November 2022


In country applications:

Please note UKVI (Home Office) have recently increased their standard processing time for in-country Skilled Worker Route extensions, switches, and changes of employment from 8 weeks to 16 weeks.

There may be priority (£500 additional for 1 week decision), or super priority (£800 additional for 1-2 working day decision) options available, and we would expect that these decisions are faster than 16 weeks, but please be mindful that these timelines may also be subject to delay.

  • For extension/switching applications for Skilled Worker Route this may mean that individuals are unable to leave the UK and common travel area for some time until their new visa is granted and checked, and applicants/departments may decide to pay for priority processing.

  • For changes of employment from another sponsor, please consider these delays when setting start dates. Candidates may wish to extend their current role/notice period to avoid the situation where they are unable to start employment with Imperial and have left their former employer/sponsor and are not eligible for UK public funds/benefits in the interim. Applicants/departments may decide to pay for priority processing.

Out-of-country applications:

UKVI (Home Office) guidance on how quickly you will receive a decision on your UK visa application if you are applying from outside the UK can be viewed via this link

Availability of overseas priority application options is currently limited, and applications may be delayed.

General issues:

In addition, we are currently experiencing the following delays in relation to both in-country and out-of-country applications:

  • ATAS application processing - continues to be slow/unpredictable (no improvement since the summer student application spike) and some cases have taken 6 months. Unfortunately, there is no way of expediting ATAS applications.
  • Visa applications – delays across the board for most immigration routes.


The Staff Immigration and Compliance Team will provide the relevant information to existing staff extending sponsorship/visa (where it will impact on travel ability), and respond to RTW Reviews for new hires on this basis. If you are planning any recruitment which may be impacted by this update, please factor this information into your timelines.