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It is not unusual during the peak period between July - September for the decision on student visa applications to take longer than the advertised timeframe. This page provides information if you are experiencing a delay in receiving the decision on an entry clearance visa application. 

Why is there a delay on my application?

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) advertise the following timeframes for a decision on an entry clearance student visa application. These timeframes are from enrolling biometrics and submitting your passport:

  • 15 working days using the standard service;
  • 5 workings days using priority service.

However, in the peak summer period, it can take longer owing to the huge volume of student visa applications submitted during this time.

Most decisions on student visa applications are made by UKVI from within the UK, who then communicate the decision to Visa Application Centres around the world. Once the decision has been made, there is a process for the vignette (entry permit) to be issued and placed in the passport, before being returned to the applicant. The logistics of this process can vary depending on where the vignette is printed, and can take time.

It is also possible an application may require further checks and you might receive an email advising the processing of your application has not been straightforward. This doesn’t necessarily indicate there are issues or that there is a risk of a refusal, but the process can include security and verification checks that may take longer depending on the application. If is also possible you could be contacted by UKVI by email to request further information or documentation. If this happens, you are advised to respond promptly although may wish to check with the International Student Office prior to taking action.  



What is the CAS ‘Used’ email?

When UKVI is considering your application, they should set your CAS status from ‘Assigned’ to ‘Used’. This status update is fed through to the University and our system sends an email to the student to provide this update, normally the following working day. The University is not notified of the decision outcome.

Students do not need to ask whether their CAS has been ‘Used’ – when the status changes this will automatically be sent to you.

It is over the advertised timeframe for a decision on my application – what can I do?

Unfortunately, there is very little you can do but wait for the decision. It can be frustrating not to have a timely decision, particularly as it approaches the time you had been planning to travel to the UK, but there isn’t a way to ask for the application decision to be made more urgently.

What can the University’s International Student Office do to help get a decision on my application?

The International Student Office receives many requests from students asking if we can contact UKVI to chase a decision on their application. Unfortunately, the University is limited in what it is able to do. There is no mechanism for us to ask UKVI to make a decision more quickly, and factors such as an approaching course start date or a booked flight is not normally taken into consideration by UKVI who will be following standard procedures in assessing the application and processing the visa.  

The International Student Office can request a status update from UKVI, but this is unlikely to speed up the decision process and the return of your passport. In addition, it is only possible for this to be requested once the application has taken significantly longer than the advertised decision timeframe. This would be considered 5 weeks from biometric enrolment for the standard service and 2 weeks for the priority service. If you have been waiting for a decision over these timeframes, contact the International Student Office to request a status update with UKVI. You will need to confirm in the email the date you enrolled your biometrics, whether you used the standard or priority service and that you give your consent for the University to contact UKVI about your application on your behalf. As outlined above, however, we would ask you to be aware that the University requesting a status update on your application will not mean a decision is automatically made. Responses requesting a status update are often quite general and may only advise the application is still in progress. In addition, a response from UKVI to a status update request can take up to week.