Hot off the Press – UK Priority Visa for South Africans

The UK Border Agency has introduced a priority UK Visa service for people in South Africa.

Passport Plane Ticket

For an additional fee, you can opt to have your UK Visa application processed ahead of others should you need to travel to the UK at the last minute. It must be noted that only a limited number of priority UK Visas will be sold on a daily basis – it’s on a first come, first serve basis.

How to apply for a Priority Visa?

  • Only those applying for the UK Visitor’s Visa can have their application prioritized
  • Complete the usual UK Visa application form online
  • Setup your appointment at your closest VFS Global Visa Application Centre. They can be found in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth
  • As of 17 November 2011, the cost of the UK priority Visa is R675 – this payment is made over and above the cost of the UK Visa (currently R1026 for the short term UK General Visitor’s Visa) and must be done at the VFS Application Centre by Debit/CC (Visa & MasterCard accepted)

This new service from the UK Border Agency does not guarantee your UK Visa application will be successful. In other words, you must meet all the requirements of UK immigration and have all the required, legit documents with you at the time of applying.

Extended processing time can occur if…

  • You’ve been refused a UK Visa before
  • You’ve been refused entry to the UK before
  • You’ve been deported or removed from the UK
  • You’ve previously overstayed your Visa
  • You’ve been refused a Visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States of America or any of the Schengen countries
  • You’ve been convicted in any country

How long does the UK Visa take?

As per usual there’s no clarity from the UK Border Agency as to how long the Visa takes to process. From experience I can tell you normal applications (without priority), usually take anything from 5 – 15 working days. With the UK priority Visa service you can expect your passport back in less than 5 days. Let us know (in the comments below) your experiences of the priority UK Visa.

Photos: Ian Kershaw & Jk5854

Our Readers Comments

  1. I received the media release about this six days ago. Your article is hardly “hot off the press” is it?

    • Hi Theresa, we received the news this week regarding the express visa and published it as soon as we had a moment to do so. We also schedule our blogs to keep a constant stream of new stories for our readers who subscribe. Well done on picking up this article so early after it’s release though, it’s being hot on the heels of the latest news which makes journalists like yourself so good at what you do.

  2. Hardly doing us a favor. The normal visa (and I have had several) takes between 5-6 days, if not less, now they want to screw us for an extra R675 for one or two days priority. Fine if you get it same day, but you may as well wait than spend more money. This is a huge money-making racket.

  3. About time! Never know when there is an emergency over seas.

  4. When my son and I went to the UK in December 2010 we realised that his passport did not have the 6 months required and he had to apply for a passport and a visa in 2 weeks…we got the visa 3 days after application…. so it can be done!

  5. hi. How r u? Im forener . Im stay in south africa now. I got t.r.p . So can i apply for any pacage ture? And i like2 ture . If is possible 2 for me ture any country just feed back 2 me please

    • Hi Ruhul, thanks for getting in touch. It’s probably best to chat to our consultants for advice on 0861 878 278 (extension 5)

  6. Hello, any one with personal experience on how long it ACTUALLY takes to get their passports back when applying for UK visa in Durban? We made an application on 26/03/2012, and desperately need our passports back by latest 04/04/2012. We have an appointment in JHB for French Schenegn visas, that cannot be delayed any further since departure date is 26/04/2012.

    Any advice please…we’re stressing out like mad 🙁

  7. We are submitting our Priority UK Visa applications on 30th April 2012 and keeping the faith that we will have them back on Wednesday 2nd May to travel on Thursday. We look forward to providing you with positive feedback on Wednesday afternoon.

    Kind regards,
    Masekele

  8. Hi I would like to ask how long will it take to process my Visa as its my first time travelling out of South africa and I’m needed in the UK asap?

  9. Hi

    Myself and my husband are leaving next week
    And Saturday 22 Junefor the UK. We applied
    Last week and friday the 7th June for our
    Visa. Today the 14th I received a sms stating
    Our visa application is under process at the
    British embassy. I’m stressed out as we only
    Have 4 days left because Monday is a public
    Holiday. Will it comes by then.

  10. Hi,..
    This chat room is a very interesting one…I applied for a visitor visa to u.k since th 12th of June, I planned to spend my in europe and come back in the end of July,..but I’m surprised…I still haven’t got any news of my application and won’t even be able to apply for a schengen visa
    Very disappointed of the service…I thought it was within 15 working days as wrote in the uk visa site…really!!! Pffff…

  11. Hi,..
    This chat room is a very interesting one…I applied for a visitor visa to u.k since th 12th of June in cape town, South Africa, I planned to spend my in europe and come back in the end of July,..but I’m surprised…I still haven’t got any news of my application and won’t even be able to apply for a schengen visa
    Very disappointed of the service…I thought it was within 15 working days as wrote in the uk visa site…really!!! Pffff…

  12. I am entitled too an ancestral visa and would like to know how soon and at what cost this can be obtained. My partner and i have been together for 5 and a half years and I believe he will also qualify. Your comments will be appreciated

  13. I applied for a priority UK visa on Wednesday 11th July and need it back by monday 16th to tavel to the UK

    The price is now R1000 for this service and we cannot be guarenteed this will work

    i think that if you have to pay R1350 for a Visa plus R1000 for priority, they should make an effort to process asap.

    lets see if this is just a money making scam…. we are now on day 3

  14. Catch 22 situation. Death in family means I need to get to UK ASAP. Handed in the application in Cape Town at 09:00 on Monday morning and paid the R1000 priority fee. I have received no SMS reports on progress and the online tracking option shows only that it has been accepted (in Cape Town)for processing. Will I have it back by Friday or should I hassle them? Is there any way of doing a provisional booking for a flight?

    • Hi Rose. I have a friend whose very close relative has been diagnosed with a life threatening illness n needs an emergency visa how does he go about this Then close relative hasvery short time to live

  15. I sent an email to the Help desk (info@vfs-uk-za.com) and received a response within two hours. They have referred my query to the Britsh Hight Commission, who will assist me further. So I am hopeful.

    • Oops! British High Commission.

  16. It was 4 days only

  17. Hello, Everyone:) I Need Help URGENTLY Please! My Mother and I want to get to the UK to live there- either in with her brother who will give her a job or my Best Friend’s Family who moved there some months ago. Now, we want to Move there By March, April and my mom sent her brothers there a long time ago on an ancestrol Visa (Her Grandmother used to be a citizen but has no passed on) and now we NEED to apply for a Visa Soon and get our passports. I will be 16 in March and I Really would like to know asap where we get Visas, How much they are, How long it takes and if I can travel on my Mothers Visa. Thank You!
    Any answers will be appreciated

    • Hi Justine,

      Immigration is a complicated beast and will depends on many more things than what you have mentioned above.

      You should find some answers here: http://www.vfs-uk-za.com/

      Hope that helps 🙂

  18. Hi There,

    How much does a UK Anchestra Visa cost and how much is your fee?

  19. hello i want to know what and what do i need to have before i can go for applying visa process ??

  20. Hi I am off to London on Sunday the 15th of June. I applied for my visa on the 5th. It isnt ready yet. How do I get a visa by tomorrow? I have emailed and nobody has replied. I didnt know about doing it priority as Im not a big traveller.

    • The best thing to do is to go into the embassy personally and see what they can do. As you mentioned a priority visa would have been the better option. Fingers crossed they have it ready for you.

    • @Michelle, did you manage to get your passport in time? Did you travel to the embassy to get it resolved?

  21. hi, I fly on the 17 july, how can I get my visa sped up, R1800 for a priority visa so extremely steep. I stay in Durban, cost of going to Pretoria, cost of normal visa already paid, plus priority visa is just crazy. anything I can do from DBN?

  22. Hi,

    Is it possible to get an emergency UK visa? I need to attend a meeting in London on Monday the 14th July?

  23. I applied for priority visa on 14 July 2014 its been 10 days now and no feedback on the visa ,I honestly don’t know what to do,plus the tracking number given doesn’t work.

  24. PLEASE UPDATE THIS PAGE ITS TALKING ABOUT YEARS OLD HISTORY.

  25. Do you need ticket details when applying for the uk visa?

    • Hello Desiree, thank you for contacting us. As far as we know, you can have a booking for your dates to show them the time you wish to fly, and not necessary the tickets. For more information, you can contact Rose Visa for assistance with this: http://bit.ly/1Bb1J7k, Almene

  26. My flight is one week from the visa appointment. According to this article I can pay and extra R675 at the appointment. But on the new Teleperformance site it says I have to book a special Priority appointment, however there is no such option when you book your appointment… according to teleperformance you then have to go to their site and pay 100 GBP before the appointment. please help!

    • Hello Jaco, please contact Rose Visa, they will be able to give you more information as well as assistance with this – you can call them here: 086 123 8472 – Almene

    • Hi Jaco, what did you end up doing about your visa? I applied of my Uk ancestry visa on Monday 02 Feb and my flight is on the 22nd of feb. I hope I will get it within 15 working days!?

  27. Hi Jaco,

    When you’ve purchased the Priority option online at Teleperformance, you will be sent a receipt via email immediately. Take the receipt with you to your appointment so it can be sighted and attached, and your documents can be processed on priority basis.

  28. I need to travel back to SA from the UK to apply for a UK settlement visa for my daughter. It is extremely time sensitive! Can anyone tell me how long one has to wait for an appointment once the visa application has been completed ?

  29. Hi there

    I am Living in SA and decided today that I want to visit the UK over xmas time
    I can however only go now in December
    so obviously id need my VISA way before then so I can book and go

    is this a long shot? or is it still do able?

  30. Hi,

    An opportunity to travel to the UK (my first overseas trip!) has come up very suddenly. I was planning to go to France in April, but instead circumstances have changed and instead I am planning to go to London for 9 days in mid-January. First of all, being the Christmas season and all, do you think I will be able to get a visa in time? I fly on 16 Jan 2015. I would rather NOT have to pay for a priority visa, but if I have to I will.

    Also, the visa application asks about where you will be staying – does this need to be a fixed, paid-for accommodation, or is it just an indication of your plans?

    Please help! Instead of being excited,I am feeling very very stressed!

    • Hi Amy,

      Great to hear from you!

      There’s no official time-frame mentioned anywhere but you should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. We do suggest for Christmas and the British summer months, its best applying a little longer in advance, 1 to 2 months before you depart to ensure your application proceeds smoothly with all the correct documents and you get it back in time for your trip.

      You will either need a letter of invitation from your host or confirmation of your hotel bookings you will be staying at. It states on their GOV.UK website

      * details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans – you shouldn’t pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa

      (there are also a few other important documents which will need to be presented when applying for your visa)

      Below you will find two useful links which will give you the most up to date information of what official documents are required when going for your appointment along with the whole visa process and payment.

      http://www.ge2za.tpcontact.co.uk/process

      and a 2nd useful link is: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

      Best to have a look at both of them and it will give so much information and hopefully put your mind at ease.

      Best of luck Amy!

  31. Hi,

    My husband and I planning on taking a vacation to London early next year, since we will be travelling with our kids aged 11 and 7, is the fee charged per application/head?

    • Hi Zama, yes the fee is per person, currently it’s R1536 per applicant.

  32. I am still waiting for my passport and plan to leave for the UK in April. I need to book both a UK and Schengen visa. So, when it comes to booking an appointment for my UK visa, should I wait until I have my passport? Or is their availability fairly flexible for bookings. A bit of a catch22, I’m afraid I book now and then don’t have my passport in time or wait to book and then run out of time.

    • Hi Andon, thanks for reaching out. When applying online for a UK visa they should be asking for your passport details (passport number, expiry date etc) You will not be able to complete the application form until you have these details.
      I would suggest you contact Rose (Republic of Service Excellence) they specialize in visa applications as they would also be able to give you the most up to date information.

      Johannesburg Regional Office
      Tel: 0100015060
      Email: jean@visaservice.co.za
      MainWeb: http://www.visaservice.co.za
      DirectWeb: http://www.rosejnb.co.za

      Best of Luck!

  33. Morning is it possible to apply for your ancestors visa without going though a agent?

    • Hi Jolene,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      This should be possible. I would suggest you contact the British Consulate directly and they will be able to advise you on the correct procedures to follow.

      Their contact details are as follows:

      British Consulate in Cape Town
      Address: 15th Floor Southern Life Centre 8 Riebeeck Street , 8001 Cape Town
      Tel: 27 (0) 21 405 2400

      British Consulate in Pretoria
      Address: 255 Hill Street, Arcadia, 2 Pretoria
      Tel: 27 (0) 12 421 7500

      Have a great day!

  34. Hi. How much does it cost for a priority visa! & is this an additional cost, on top of the cost for the visitor’s visa?

    • Hi Kumari,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      As this post was posted in 2011 these charges have since changed.

      I would suggest you contact the British Embassy or Visa Box, they also assist with UK visa applications and might be able to shed some light
      You can ask to speak to Emilio or Andrea

      British Consulate

      Tel: 27 (0) 21 405 2400

      or

      Visa Box

      Tel: 27 (0) 21 551 8829

  35. Hi guys my Father is dying I need to get to him asap paid for a priority visa application has been received how long now ? My dad hasn’t got long … I’m worried I won’t make it in time pls advise

    • Hi Carmen,

      Thanks for getting in touch and sorry to hear of this sad news.

      I would suggest contacting the British Embassy direct as they are the ones issuing the visa’s and would be able to give the correct information on the waiting time.

      Best of luck and hope your visa is approved in time.

  36. I will be applying for the Uk student visa soon, I am a South African living in South Africa & have received an unconditional offer at a university in London, CAS will be issued next month, I need some clarity on funding: Do I need to pay for my tuition fees in full upfront before applying for the visa? and Maintenance: Do I need to supply them with a 6 months bank statement to show that the funds in my account belong to me or do they only require a 30 days statement? Is there any further documents I need to include on this regard? If anybody here has ever applied for this kind of visa in the past, I would greatly appreciate their input…

    • Hi Dawn,

      Thanks for contacting us and the interesting question.

      Sounds like a great opportunity.

      I’m afraid I would not be able to answer your question with regards to applying for a student visa and receiving an unconditional offer at a university in the UK.

      I would suggest you contact the British Embassy who would be granting the visa and see what all information is required from their side when applying for a student visa under those terms.

      Also the following link should provide you with further information:

      https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

      British Consulate in Cape Town
      Address: 15th Floor Southern Life Centre 8 Riebeeck Street , 8001 Cape Town
      Tel: 27 (0) 21 405 2400

      British Consulate in Pretoria
      Address: 255 Hill Street, Arcadia, 2 Pretoria
      Tel: 27 (0) 12 421 7500
      Fax: 27 (0) 12 421 7555

      Best of Luck!

  37. Hi everyone, has anyone applied for a UK priority visa lately? How much was it? What’s the process cause I just found out about it, after I had booked my appointment at the embassy which is tomorrow. Can I still pay for a priority? How long did it take to issue.

    Please advise as I’m losing my mind in panic. Need to travel first week of July

    • Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid I am not sure if one is permitted to change this after your appointment has been booked. I suggest you contact Teleperformance LTD the official handling agency for UK visas or the British Embassy and they should be able to answer any queries you might have.

      Tel: (021) 300 3758 or 00 44 1243 218 173. These numbers are a paid service so there is a charge of £1.37 per minute over and above your network charges.

      British Consulate in Cape Town
      Address: 15th Floor Southern Life Centre 8 Riebeeck Street , 8001 Cape Town
      Tel: 27 (0) 21 405 2400

      British Consulate in Pretoria
      Address: 255 Hill Street, Arcadia, 2 Pretoria
      Tel: 27 (0) 12 421 7500
      Fax: 27 (0) 12 421 7555

  38. Hi there,am a Zimbabwean,living in SA,i would like to apply for UK visitors visa,is it possible?if it is,what documents do I need to have?thanks in advance….

    • Hi Beauty,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Yes it is possible to apply for a UK visa, however I’m afraid I won’t be able to advise you on the visa requirements for Zimbabwean passport holders as we specialize in South African travelers.

      You would need to contact the Embassy or the official visa handling agency and they will be able to assist with the requirements and any queries you might have.

  39. Hi. Im heading to the UK for the world cup rugby (Go Bokke!). My flight leaves on the 17th of September. Here is the problem. I’m having to travel unexpectedly prior to my trip to the UK so I have been forced to delay my UK visa application because I couldn’t be without my passport for too long of a period. I am only back in SA on the 10th of September. Will I have enough time to get my visa? And is there any tips (Going to PTA instead of JHB) that can speed the process up further? I have never been denied a visa and have a valid schengen and american visa currently.

    • Hi Dewald, thanks for reaching out. You must be very excited for the trip! 7 days, I must be honest with you, is a very short time to apply for a visa in, currently on average they come back within 10-15 days. That being said, you can pay a rush fee to get the visa back within about 5 days, it costs over R2000 usually though on top of your existing visa fee and it’s not a 100% guarantee that you’ll get the visa unfortunately. Here are some details to check with the processing centres:

      https://uk.tlscontact.com/za/cpt/splash.php

      and then for UK border agency directly: https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-outside-uk

      I don’t think it will make too much difference if you apply through the Pretoria or the Joburg office as they’re both going to send the passport to the High Commission in Pretoria for processing.

  40. Our family will be traveling to the US, via Virgin Airlines in Dec/Jan. On our return from the US, in January 2016, we’ll be in transit in London for 12 hours, and would like to do an open topped bus tour during that period. What kind of a visa do we need for that, and what till this cost? Thanks

    • Hi Hannetjie,

      Thanks for contacting us and your question.

      REQUIREMENTS:
      • Valid passport (make sure there are 2 blank pages in the passport – these pages do not have to be consecutive)
      • Completed and signed visa application form
      • Supporting documents (It is recommended to submit originals along with photocopies of all supporting documents)
      • Proof of payment of the visa fee as per the purpose of travel
      • Two clear, passport sized (45mmX35mm), colour photographs.
      Applying for the visa is a simple 6 stage process:
      1. Make the application online through http://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk
      2. Make an appointment online to give your biometrics
      3. Submit your visa application and pay your visa application fee
      4. Visit the visa application centre to submit your application and biometrics
      5. Wait for a decision
      6. Collect your passport
      PLEASE NOTE: You should complete and submit the visa application form online and then schedule your online appointment before you visit the visa application centre. All applicants are required to come in person to submit their visa application and biometrics. We cannot accept the visa application if the applicant has not applied online, or if the applicant does not come into the visa application centre personally. Please note that the appointment dates are computer generated. The applicant may select the available date on the website as per his/her convenience.

      COST :
      The fee is approx R1320.00 for a tourist visa for up to 6 months.

  41. I have my flight tickets & accomodation, I’m leaving for UK on Thursday for 5 days. I tried to do apply for Visa online and it says I must pay R8400 for IHS, I don’t mind paying for priority but this money is too much. My appointement is tomorrow 12H00 but I don’t have proof of payment. Please help.

    • Hi Thabiso,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Unfortunately we do not have control over visa fees from the official visa handling agency.

      You will need to take this up directly with them. That does seem quite an exorbitant amount to pay for a priority visitors visa. Usually it is only around and additional R2000.

      I suggest you contact the agency before to see if they can shed some further light and answer any queries you might have.

  42. Must I book a plane ticket before I attend my visa appointment?

    • Hi Lee-Ann,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      When applying for a UK visa, they do not require you to provide proof of a purchased air ticket. It is your choice should you with to submit one with your visa application.

      Please find below further information on the procedure for a South Africa passport holder applying for a UK visa.

      This information should be used as a guide only. Please confirm requirements with the consulate or embassy.

      South African passport holders require a visa in order to visit or transit the United Kingdom.

      Customers will no longer be able to submit their UK visa application and biometrics through VFS. A company called TELEPERFORMANCE LTD has been awarded the contract. The website address is : https://uk.tlscontact.com
      Tel: (021) 300 3758 or 00 44 1243 218 173. These numbers are a paid service so there is a charge of £1.37 per minute over and above your network charges. It is therefore necessary to have a valid credit/debit card ready to process payment.
      Office hours for the Application centers are: 0900-1700 Mon-Fri

      With immediate effect, children under the age of 5 years old are now required to attend the Visa Application Center to complete the application process. It is now mandatory for them to have their photo taken at the VAC. These changes do not affect applications that have already been submitted.

      Cape Town
      UK Visa Application Centre
      Upper Ground Floor
      Media Quarter Building
      Corner of De Smidt Street and Somerset Road
      De Waterkant

      Durban
      UK Visa Application Centre
      3rd floor, Office Tower Atrium
      Ovaport City
      Berea Street
      430 Peter Mokaba Ridge
      Durban

      Johannesburg
      UK Visa Application Centre
      3rd floor, 24 Central
      6 Gwen Lane
      Corner of Gwen and Fredman Drive
      Sandown, Sandton

      Port Elizabeth
      UK Visa Application Centre
      Ground Floor
      Building 66, Fairview Office Park
      Greenacres
      Port Elizabeth 6045

      Pretoria
      UK Visa Application Centre
      1st Floor, Menlyn Corner
      Frikkie De Beer Street
      Corner of Lois and Atterbury Road
      Menlyn
      Pretoria

      Visa Application Centre Hours
      8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday (Except for Public Holidays)
      Passport Return Window Hours : 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday (Except for Public Holidays)

      ISSUING AUTHORITY:
      British High Commission, Visa Section
      PRY Liberty Life Place, Block B,
      Ground Floor Glyn Street,
      between Pretorius & Schoeman Sts,
      Hatfield, PRETORIA, 0083.
      PO Box 13611, Hatfield, 0028
      Tel: (012) 421-7500
      Fax: (012) 421-7888

      Passport Section opening hours:
      Mon – Thur: 08h00 – 13h15
      Fri: 08h00 – 12h00
      Passport enquiries:
      E-mail: pta.passportenquiries@fco.gov.uk

      Passport Telephonic enquiries:
      Mon – Thur: 07h45 – 15h45
      Fri: 07h45 – 13h00

      REQUIREMENTS:
      • Valid passport (make sure there are 2 blank pages in the passport – these pages do not have to be consecutive)
      • Completed and signed visa application form
      • Supporting documents (It is recommended to submit originals along with photocopies of all supporting documents)
      • Proof of payment of the visa fee as per the purpose of travel
      • Two clear, passport sized (45mmX35mm), colour photographs.
      Applying for the visa is a simple 6 stage process:
      1. Make the application online through http://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk
      2. Make an appointment online to give your biometrics
      3. Submit your visa application and pay your visa application fee
      4. Visit the visa application centre to submit your application and biometrics
      5. Wait for a decision
      6. Collect your passport
      PLEASE NOTE: You should complete and submit the visa application form online and then schedule your online appointment before you visit the visa application centre. All applicants are required to come in person to submit their visa application and biometrics. We cannot accept the visa application if the applicant has not applied online, or if the applicant does not come into the visa application centre personally. Please note that the appointment dates are computer generated. The applicant may select the available date on the website as per his/her convenience.

      This service does not imply or guarantee in any way that applicants using the Priority Service will be successful in their visa application. All visa applicants must meet the requirements of the UK immigration rules.
      Applicants should be aware that they may experience extended processing times if any of the following factors apply:
      1. Have previously been refused a visa for the UK, and/or;
      2. Have previously been refused leave to enter the UK, and/or;
      3. Have previously been deported, removed, or otherwise required to leave the UK, and/or;
      4. Have overstayed a period of leave in the UK, and/or;
      5. Have been refused leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office, and/or;
      6. Have previously been refused a visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States of America or the Schengen countries.
      7. Have been convicted of a criminal offence in any country.
      UK Border Agency’s published global customer service target for processing visit visa applications is 15 working days. Applicants in South Africa generally receive a quicker service with most application processed in around 5 working days. The Priority Visa Service will offer an even faster service, though a specific turnaround time will not be guaranteed

      NOTE: A South African passport holder who has a valid common format Category D visa for entry to an EEA state or a valid common format residence permit issued by an EEA state can transit the UK without a visa, provided they have a confirmed onward booking and are transiting within 24 hours. If they have a Category C Schengen visa, they need a UK transit visa.

      COST :
      The fee is approx R1785.00 for a tourist visa for up to 6 months.

      SA REPRESENTATIVE:
      South African High Commission
      South Africa House, 9 Duncannon Street,
      Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DP
      Tel: (0044-207) 451-7299
      E-mail: london.general@dirco.gov.za
      Web: http://www.southafricahouse.com

  43. Hi, i have applied for UK visa’s and the Passports are currently in Pretoria awaiting approval. We travel on Monday next week 14th December 2015. Yet am worried Passports and Visas will not make it back to Durban in time for travel.

    Any suggestions? Can we pay additional costs to get the passports couriered back faster? Do we call and chase them?

    Please help

    Thanks
    David

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      I know at the time of applying for your UK visa one gets the option to pay the additional fee to speed up the process. However I am not sure if it is possible to do so after.

      You would need to contact the official visa handling agency and see what they advise.

  44. My niece and nephew are travelling to the U.k on the 11 December 2015. We applied for visas on the 2 December 2015 an took the priority option which cost a packet but needed it. We have only just received an email to say a decision was made and we will be notified in the next couple of days when we can collect the passports. We don’t have a couple of days as they are flying on Friday. Isn’t the priority option an option to get your visa in 5 working days? What do we do as we are now panicked?

    • Hi there,

      The “priority option” is not a guarantee that you will receive the visa within that required time. However it does speed up the process. When applying for a UK visa over school holidays we do recommend you apply as far in advance as possible like 1 to two months to avoid any last minute stress of might having to change ones booking.

  45. We applied for a Priority Settlement Visa for our daughter, application done on the 14/12/2015 and we received an email yesterday to tell us they have reached a decision. Should I be worried as this was rather quick considering we were told it could take up to 2 weeks before we would know anything.

    • Hi Karin,

      I would not be able to advise on this. I’m afraid we are not the ones granting the visa applications. Only they would be able to advise of this.

      To my knowledge they have asked you to collect your passport, however I am not at liberty to say if they have granted the visa or not.

  46. I need to fly to london in 6 days. What must I do to get my visa asap?

    • Hi Shari,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      A company called TELEPERFORMANCE LTD has been awarded the contract for passengers applying for UK visa’s. The website address is : https://uk.tlscontact.com
      Tel: (021) 300 3758 or 00 44 1243 218 173. These numbers are a paid service so there is a charge of £1.37 per minute over and above your network charges. It is therefore necessary to have a valid credit/debit card ready to process payment.
      Office hours for the Application centers are: 0900-1700 Mon-Fri

      There is an additional fee one can pay to speed up the process however you will need to speak to the agents at Teleperformance only they will be able to advise if this can be done within the required time.

  47. Its two months without receiving my passport. When the called the embassy hotline numbers was told thatbthe decision was made long back. What could be the problem of delay?

    • Hi Carol,

      I’m afraid only the Embassy would have knowledge / access to this information. You would need to contact them again and see if they will provide you with this information.

  48. Hi, I want to get a visa to travel from SA to Uk from the 21st of June (2016) to the 2nd of July 2016. This will be my first travel abroad and I wanted to know how much it will cost and what are the proceedures. One other thing I want to know is that is it possible to apply for VISA and passport at the same time and how much will that be?

    • Hi Lerato,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      For any UK visa related queries you will need to contact the UK Embassy or official visa handling agency direct. they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information you require: cost, documentation and correct procedures to follow.

      I’m afraid you are not able to apply for a passport and visa at the same time. You first need to apply for your passport. Only once you have received your passport can you apply for your visa.

  49. Hi. I thought VFS was just for SA visas. Could you confirm they deal with UK visas too. I’m in George, Southern Cape and would like not to have to go to CT. Thanks so much.

    • Hi Michaela,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The new official visa handling agency for UK visa is Teleperformance.

      Please use the following link: http://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa when applying for your UK online visa.

  50. Hi Guys,

    We have been invited to a last minute wedding next week Saturday in Manchester. We are meant to be leaving 14 July.

    I went in this morning to apply for my visa. Paid R2088 for the actual visa, 150 pounds to make it a priority visa and 68 pounds for a prime time appointment.

    Not sure if I will get it in time but it is all very stressful

  51. Hi

    Is it possible to change your visa application to “Priority” after the application has been submitted?
    My application was submitted on the 19th July and I will be leaving to UK on the 9 August. I am not sure if my visa will be processed before that time? Is there any way that i could speed up the process?

    Regards

    • Hi Darryl,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I know at the time when submitting your visa application you can pay extra for them to process the visa quicker, however I am not sure once you have submitted your forms and after would like this service if it it is still an option.

      For this please contact the official visa handling agency you went through. They will be able to assist in answering your question.

  52. Please could you let me have the number for the Teleperformance office in JHB as they do not have a number on their website. Many thanks.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I am not sure if this is still their number however you welcome to try: Tel: (021) 300 3758 or 00 44 1243 218 173.

      Best of luck.

  53. I am at my wits end. My father is terminally Ill and I have applied for a priority compassionate visa. Paid GBP 150. I have moved flights twice. I have phoned and e- mailed every possible number and website e-mail. No answers help or useful response other than automated responses.

    UK visa authorities are making money off people’s distress – this first world country should be ashamed!

  54. Hi,

    I will be travelling to Manchester soon for a funeral, I need to know if I require a visa. I am a South African citizen. This is urgent as I do not know the dates of the funeral yet. My friend passed away on Saturday 10 September 2016.

    • Hi Milena,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are a South African passport holder you will require a UK visa.

  55. How do you go about applying for a priority compassionate visa. Who would be able to assist me as i would like to attend a family funeral in Manchester. How long would it take and what are the cost involved.

    • Hi Renelle,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      Condolences to you and your family over this time.

      You would need to contact the UK Embassy and apply for a UK visa. If you need to speed up the visa process they do charge extra for this on top of the actual visa fee.

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