Sometimes a person wants to find out what information a member state is keeping on them. They may be contemplating a visa application, or a judicial review, or visiting one or more member states and they want to know if they will expect problems at the border control point. I suppose in other cases some people are worried that an EU member might have obtained information that is inaccurate and they want to dispute the information.

The standard way to do this is with a "Subject Access Request (SAR)", we always tell people to do this following either a removal or refusal, especially if the information affects if the person can visit again or not. The SAR is built-in to EU regulations to provide a remedy to learn what information a particular government has on them.

All well and good, but there are some member states (the UK) where the process can take hellishly long times. Most people like to use a 8 - 12 month horizon for planning their travel, but if an SAR is going to take 18 - 24 months, then its value becomes worthless.

Or consider the case of a person filling out a visa application and they genuinely cannot remember their travel history, so they file an SAR and wait, but the process takes so long that they miss the reason they wanted the visa in the fist instance.

So the obvious question arises: is there a way to fast-track an SAR? UKVI, for example, has several rungs of premium services where a visa application can be accelerated, even down to an hour. What is the counterpart to an SAR application? Is there an additional fee?

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1 Answer 1


SAR Partie Un: UK Visas and Immigration does offer a Fast track process which, even after the conclusion of a pilot program, continues to accept applications until further notice. >

1. Fast Track pilot

The Fast Track pilot is a free service that is available to all customers enabling them to request their IT records, entry clearance records and landing cards information only. The pilot ran until 31 January 2016. The success of the pilot is currently being evaluated. During this evaluation period we will continue to accept Fast Track applications.

2. Your IT records

Under the fast track pilot, we will disclose records from our computerised casework database. This may include caseworker notes, a summary of immigration history, decisions and details of any appeals. This is not a complete copy of your Home Office file or of any other physical document. This will not include any correspondence sent or received by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), Border Force (BF) or Immigration Enforcement (IE) to you or your client. However, this may include correspondence that was copied into the notes section of the computerised casework database.

3. Entry clearance records

Under the fast track pilot we will disclose any available electronic records relating to entry clearance applications made at a British embassy since 1998. In the event that we need to contact an embassy for further records your request may be processed outside of the Fast Track pilot. We will notify you of this in writing.

4. Landing card records

Under the fast track pilot we will disclose copies of any available landing card that is held electronically and is dated within the last 10 years. A landing card is generated when entering the UK via a port on a temporary visa.

5. Benefits of the pilot

Aside from the fact that this is being piloted as a free service, you should receive a quicker service, with a reply in 20 days instead of 40 days. Your records should outline your key personal data that we hold on you and it is anticipated that this should answer general queries. If you would prefer to submit a full SAR please fill out the SAR form.

6. Apply to receive your or your client’s data under the pilot

To be part of the fast track pilot you must apply by using our ‘Application for fast track records only’ form which is available on GOV.UK.

7. Fees for this service

There are no fees. This service will be free of charge.

8. Completing the form

Please read the guidance notes at the end of the form.

Please print the form, complete all relevant sections, provide a signature and photo ID and then post the form to the address mentioned in the guidance notes on the last page of the form. If you do not provide photo ID your request may be rejected.

9. Time it takes to receive you or your client’s data

We aim to disclose your records within 20 calendar days.

10. Reviewing the success of this fast track pilot

On the application form we will ask you to supply us with an email address so we can send you a brief survey to complete after you or your client have received the requested data. Your feedback is important to us and will help us to improve our service.

11. Problems with your fast track application

The aim is to provide a quicker and more efficient service. If we encounter a problem with your request, it will be rejected and you will need to use the Standard SAR application process.

If the fast track SAR does not meet your needs, please notify us of this in writing and we will look at each case on an individual basis.

12. Getting more data

If you decide you would like to submit a Standard SAR to request all of your data, you may do so by completing the Standard SAR form, but the SAR disclosure will not subsequently include the data received during the Fast Track process. You will also need to provide the £10 fee.

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