How Long Does It Take To Get A Family Visa In The UK?

Worker migrations are very often and they happen daily. Most migration happens due to work ties and others due to searching for a better place to live, a safer place, better schools and similar.

Migrations do not usually have to be tied to moving from one country to other. You can also migrate to cities in the same country but that is a bit different and we will talk about that some other time. Today we are talking about migrating to another country because of work or living and more to that, migration with your family if and when possible.

As most of you know, family migrations when you are searching for a job are nearly impossible. There are several things you need to do before you get the paperwork required to join families. First, you need to go to the country you want, find a job, hold it for some time and after you find accommodation required for the number of individuals in your family you can apply for the paperwork needed to join. Some changes are happening now and will be in power in 2024 and we will discuss it here but more detailed info on this can be found with the UK family visa.

As we managed to find out the UK Home Office is under consideration of making the process of decision and visa application quicker than it already is which is more than great news for all of you that plan to go there to work and travel as well as for those that are already there looking to join families. To make this happen on the 6th of December 2024 UKVI published service standards for waiting times for decisions on visa and immigration applications.

What has been a problem so far is that all of this took a while longer than usual because of the Ukrainian and Russian conflict where the UK government has dedicated time and resources to get in as much of Ukrainian refugees as possible. This was the culprit for longer waiting times on visas and family reunions and joining than it took usually. These are some geopolitical ties that need to be understood but it seems that the UK government and UKVI are making some adjustments to remedy these issues.


As far as we managed to find out the government has decided to gradually return to standard processing times for most visa categories and it has begun since the end of this year. As of now visa processing times for outside of the UK advise you to not book any travel to the UK until you get a decision on your application no matter which one it is. The waiting time for work or investment in the UK visa is coming back to its standard waiting time of 3 weeks. Study visas are also returning to standard 3-week processing time. As far as family visas are considered and if you are planning to settle in the UK as the spouse, partner or family member of someone who already has British citizenship or has already settled in the UK you should get a decision on your application within 24 weeks. For those that are applying as dependent on another applicant, you should receive your decision within the same period as the previous visa.

These are just some of the answers we managed to find out and they are still a bit scarce and not so conclusive. As far as we managed to pick up on this the UK government is on the course of normalizing visa applications for everyone inside or outside of the UK, and this will greatly change in 2024.


We know that working and family visas are the most important ones and that they interest you the most but we also have to mention visitor visas as well since they were impacted by the recent happenings in the world. As of now, the visitor visas have normalized a bit and they average 5 weeks to process but some of them may take a bit longer. The same time frame also applies to transit visa applications. They also took a while to process and get back to you but now it somewhat normalized and, again, around 5 weeks is a standard for now.

Those that are inside of the UK and are applying to extend their visa or switch to another category see an average higher processing times than the visas from overseas.

Work visas currently take 11 weeks on average to get a decision if you apply to extend or even switch to a different type of working visa. All other categories are being processed within the 8-week service standard. For those that are after a study visa you know how long you had to wait so far and how convoluted this was, but as of December this year you should usually get a decision within the 8-week service standard after you apply to switch or to extend a student or a child student visa.


For all of you that are applying to extend or to switch to a family visa you should usually get a decision on this within 8 weeks but there is some bad news if you are applying under a 10-year route to settlement or a 5-year parent route to a settlement because there are no standard processing times for application submitted as a parent, partner or based on your private life. The average wait time for this type of decision is around 11 months which is way too long and unordinary but we are getting info that they will work on this and work to reduce this waiting time.

So, as you can see it is still possible to get the family visa or any other visa for that matter and the times waiting on those have reduced significantly. Some of them are back to standard waiting times with an incline to go even shorter but some of them remain the same which is unfortunate. The UK Home office is working overtime on this to make things go smoother and as short as possible, but we all have to understand that there is a lot of instability and turmoil and we will have to adjust to what is happening. This will change and we are jet to see their plan for 2024 and how they will reduce these processing and waiting times.