UK and IOM visa delays in the wake of the situation in Ukraine

The UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) Department is receiving a significantly high volume of UK visa applications from overseas. Since the invasion of Ukraine on 24th February 2022, the processing times for all applications have been notably increasing.

The UKVI has been justly prioritising the processing of UK visa applications from Ukrainians fleeing the invasion. This has inevitably caused delays for all other UK visa applicants.

All priority services in the UK for entry clearance applications under the work, study, and family routes have been temporarily suspended since mid-March 2022 and there is no indication of when these will resume. As the priority has been given to applications from Ukrainian nationals, UKVI is experiencing huge backlogs and announced heavy delays of all other visa applications.  The most notable increase in waiting times was announced on 11 May 2022, where the processing times for family route applications has doubled from 12 to 24 weeks.

The Isle of Man Cabinet Office has issued a guidance note indicating the current processing times, which are calculated from the date of receipt of all required supporting documentation by the Isle of Man Immigration Office and the correct fee being paid. The current processing times for an entry clearance permission has extended from 28 business days to 42 business days, this is in addition to the processing times by UKVI. Confirmation of Employment processing times have also increased to 14 business days.

Consideration for Employers and Potential Applicants

In view of the current situation, it is important that the employers are advised that the initial start dates may not be achievable due to the visa delays. The applicants (or their employer’s) should consider starting the visa application process as soon as practicable ahead of the intended start date, and to ensure that the correct documentation is collated and ready for submission.

Maria Bridson

Our Immigration Specialist and Senior Advocate Maria Bridson commented: “Employers recruiting Seasonal Workers to cover summer period vacancies need to be realistic in their expectations for start dates. We understand there are no similar delays with the issue of work permits for new employees who do not need visas.

It important to remember, that no flights or accommodation should be booked until the visa has been granted.”

If you have any queries regarding this article or require any immigration advice please contact our BridsonHalsall Immigration Team Maria Bridson or Evija Roberts, who will be happy to assist with any queries you may have.


BridsonHalsall Advocates
Havelock Chambers
16-18 Mount Havelock
Isle of Man
Telephone: +44 1624 614422