The Home Office has recently introduced a new priority service for Tier 2 migrants wishing to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). This aims to provide a decision within five working days from the date of the migrant’s biometric appointment, although this timescale is not guaranteed. The priority service costs £500 in addition to the application fee, which is currently £2,389.
This new service is warmly welcomed as, when applying for ILR previously, migrants only had the option of standard service, which takes up to six months, or super priority service, which comes with a hefty price tag of £800 on top of the application fee. Although this does provide a decision in 24 to 48 hours, it is largely prohibitive due to cost.
It is important to note, even when using a priority service, the migrant will still have to wait five to ten working days after approval of their application before their new Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) arrives, preventing any travel in the interim. The extra fee for priority and super priority services do not guarantee increased promptness in the issuing of the BRP unfortunately, just a decision on the application, thereby reducing the effectiveness of these services if the migrant has upcoming travel or last minute plans.
Overall, the introduction of the new priority service is extremely positive as UKVI now provides Tier 2 migrants with a greater choice of service standards suitable for individual timescales and budgets – standard service, priority service and super priority service. However it remains a source of frustration that priority services are not available for all types of ILR; for example, Tier 1 Entrepreneurs can only use the standard service.
This article is from the November 2019 issue of Employment and Immigration Law Update, our monthly newsletter for HR professionals. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website. For more details regarding any of the matters covered in this update, please contact Clare Hedges or Janice Leggett in our Immigration Team. Law covered as at November 2019.