In a move meant to positively address the steadily increasing global demand for UK immigrant visas, the British Embassy in Israel has instituted changes meant to vastly improve the entire settlement visa application process. The new rules became effective as of March 2008 and will allow more effective responses to the surge in demand for all UK settlement visas as well as all non-settlement visas.
The new processing rules affect applications for UK fiancee visas, marriage visasand unmarried partner visas. One of the more significant new developments is that the entire UK visa process will now be centralized for increased overall efficiency. The visa application process will be more standardized across the board. Responses to all UK immigration visas will be rendered after receiving equal treatment and assessment.
Notably, the new processes put into effect by the British Government mean that visa applications formerly processed at the British Consulate in Tel Aviv, will now be processed at the regional centre for British Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Anyone seeking to obtain a UK visa, whether they had previously dealt with the British Embassy in Tel Aviv or not, must be aware that this UK visa-issuing post is no longer authorised to adjudicate entry clearance applications.
In addition, same day visa application processing is no longer available. Applicants ought to be mindful of these new developments, planning in advance, in order to accommodate the new processing times.
The British Embassy reminds those wishing to bring family to the UK from Israel, that these changes only affect internal UK immigration procedures. All visa applications will still be accepted in Tel Aviv as usual. To make things even easier, the British Consulate there has initiated an on-line visa application process that should be used by all Israeli citizens wishing to come to the UK regardless of whether they are seeking short or long term leave.
After an application is submitted to the Embassy in Tel Aviv it will be sent to the British Consulate General in Istanbul. The UK entry clearance officers will consider each case individually. Once a decision has been rendered, determinations will be sent back to the British Consulate in Tel Aviv. Applicants will receive decisions on their applications directly from that office.
The new consolidated processing schemes incur no additional application fees. Applicants ought to expect that for typical, standard non-settlement visas, the processing time is ten working days or less. Processing times for complex applications, including those requiring extensive background security checks, are not expected to exceed fifteen working days. However, please be advised that those requesting settlement visas ought to expect that the visa application process may take up to three months. When calculating the amount of time your UK visa application will require, be sure to count only working week days and not weekends or government holidays. Applicants who are uncertain are advised to check government issued calendars for this information.