How you track your passport after your UK visa is approved depends on how you applied for the visa itself. Note that once you have applied and your UK visa is approved, you can easily track your UK visa application status online using your passport number or your visa reference number.
However, visa processing time may vary from one applicant to another. Some applicants may get confirmation within a few weeks whilst others may have to wait for months. In addition, also note that the results will also vary based on the type of visa you are applying for and the portal/center where you submit your application form.
Agreeably, the exhausting wait to know the status of your visa can be frustrating. To reduce the frustration that comes with UK Visa waiting times, there are numerous ways to check and track the process of your visa.
Truth be told, the wait times for visa applications made from outside the UK will quite shorter than for in-country applications, although you might still be permitted to stay in the UK pending any decision from UK visa and immigration, as long as you applied to extend your leave to remain or switch to another category before your existing visa expires.
UKVI stipulates the standard processing times for applications on its website by its customer charter. It is important to note that the guide times provided are not a guarantee, and the time it will take to process your UK visa application will depend on whether you have applied to either come to or remain in the UK. The category of visa that you are applying for may also influence your application wait times.
Ways to Track Passport After UK Visa is Approved
Tracking the progress of your passport can be very vital to help you plan, especially when you are time-pressured for a decision. Below is how UK visa applicants can check the status of their passport, whether you have applied to extend an existing visa or be moved to a new category of visa from within the UK, or you are applying for entry clearance or leave to enter the UK from another country.
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Checking your Status Inside the UK
Note that most Visa applications submitted from inside the UK are to extend an existing visa or be moved to a new category of visa. All these applications will have to be made via the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS), have in mind that applicants do not get a decision at their UKVCAS appointment.
The UKVI as a division of the Home Office tasked with the UK’s visa system will have to allocate your application to a specific case worker for a decision to be made. From inside the UK, you can simply visit the GOV.UK website to find updates from UKVI on visa processing in general.
You cannot presently track your visa application or passport online, but you can still leverage an online tool to get information on the exact department to contact for your particular inquiries. You will be expected to answer a couple of questions about your application when using this tool, such as the case reference number assigned when you applied. Aside from that, you can contact the exact UKVI department by telephone.
The contact center (0300 123 2241) is available from Monday to Thursday, between 9 am to 4:45 pm, and on Fridays between 9 am to 4:30 pm. Note that you can always make inquiries about the status of your application, and track your UK visa application UK. Also, note that the contact center staff may not advise about your circumstances or how these will impact the outcome of your application.
Checking your Status Outside the UK
When you apply for a visa from outside the UK, you will have to visit a visa application center in your country of residence to provide your biometric information, coupled with some other vital documents in support of your application.
However, just as with in-country visa applications, you will not get a decision on your application at your appointment. Instead, you will be required to wait for a decision from UKVI. You can choose to contact UKVI staff with a question about your passport on 00 44 203 481 1736.
This line is open Monday to Friday, 24 hours, for £1.37 per minute in addition to the local standard network charges. You can also use the UKVI online tool at: www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk. However, according to experts, going via the email route can be the best option for how to check your UK visa application status, as your email inquiry is more likely to be directed to the officer handling your particular application.
Have it in mind that email inquiries each cost £5.48; however, you won’t be charged for any follow-up emails concerning the same inquiry.
You will also be expected to provide a credit or debit card to use this service, where you will be asked to enter your payment details before sending your email, but you will not be charged until your message has been sent. UKVI will most often reply within 2 days, except on Saturdays, Sundays, and UK public holidays. But, if your message is urgent, you should consider using the phone at the contact center instead.
What Do You Need to Track Your Passport?
To track your passport after your UK visa has been approved, you will need at least one of the following information;
Coupled with all the security information noted in a passport, it’s the passport number that ties it directly to an individual. The passport number is more or less a code that’s kept in the government’s database. Your passport number will definitely contain numbers and letters.
Your Case Identification Number or ‘Case ID’
You can find this on all letters you have received from the Home Office and should be an 8-digit number, for example, 12345678.
Payment Reference Number
Once you have submitted payment for your application, you will definitely receive a payment reference number that you can use to track the status of your UK visa application and your passport. This number should have this format: AG1234567890/123
Your Unique Application Number
This is a 16-digit number that can also be found on all letters and emails you receive from UKVI.
Your Biometric Residence Permit Number
This number can be found on your biometric residence permit and it is a combination of letters and numbers.
Your Immigration Health Surcharge number
For applicants who had to pay the NHS immigration health surcharge when making their application, you must have received a number after payment. It will also be a combination of numbers and letters in the following format, IHS123456789
The Home Office always state the average processing time for each type of visa they handle. Note that applications void of issues concerning information and payments will be processed within the standard timescale of 1 to 5 working days especially if you use the priority or super-priority/premium services.