How to track UK Visa applications

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
9 November 2023

The UK Visa applications allows applicants to track the progress of their application by keeping an eye on the average processing time.

How to check the progress of an application? 

To check your UK Visa application you need to have certain information about your application. First of all you need to have the personal contact details. In other words you need to have your first name, your last name, nationality, date of birth and email address used on the application form. These will be used to verify your identity and ensure that you are authorised to access the status of the application.

You need to provide your passport number that you used when you applied for the UK Visa. This is another way to verify your identity and ensure that you are authorised to access the status of the application. As part of the process, you will need to confirm the category of the UK visa or immigration route that you have applied for and the date on which your visa of UK immigration application was made, as well as the date that you attended the biometric appointment. If you wish to check the status of the UK Visa application that was submitted overseas you will need to provide the location of the visa application centre.

What is a GWF reference number? 

This is a nine digit unique reference number that may be assigned to your application when you submit it.  This is different to an application reference number. If you had to pay an immigration health surcharge, then you may be asked to provide the IHS number when tracking the decision.

How do I check the status?

You use the VFS Global website by following these steps:

  • Go to VFS Global website and select your VAC location
  • Click on “Track your application” at the top of the page for your VFS Global visa application centre
  • Click on “Track your visa application status online”
  • Click on that to be taken to the login page. 
  • Thereafter enter your reference number, your last name, and click to submit.

You will then be able to view the status of your application. 

How to use TLS Contact website

If your application was made out of the UK you will need to check your application on the TLS Contact website. You do so by paying for the service. The cost includes an initial email inquiry plus any follow up emails that you send relating to the same inquiry. Again you have to go to the UKVI website, click on start, click on general inquiry, complete an online form, click to continue and submit.

You can also contact UKVI by phone and the phone line is open 24 hours per day Monday to Friday. This is a charged for service.

How to track the status of your visa application inside the UK?

Unfortunately, the UKVA does not provide applications status updates on its website and therefore the only way to get in touch is to try to call the contact centre. The telephone lines are open 9.00am to 4.45pm Monday to Thursday and the information on call charge can be found on the Home Office website.