December 2022

In country applications:

Please note that UKVI (Home Office) have recently updated their standard processing and decision time for in-country Skilled Worker Route extensions, switches, and changes of employment from 8 weeks to 11 weeks. (This has reduced from the 16 week estimate given in November 2022 update).

UKVI are aiming to return to their usual standard of 8 weeks by end of 2022.

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 11 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.
  • HR Staff Compliance Team In-person right to work checks for new starters with time-limited visas – Please note that the Industrial action for railway and/or transport for London strike days will have an impact on team availability for in-person checks in December 2022 and January 2023 on the following dates:

Tuesday 13 December 2022
Wednesday 14 December 2022 
Friday 16 December 2022
Tuesday 3 January 2023
Wednesday 4 January 2023 
Friday 6 January 2023

No checks will be conducted in-person on these dates and will either need to be:

  • undertaken as online right to work checks, once the Biometric Residence document is collected by the new starter, or
  • scheduled on the next working day after strike action.

Please be aware that where a right to work check must be delayed, the start date is not permitted before this check is completed, so this would also need to be delayed.

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 (to HR Staff Hub and Recruitment Hub) 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.

Previous updates

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.