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McGill & Co is a Scottish immigration law firm specialising in UK immigration, nationality and refugee law.

The new premium service: Super Priority

22 January 2019 James Ritchie Changes to Immigration


If you have been following the recent changes in immigration law, you will appreciate that a considerable upheaval of the visa application procedure has taken place since November 2018. With the introduction of their new digitalised service for visa applications, the Home Office launched a number of new user-pay services.

One of which is the Super Priority service, which appears similar to the recently pulled premium service, but operates quite differently in practice. The premium service offered personal contact with the immigration officer assessing their application at a Home Office branch. The Super Priority service involves sending a digital copy of an application, by an outsourced third party, to a decision-making hub.

As evident from the title, the service offers applicants the option of paying an extra fee to spend less time waiting for a decision. When given the option, it is stated that:

most people get a decision on the next working day after attending their biometric appointment.”

The price of the Super Priority service is identical to the old premium service. The service will cost £610 to use. Once you have booked the service, you must choose a date to attend a free-of-charge appointment. If an appointment is not available, it is possible to book one at short notice (on the day / next day) which costs upwards of £100.

The time taken to receive a decision, on the other hand, appears to have increased. The Home Office state on their website, that:

“times for standard applications (6 months or 8 weeks depending on application type) will start when we receive your application.

For 10 day priority and standard applications, the service standard begins on the date of application and ends when the decision is complete.

For 24 hour super priority service the service standard will start when you submit your biometrics. The service standard will end when we send our decision to you. The times include registering your biometric information, if needed, at a participating Post Office.”

On the topic of Super Priority service, they state:

“For added value appointments at our commercial partner attended on a Saturday or Sunday, the appointment will be deemed as attended on the next working day. In most cases this will be a Monday but where there is a bank holiday it will be Tuesday. For example, a Saturday 11:30 appointment (30 minute appointment) will be deemed as attended on Monday at 11:30 and the decision completed and despatched within 24 hours.”

In our experience, applications processed at a premium service centre were largely decided within 24 hours. We have found that the new system takes longer.

This is unfortunate, as, whilst awaiting a decision, there is no way to contact the Home Office to clarify why the decision is taking longer than 24 hour. We hope that this service is simply experiencing teething troubles, and that in future the service will be much improved.

If you looking to apply and would like more information tailored to your situation, we offer consultations and a full application service to provide advice and assistance on the best course of action to take to secure your place in the UK, please fill out our online enquiry form.


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