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United Kingdom Visa Processing Delays

On May 25, staff from NAFSA and The Forum on Education Abroad held a joint Zoom meeting with colleagues at UKVI based in New York.  Their staff reiterated that UKVI has temporarily suspended all priority and super priority processing for student and work visa categories to prioritize visas for Ukrainians fleeing war. While the wait may be longer than desired for our students’ visas, UKVI continues to process submitted visa applications as quickly as possible given the prioritization of Ukrainian refugees.

The recommendation to education abroad organizations and campus offices is to have your students apply for their visas early, up to six months before the program start date.  When applicable, students should request the Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) from their host institution as early as possible.

It is important to note that UK institutions cannot assist students who arrive without proper visas; if students choose to enter the UK on passports without the proper visas, they will be compelled to leave in order to obtain the proper visa. Students cannot obtain a student visa once in the United Kingdom.

Moving forward, NAFSA and The Forum will continue to collaborate on this issue, advocate for our communities, and provide updates when available.  Please note that UKVI staff will be attending the NAFSA 2022 Annual Conference and has specific plans to be present at the session “Education Abroad Visas: Critical Updates for Education Abroad Advisers” on June 2 at 4PM and the open meeting on A Dialogue on Education Abroad Visas on June 3 at 10:30AM.