What is the change? The United Kingdom will launch its 24-hour “Super Priority” visa service for U.S. applicants March 9.

What does the change mean? Eligible applicants may apply for certain visas at the British Consulate in New York and obtain a decision within 24 hours.

  • Implementation timeframe: March 9.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tourist and short-stay visa applicants; Tier 2 applicants, Tier 5 applicants, and Tier 4 (student) applicants who are residents in the U.S. The service is not available to settlement applicants, such as spouses of British citizens, or Tier 1 entrepreneur or investor applications, among others.
  • Who is affected: Applicants and their dependents in the above categories applying for visas to the U.K. through the British Consulate General in New York. Those applying for a tourist or short-stay visa or Tier 5 (Creative and Sporting) do not need to be residents of the U.S. All other applicants must be residents of the U.S. to qualify.
  • Impact on processing times: Super Priority visas will be processed within 24 hours.
  • Business impact: This is a flexible but pricey option for travelers who need a visa urgently. On top of standard visa fees based on the type of visa, applicants using Super Priority service will pay an additional US$936 fee, compared to the current US$150 for five-day priority service.
  • Next steps: Starting March 6, visa applicants will be able to schedule a biometrics appointment at the British Consulate when submitting and paying for their visa online at Applicants must then pay the additional Super Priority fee online at the VFS website before their appointment date. If approved, applicants will be able to pick up their passports within 24 hours after their appointment.

Background: The Super Priority visa service is already available to applicants in China and India, and the U.K. plans to extend it to other countries in the coming months.

BAL Analysis: Visa applicants interested in the Super Priority service should contact their BAL representative to confirm eligibility. Please note that paying for this service does not guarantee that any visa application will be approved. This expedited service also allows applicants to designate a representative to collect their passport, but the applicant must make the designation in writing at the time of application submission.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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