the Law Society Immigration Law Panel, achieved numerous groundbreaking decisions in higher courts whilst representing clients in the UK, and is featured in the Legal 500’s Hall of Fame.