How we process applications

Many visa applications require you to send us documents and evidence to show us that you meet our criteria. After you’ve applied for a visa, we’ll tell you if we need any further information or documents from you.

We’ll return any original documents like passports and birth certificates that we’re finished with. Visa Application Centres (VACs) will return your documents immediately. Branches without VACs will return them after your application is decided.

When we process your application we:

  • check that you meet the rules and criteria set out in the immigration instructions for the visa you have applied for
  • consider whether you are a genuine applicant
  • verify the information and documents you provided
  • confirm details of your relationship with your partner or family members , if applicable.

Before we decide your application, we may ask you to:

  • send us other photographs, documents or information
  • show us evidence of your onward travel, such as plane tickets
  • have a medical examination
  • attend an interview.

We receive high numbers of applications between November and March. This means it may take us longer to process your visa application during this time.

To ensure your application is processed as quickly as possible you need to supply all relevant information with your visa application, including translations. If you do not supply the correct information this could hold up the processing of your visa.