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UK HSMP Applications - Processing Times

Stated Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) processing times have risen during 2004 from approximately 3 months at the start of the year to 5-6 months now (Feb 2005). This increase in processing times has lead to a large number of applicants requesting 'special treatment'. This guide is to help you understand the factors that can help an application.

NB The Home Office will only give urgent consideration to applications that have been outstanding for at least six weeks.

Requests for urgent treatment for reasons other than employment will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, e.g.:

(as at Dec 04)
GMC REGISTERED DOCTORS1 – 2 MonthsThe fastest processing of HSMP applications is generally available for Registered Doctors and GPs. Such candidates are having their applications 'fast -tracked' by the home office
A FIRM JOB OFFER ('Shortage' Occupation)1 – 2 MONTHS OR JOB START DATEWe have found that those with job offers within the 'shortage' sectors can sometimes have their applications dealt with more rapidly.
A FIRM JOB OFFER (Non-'Shortage' Occupation)4 – 5 months

A firm job offer may help to expedite cases even for those in non-shortage areas. However, the application process will remain slow.
URGENT TRAVEL (Work-related)BY DATE OF TRAVEL (This is by no means guaranteed)If you are required to travel urgently, and can prove this with a copy of a flight ticket / boarding pass / e-Ticket then your application may be expedited
URGENT TRAVEL (Family reasons / bereavement)BY DATE OF TRAVEL (if you are lucky AND if the Home .Office. accepts your reasons as exceptional)Non work-related requests for urgent travel will only be considered relevant in exceptional circumstances. Bereavement and family emergencies may also be seen as valid reasons)
URGENT TRAVEL (Holiday)4 – 5 Months Processing not guaranteedPlease see above Holiday travel will not usually be considered a good enough reason to expedite an application
OTHER EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCESUp to 5 Months. Home Office discretionThe Home Office are considering hundreds of requests each day. Only truly exceptional circumstances are likely to help you.
A WELL PRESENTED CASEc4 MonthsA clear and concise case Could cut the processing time down by a month or two. Perhaps more.
MISCELLANEOUSAnything from 3 weeks to 2 monthsSome cases, seemingly on a random basis, are dealt with surprisingly quickly for no particular reason!

You can check your eligibility at any time by going to the HSMP points calculator