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Check Visa Status UK: Track your application
8 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

Setting off for the UK? The first step is getting your UK Visa sorted and waiting for approval. Embark on your adventure to the United Kingdom with ease by mastering the UK Visa process.

It's not just about applying for your United Kingdom Visitor Visa; tracking your application is crucial, too. This guide offers a straightforward approach to monitoring your UK Visa status, shedding light on official procedures, and navigating any challenges that might come up during the process.

Prepare for an unforgettable journey with all the essential information at your fingertips!

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Importance of tracking your United Kingdom Visa status

Embark on a seamless voyage to the United Kingdom by staying ahead in the visa process. Monitoring your UK Visa status isn't just a formality; it's a pivotal step in ensuring your journey unfolds smoothly.

Monitoring your UK Visa status also helps you stay informed about any updates or requests from the UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) authorities. It ensures prompt response to any additional documentation or information they may require to process your application.

Step-by-step guide: How to check your UK visa application status

You'll need specific details to track your UK Visa application status. Here's a rundown of what you may require:

  • Personal info: You might have to fill out your basic info, like your first name, last name, nationality, date of birth, and the email you used in the visa application.

  • Passport number: The passport number you use when applying for your UK visa is crucial. It's another way to confirm your identity and access your UK Visa application status.

  • Visa type: To track your immigration application progress, you must confirm the category of UK Visa or immigration path you applied for.

  • Application dates: It’s essential to provide the date you submitted your visa or immigration application.

  • Application location: If you're checking the status of a UK Visa application submitted abroad, you'll need to specify the location of the visa application center.

  • GWF reference number: This unique 9-digit (GWFxxxxxxxxx) reference number is assigned to your application file. You may need it to check your application status.

  • Application reference number: Depending on the type of visa you applied for, you might also have received a unique 16-digit (xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx) application reference number. If you have one, enter it when tracking your UK Visa application status.

  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) Reference Number (if applicable): If you paid the Immigration Health Surcharge, you may be asked for your IHS number when tracking your UK Visa application decision.

Ensure you have all this info before attempting to check your UK Visa application status. Having everything ready will help you avoid unnecessary delays and make it easier to access the information you require swiftly.

How to check your visa status from outside the UK

Here’s how you can check your UK Visa status from outside the country:

  1. On the VFS Global Website

  • Go to the VFS Global site.

  • Choose the visa center location where you provided your biometric data.

  • Click 'Track your application' on the visa center's page.

  • Select 'Track your visa application status online.'

  • Enter your reference number and last name.

  • Click 'Submit' and view your application status.

  1. On the TLS contact Website

  • Check your email from UK Visas and Immigration.

  • Use the link in the email to sign in on GOV.UK.

  • Click 'Provide Documents and Biometrics,' then 'Continue' to reach TLS contact.

  • Select 'Track' for real-time updates on your application.

  1. On the UKVI Website (Paid Service)

  • Visit the official UK Government website.

  • Click 'Start' and 'General Enquiry' on the next page.

  • Complete the online form and mention your application status query.

  • Proceed to enter payment details and click 'Submit.' You'll get a response within 5 days (except on weekends).

  1. Contact UKVI by phone

  • Call +44 (0)300 790 6268, select option 1.

  • The line is open 24 hours daily, Mondays to Fridays.

  • Calls cost extra on top of your standard network charges.

  • If you can't dial UK 0300 numbers, use +44 (0)203 875 4669.

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How to check your visa status from inside the UK

You can use the channels we mentioned before, but in this case, it’ll be easier to contact UKVI by telephone.

You can call the UKVI contact center by telephone at 0300 790 6268 and select option 2 for more details on your UK Visa status.

They are available from Monday to Thursday (excluding bank holidays), 9 am to 4:45 pm, and Friday (excluding bank holidays), 9 am to 4:30 pm.

The meaning of the different UK Visa status updates

Let's explore the different UK Visa statuses that you may encounter during your visa application:

  • Application Received: Your application has been successfully received by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) office and is in the queue for processing.

  • Application Under Consideration: UKVI reviews your application and verifies the information.

  • Processing: This means UKVI is still processing your application. It could take several weeks or even months, depending on the type of UK Visa.

  • Visa Granted (Approved): Your visa application has been approved. You’ll receive more info about how to pick up your visa and more (if applicable) by email soon.

  • Visa Refused: Unfortunately, your application wasn’t approved. You’ll be able to view the details of the rejection online.

  • Issued: A visa vignette will be placed in your passport after your visa is approved. The visa vignette will state the duration and conditions of your stay. Remember to check all the details carefully to ensure they match the information you offered in your UK Visa application.

Types of UK Visas: Immigrant and nonimmigrant categories

The UK offers a range of visas categorized into immigrant (also known as settlement visas) and nonimmigrant (also known as temporary visas or leave to remain) categories.

Find an overview below!

Nonimmigrant (Temporary) Visas for the United Kingdom

Here are the different types of short-stay visas for the UK:

  • Tourist Visa (Standard Visitor Visa): This visa allows travelers to visit the UK for tourism or to visit family and friends. It’s typically granted for stays of up to 6 months.

  • Student Visa (Tier 4 or Student Route): Intended for international students pursuing a full-time course in the UK. The duration depends on the length of the course.

  • Temporary Work Visa (Tier 5): For people participating in temporary work, including youth mobility and creative and sporting categories.

Immigrant (Settlement) Visas for the United Kingdom

Here are the different types of immigrant visas for the UK:

  • Family Visa: This visa was created for spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, parents, and children of British citizens or settled persons, allowing them to settle in the UK.

  • Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR): Also known as settlement, ILR grants individuals permanent residency in the UK. It's typically available after several years of legal residence.

  • Ancestry Visa: As an immigrant category, this visa allows Commonwealth citizens with a UK-born grandparent to settle in the UK.

  • Refugee and Asylum Seeker Status: Granted to people fleeing persecution, conflict, or danger in their home country. It provides protection and a pathway to settlement.

  • Investor Visa (Tier 1 Investor): For high-net-worth citizens willing to invest a significant amount in the UK, leading to settlement.

  • Entrepreneur Visa (Tier 1 Entrepreneur): For those looking to establish or take over a business in the UK, eventually leading to settlement.

  • Work Visa (Tier 2 or Skilled Worker Visa): For skilled workers offered employment in the UK. The duration varies based on the specific job offer.

Addressing common issues with the UK Visa application: Troubleshooting guide

Here’s a short guide with some of the most common issues regarding the UK Visa application status. Take note of these so you can obtain your visa without issues before your trip:

Application delays:

  • Issue: Visa processing is taking longer than expected.

  • Solution: Check standard processing times online, and contact UKVI for updates on your UK Visa application status, as in the above examples, if necessary.

Visa refusal

  • Issue: UK Visa application refusal.

  • Solution: Review refusal reasons, seek legal advice if needed, or reapply with corrections.

Biometric enrollment problems

  • Issue: Biometric data issues at the UK Visa application center.

  • Solution: Contact VAC for assistance or rescheduling if requested.

Document authentication

  • Issue: You submitted documents in another language than English.

  • Solution: Get certified translations and copies, and follow the official UK government website guidelines.

Online application errors

  • Issue: Errors during the online application on the website.

  • Solution: Check if all information is correctly filled out, try different devices or browsers, and seek help from the contact center if needed

Communication with UKVI

  • Issue: Difficulty in contacting UKVI (government).

  • Solution: Use official contact details, be persistent, and consider emailing for non-urgent inquiries.

Appointment availability

  • Issue: Limited appointment slots for dropping off documents or interviews.

  • Solution: Apply well in advance and regularly check back for cancellations for earlier dates.

Use our simplified UK Visa application process for help with your application, and we’ll handle the appointment scheduling on your behalf!, and

Legal aspects of the UK visa status check: Your rights and obligations

Checking your UK Visa status is an important part of the immigration process when traveling to the UK, so you should be aware of certain rights and obligations.


  • Right to check UK Visa status: As an applicant, you have the right to check your UK Visa status at all times. This means there is a way to monitor the progress of your UK Visa application and know where it stands in the processing timeline.

  • Access to information: You have the right to access information related to your UK Visa application, including any decisions made by the immigration authorities. This information is usually provided through official channels such as websites or helplines.

  • Appeal and review rights: If your visa application is refused, you generally have the right to appeal or request a review of the decision, depending on the visa category and the specific grounds for refusal. These appeal rights can vary, so it's important to understand your options.


  • Provide accurate information: your legal obligation is to provide accurate and truthful information in your visa application. Misrepresentation or providing false information can lead to severe consequences, including visa refusal or even bans from future applications.

  • Follow visa conditions: Once you receive your visa, you must adhere to the specified conditions. This may include restrictions on work, study, or residency duration. Failing to comply with these conditions could result in visa cancellation or deportation.

  • Comply with immigration laws: You are legally obligated to comply with the immigration laws and regulations of the country where you are applying for a visa. This includes abiding by the visa application process and any requirements set by the immigration authorities.

  • Respect visa expiry dates: It's crucial to know your visa's expiry date and plan to leave the country before it expires or apply for an extension if allowed. Overstaying a visa severely violates immigration laws and can lead to penalties or future visa denials.

  • Report changes: If there are changes in your circumstances, such as a change of address or marital status, you are typically required to report these changes to the immigration authorities to keep your records accurate and up-to-date.

Where to find more information about the UK Visa application?

Have a question or need assistance with your UK visa application? Our dedicated support team is here to help! Contact us now through our online chat or email us at [email protected].

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