Petition Increase staffing to reduce waiting times for visas

We want the Government to increase staffing for visa processing so that urgent applications for Ukrainian refugees can be processed promptly without affecting waiting times of others who have paid and applied for other visas

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There are currently huge delays for many people who have paid substantial sums of money to apply for visas. Some applicants have been waiting for several months but have been told that applications have been delayed due to the situation in Ukraine. We believe this is not fair when we are paying for a service and have every right to a visa. Yes the Ukraine crisis is important, but they need to hire more staff to ensure other applicants are not adversely affected.

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Government responded

This response was given on 19 July 2022

Staff have been surged from across our operations and other government departments to assist across a range of visa routes, including the Ukraine schemes.

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In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, three new schemes were quickly developed to offer support to those fleeing the conflict.

The Ukraine Family Scheme, Homes for Ukraine Scheme and the Ukraine Extension Scheme were developed and delivered at exceptionally high speed and have received thousands of applications.

Staff were temporarily diverted away from other visa routes to be able to respond quickly to this humanitarian crisis and process the significant volume of applications as quickly as possible. We are also facing extremely high pressures globally as visa demand has significantly increased following the easing of travel restrictions.

The support provided by other government departments has allowed Home Office visa staff to return to processing other applications from across our operations.

Our GOV.UK website provides up-to-date information on our turnaround times for applications. We encourage customers to continue to refer to these updates as our performance changes on a regular basis. We continue to adapt and develop the processes we have in place to ensure they keep pace with the rapidly shifting situation on the ground and ensure we are as efficient as possible.

Whilst we are working at pace to process visas as quickly as possible, each application is considered on its own merits, and we continue to prioritise any urgent, compelling or compassionate cases.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visa-decision-waiting-times-applications-outside-the-uk

The number of Ukraine applications processed is updated regularly on GOV.UK and can be found here at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukraine-family-scheme-application-data/ukraine-family-scheme-and-ukraine-sponsorship-scheme-homes-for-ukraine-visa-data--2

More widely the Home Office is pursuing a programme of transformation and business improvement initiatives which will speed up decision making, reduce the time people spend in the system and reduce the numbers who are awaiting a decision. This includes increasing the number of staff making decisions and providing improved training and career progression opportunities to aid retention of experienced decision making staff.

Home Office

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