To find out our most recent visa application processing times for the country from which you are applying, use the 'Guide to visa processing times' tool below.
Processing times are given in working days, excluding weekends and public holidays. Performance figures are updated monthly.
Please note: our published visa processing times do not apply to visas for Commonwealth countries, British Overseas Territories, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
You can apply for your visa within three months of your intended date of travel. We are only able to post-date visas by a maximum of three months from the date of the decision on your visa application. You can enter the UK anytime after your visa issue date but not before.
We strongly advise applicants not to confirm their travel arrangements to come to the UK until they have received their visa.
We strongly recommend that you do not buy a non-refundable, non-flexible ticket to the UK, until your visa application has been approved and you have received your visa. We do not accept responsibility for any financial loss and we do not fast-track applications solely due to planned date of travel.
The processing time begins when the UK Border Agency or one of our commercial partners (VFS Global and WorldBridge), has received your completed application form, with your passport and supporting documents, your biometrics registration and the relevant application fee. It ends after a decision has been taken on your application and your passport is available for collection.
You can use the information provided by the 'Guide to visa processing times' tool, as a guide to how long it may take to process your application, although the information cannot be used as a guarantee of the processing time for your visa. This is because visa applications are assessed individually and individual circumstances can mean processing times may vary.
We also advise that you check the announcements we make on the local websites run by our commercial partners.
Our performance against standards
We aim to process each visa application within a target period but we cannot guarantee that your visa application will be completed within this time. The unique circumstances of each individual case may result in longer decision times.
Information about our customer service standards, which includes our processing time targets and a list of frequently asked questions can be found on this website.