Current TLS tracking status: Disrupted.
Last edited: 5 Sep 2019.
We live in an ever-changing world.
In our meeting with the Regional Manager of UKVI in Southern Africa, earlier this year, we were informed that the UKVI has taken over the development of their commercial agents’ website. South Africa knows them as Teleperformance (or TLS Contact).
This enables the UKVI to be responsible for the backend changes (such as tracking facility) as well as the displayed content.
This approach bypasses the need for UKVI to detail tracking feedback to TLS and then for TLS to then publish this information. Direct/instant feedback as opposed to indirect/delayed feedback.
Now that we know how the system has been created, we can better manage our expectations.
In November 2018, the British government made a fundamental change in their legislation, taking away the need to see original documentation in their visa decision-making processes. The need to see original documentation no longer plays a qualifying factor in the visa application.
Since then, Pretoria’s visa team has moved to a paperless working environment. Stepping into a new era of technological advancements.
Further to this, the UKVI have continued with their long term objective, which is to reduce the number of decision-making centres (located globally). To do so, they have begun bringing across settlement visas (UK visas that grant settlement rights) across to a department in Sheffield (UK).
This change further reduces the number of applications processed by Pretoria’s team of visa officials.
In reality, though, Sheffield is only not responsible for dealing with South Africas settlement visas. They are now responsible for handling global applications.
Each country has different forms/structures of documents which they now have to process and understand.
There are global inconsistencies that applicants cannot be held liable for. However, this opens up the inconsistencies in their decision-making process.
Some English testing institutions in SA, for example, don’t supply UKVI reference numbers as other institutions abroad do. Many SA visas have been declined on these grounds alone.
Sheffield team has adopted a strict interpretation (where Pretoria team was far more lenient).
Sheffield’s newly implemented team of decision-makers are however also demonstrating strain.
The British government has silently taken off Settlement visas from the published processing times (which they prided themselves with).
Confirmation can be found here: https://visa-processingtimes.homeoffice.gov.uk/y
In terms of tracking, we have witnessed a recent disruption. The automatic notifications (and update) have been delayed.
At present, Move Up’s clients need to physically go into the visa centre, to collect their application (without notification). This recommendation is given after giving the visa officials sufficient processing time.
Move Up has recently received collection notifications of cases that were collected a month ago.
It is clearly a system error.
We have no doubt that the UKVI are aware of this delay and that their technicians are actively looking to resolve this.
For now, the status remains disrupted.
In conclusion, please be aware that there is no phone number to phone and track application status. The UKVI system is designed to be automatically updated online.
This updated tracking functionality is not currently reliable.
Applicants are recommended to physically go into their application centre to collect their applications after sufficient processing time is given. This is the best means to track their visa status.