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This Sunday (31st of May) I have an important flight to Switzerland from Sweden.

Unfortunately, I applied a bit late for UK student visitor visa (today is 7th business day) and I do not have my passport. I applied from Stockholm. My trip to UK is on 7th of June.

I am national of Ukraine and I have temporary Swedish residence permit for studying.

Is there any way to do this flight (still receiving the visa before 7th of June)? For instance, to influence the visa application to make it faster or to get back the passport temporary, to travel without passport?

  • The visa is needed for a summer school, which is completely unrelated to my flight from Sweden to Switzerland. – Howdedo May 28 '15 at 11:22
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    You can give the embassy a call and explain your situation, but don't expect them to do much. But it doesn't hurt to try and they might expedite your case or inform you about any other options. I believe in some case you can have your passport back, not sure if it invalidates your application. – DumbCoder May 28 '15 at 12:23
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    It is SAS and this sounds strange, since I called the airline and they said that I need ID. In addition to this I did a few intra-EU flights and I showed my passport at airports. – Howdedo May 28 '15 at 17:35
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    ID or especially the passport? Even within Schengen, the airline must have a photo ID to see that your are the person named on the ticket. – Andrew Lazarus May 28 '15 at 18:29
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    Actually, now I am not sure which one. But anyhow I don't have any other photo ID except passport. As far as I know residence permit is not an ID. – Howdedo May 28 '15 at 19:01
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As I understand it, you applied for a UK visa and you want your passport in order to make a flight to Switzerland. You have several options...

Strawman option: try to contact the British mission handling your application and get them to accelerate your application. This is a poor option because they have heard it all before and they advise against purchasing air tickets in advance of a visa application and they will either ignore the request or reply with a formulaic email. Worse, it could place you in breach of the agreement you made when you submitted the application. Anyhow, the British issuing post in Sweden was hubbed in 2013, which means all your stuff was sent to Croydon and that would be your point of attempted contact.

Good option: Contact their commercial partner, Teleperformance, and tell them you want to upgrade your application to priority. Depending upon where your application is in the pipeline and your visa history, you may qualify for a priority upgrade, and in some cases even if you have already submitted the application. These services attract a sliding fee depending upon what priority you select, from about GBP 120 to GBP 15,000 (converted to local currency).

Less attractive option: Contact Teleperformance and have them withdraw your application. Again, depending upon where your application is in the pipeline you may be able to do this. They treat this as a rejection; it does not count as a refusal. The downside risk is that the rejection also takes time to process, and possibly the same amount of time as if the app had not been withdrawn.

Adventurous option: You can try to use your residence permit as a travel document. The outcome of this strategy is indeterminate because you are not an EEA national and not permanently settled in the EEA.

For your last question, no, you cannot temporarily withdraw your passport from a live application. There are lots of reasons for this, and you agreed to it in the declaration when you submitted the application. They will instead reject the application.

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    15,000 GBP!? Is that a typo? – Calchas May 30 '15 at 16:51
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    @Calchas, not a typo. If, for example, you want the biometrics truck and team to come around to your house to enrol your biometrics is a popular service. Services vary on a country-by-country basis. The USA has some interesting ones. As does Saudi... etc etc – Gayot Fow May 30 '15 at 18:35
  • Strawman option: there is no publicly available way to contact directly UKVI, they outsource this to other companies. Good option: could you provide source of your information? According to your link, it is possible to buy such service only during making the application, but I did not fulfil the requirements. Anyway, for 15 000 GBP they would do it, but I am losing much less by this delay. Less attractive option: the best option in my view, though today is definitely late to do this. – Howdedo May 30 '15 at 20:11
  • @Howdedo, I made an edit to the 'strawman option'. I tagged the various options with how they are commonly seen, but nothing prevents you from taking the 'less attractive option' if it's right for you. – Gayot Fow May 30 '15 at 20:30
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    @Gayot Fow, anyway, I will not get my passport by tomorrow and I already started to change my plans accordingly, so I guess the question can be closed now. – Howdedo May 30 '15 at 20:39
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Like many countries, Ukraine allows you to hold two valid international passports simultaneously, provided you can give justification. Being without your passport because you are applying for a visa is a commonly accepted reason.

Для оформлення другого паспорта/проїзного документа чи одночасного оформлення двох паспортів/проїзних документів громадянин додатково подає заяву, в якій обґрунтовує необхідність здійснення регулярних поїздок за кордон (наприклад: здійснення пасажирських чи вантажних перевезень, участь у спортивних змаганнях чи концертно-театральних гастролях, підприємницька, туристична чи журналістська діяльність тощо).

Contact your nearest embassy or consulate, or a passport expediting agency, to apply for the second passport. You can then use it for travel while your primary passport is in visa processing.

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    I actually did precisely this to avoid any future inconveniences. Important note, at first I was told at the embassy that only journalists and sportsmen can have the second passport, however, the citation of the corresponding law convinced them quickly. In the end, I never wrote down the reason, just that I want to leave my old passport. – Howdedo Apr 3 '16 at 9:04

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