It is true that getting a UK visa is a lot harder than it used to be. UK border agency is tightening their rules every day and this has brought about some anxiety for UK visa applicants, and a lot of people prefer to use the services of an immigration attorney to avoid the headaches of applying. Those applicants that decide to apply themselves, will naturally want to know how to track UK Visa status after they apply.
According to Gov.uk, a visa applicant will be able to track his UK visa application using phone (SMS) and Email.
There are so many conflicting opinions about how to track UK visa application. I have done a lot of research on this topic. This article will focus on the information provided by the official UK Visa website which as of the time of writing, is the most up to date info about this topic.
UK visa application tracking
UK visa application tracking is not a one size fits all. Different countries have different avenues of applying. Some people use the services of an immigration lawyer, some apply online, some apply via VFS Global or TLS Contact who are both official partners of UKVI that collect and submit applicants UK visas for processing by the UKVI.
For example, if you have applied for your visa from Nigeria via TLS Contact, you will be required to create an account which you will use to track updates about your visa.
On the other hand, if you have applied for your UK visa from India, using the VFS Global, you will be given a green slip that has a registration number that you can use to check your visa status on their website, or once you have received a first email from them, you will be able to log into Blue Dart Express website and track your passport using your GWF number
If you are living in America, once you have sent you application and they have received it, they will send you an email to the effect, when they have processed your visa, you will also get an email to let you know that they have reached a decision, and it is only when you receive you passport back that you will find out if your visa application has been approved or denied.
As a result of this, one cannot really say whether or not you will be able to track your visa using visa outsourcing agencies or not as this will grossly depend on your country of application, so your first point of enquiry should be to check the rules and conditions stipulated on the Teleperformance uk visa tracking info (if any) or VFS Global of your country.
How To Track UK Visa Application
According to Gov.uk, you will be able to track your UK Visa by contacting the UK Visas and Immigration office. whether you have applied from inside or outside of the UK, you will be able to use just 2 Methods, which are the Email and Phone. To do this,
- Go To Gov.uk
- Choose whether you applied from inside or outside of uk
- Choose your language
- You will be provided contact details of a staff that will give you information about your application (note that you will need to have your GWF number which is a unique identifying number that has been tagged to your application.
If your immigration attorney applied for you, then he should provide you with the necessary information.
How To Send email/GWF Number For UK visa Tracking –
The only online option so to speak is to contact the UKVI to track your UK visa application via email, by providing your GWF number. Note that this service is not free. You will be charged £5.48 (or the equivalent in your currency). This cost will cover the initial email and all followup emails as long as the follow up emails are in the same line with the first enquiry. To do this,
- Fill out the form here
- Fill in your credit or debit card details
- Enter your GWF reference number
- Once your message has been sent, you should expect a response within 2 working days .
How To track UK Visa Using Phone
You will be able to place a phone call to track the progress of your UK Visa by calling +442034811736 . This call is not free but if your case is urgent, this could be much faster than the email method. The calls cost £1.37 per minute so depending on where you are calling from, this could be an expensive avenue to check the status of your visa. Again Keep your GWF number handy so that the UKVI staff will be able to trace your case.
What Info Is Needed To Track UK visa
- If you have already submitted your application, ideally, you should have a unique case number that starts with the letters GWF. This is what the UKVI staff will use to identify you on their system.
- Where applicable, you might be asked for an immigration Health Surcharge Reference Number.
- You will be asked to provide the date you took your biometrics
- Your Address and Biodata info.
how to check visa status using passport number?
UK Visa status: As mentioned above, different countries have different requirements when it comes to checking of UK visa status. It could well be that you might need to provide details of your passport number and some other information before you can get an update about your passport.
Delivery companies used by the embassy could also need you to provide your passport number so as to track YOUR PASSPORT and not necessarily your visa. This is a different kettle of fish which should not be confused with tracking visa. A delivery company has no access to check if you have been issued a visa or not, they are just tracking the movement of your passport as it is a sensitive and private document.
Helpful tips to bear in Mind during uk visa application status enquiry
- Before you start your enquiry, you should first take note of the visa processing time for the type of visa you are applying for because the UKVI is not obliged to provide you with any unnecessary information about the status of your application as long as they have not exceeded the time limit they have specified as the standard processing time for your type of visa. Most people applying from the UK go as far as contacting a member of parliament to help them check the status of their visa, In most cases this ends up being futile as the time it will take to get a response ends up taking too long so that by the time they receive a response, the applicant would have received a visa or a rejection.
- Make sure you apply for your visa on time, and make sure you do not book a flight ticket if you have not received your visa as this will only cause you to panic even more, and if your visa is rejected, you might end up losing your ticket money, or worse still, your visa might come days after your scheduled day of travel. note thatThe UKVI will not refund your ticket.
- The best information about your visa can be given to you by the visa agency you use so please if you have applied via VFS Global, do not go to TLS contact to try and find out how you can track your visa. You will be surprised how many people do this!
- If their is a special paid service that is been offered by the VFS or TLS, make sure you opt for it (E.g SMS or Email Service) as this might be the only way for you to track your visa.
- If you travel frequently, they might process your visa faster that someone that is applying for the first time, so put this into consideration as yours might take less than 1 week
- Due to the long processing time and lack of clarity on the best way to track your application, try and make your application at least 8 weeks before you travel to allow enough time to process your application
- If you can afford it, look for a good immigration lawyer to help with your visa application as they stay up to date with the changes in the visa rules