For visa application made from within the UK, the UKVI's service standards on processing times is as follows:
Processing time: 8 weeks, for Customers applying to remain on a temporary basis including as spouses, workers, Tier 1 general and entrepreneurs, students and organisations seeking to sponsor a worker.
Our service standard processing times for standard applications will start when we receive your application.
For the specific visa that I have applied on July 01, 2020 (completed the online application, paid the fees, Immigration health surcharge etc.), I got a checklist of documents to submit, but also had the following wording:
You have chosen the standard service. You must now book and attend an appointment with our commercial partner to provide your documents and your biometrics (fingerprints and facial photograph). You can do this by logging back in to your application via the link in your confirmation email and continuing to our commercial partner's website from there, and you must do so before 02 September 2020.
You should receive a decision on your application within 8 weeks of submitting your on-line application. We will contact you if it will take longer to process your application. If you have any queries, visit our website https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi.
There is clearly a bit of confusion here. I am still waiting to obtain a biometrics appointment, but have uploaded the mandatory (and other) documents on the commercial partner's (Sopra Steria) website.
So, when does the 8-week timeframe begin. Does it begin:
- step 1 - Immediately after my online application is submitted and the fees and IHS surcharge paid?
- step 2 - After mandatory (and optional documents) are submitted)?
- step 3- After biometrics are also taken at Sopra Steria?
When they say that our service standard processing times for standard applications will start when we receive your application, does it mean the entire procedure up to and including biometrics, or just the online application? Also, is UKVI still holding the 8 weeks service standards (as of Aug 2020)? Most importantly, has a caseworker already started looking into my application yet?
I am asking these questions out of desperation because I cannot travel to my home country (India) while the visa application is pending and feel like a prisoner here whilst waiting for biometrics. I'd like to travel to India for - a) to be with my newborn baby, and b) to be with my parents who recently became quite ill.