UK immigration warns Thais to apply early for UK visas because of backlog

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UK immigration staff are taking longer than usual to process applications for UK visas made in Thailand, according to a statement made by the UK Border Agency. The statement appeared on the UKBA website on 31st August 2012. It warned Thais that the UKBA office in the British Embassy in Bangkok is currently experiencing a very high volume of visa applications and tells Thais that they should be sure to apply early so that their visas arrive before they are due to travel.

The UKBA says that the delay has been caused by the large number of Thai students applying to the UK immigration authorities for Tier 4 student visas. However, the weight of applications means that all UK visa applications for all types of visa are being delayed.

There are various types of UK visas some of which come under the Tier visa
points based system. Among these are
• Tier 1 visas for highly skilled migrants, entrepreneurs and investors,
• Tier 2 visas for skilled migrants,
• Tier 4 visas for students and
• Tier 5 visas for temporary workers and working holiday makers
The UK also issues other types of visas which are not issued under the points based system. Among these are visas to visit the UK for various reasons such as leisure, business, marriage or medical treatment. Family members of UK citizens can also apply for visas not governed by the points-based system. Processing of these visas is also affected.

The UKBA warns all those who wish to apply for a visa from the Bangkok Embassy to apply early. Its statement reminds Thais that they can apply for a visa up to 3 months before travelling to the UK. The UKBA says that it aims to process non-settlement visas within 15 working days and settlement visas within 12 weeks.

The UKBA asks Thais not to contact their office to ask about the progress made with their visa applications unless they have been waiting for longer than those guide processing times. It says that UK immigration staff will be prevented from processing applications if they have to respond to requests for progress reports.

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