The moment you submit the application on the online system, it generates a Documents Checklist document, which if you view, gives you the following information:
“You have chosen the standard service. You must now book and attend an appointment with our commercial partner to provide your documents and your biometrics (fingerprints and facial photograph). You can do this by logging back in to your application via the link in your confirmation email and continuing to our commercial partner's website from there.
You should receive a decision on your application within 8 weeks of your biometrics appointment. We will contact you if it will take longer to process your application.”
However, the confirmation email you receive says;
‘it may take up to six months to make a decision on your case. If we are unable to process your application within six months we will tell you as soon as possible.’
The messaging is unclear, even if technically consistent. It suggests most people get a decision within 8 weeks after their biometrics appointment. The SLA for the service is however 6 months, so even if it take 3 months longer than 8 weeks, it’s still within service level agreements. It can take longer than 6 months for some, and they’ll endeavour to let you know as soon as possible if your case falls in that category.