Easy Steps to Apply for United Kingdom Visa

The United Kingdom is a member of the European Union but is not part of the Schengen area. It operates its own visa policy where certain nationalities have to apply for a visa before arriving in the UK. However, there are many nationalities that are permitted to enter and stay in the UK without obtaining a visa. In this article learn more about how to apply for UK Visa, UK visa application process and requirements, UK visa fees, UK visa types, UK standard tourist and visitor visa application.

Who Needs to Apply for UK Visa

If you hold any of the following nationality statuses, you can enter the United Kingdom without a visa:

  1. British nationals who are EU citizens
  2. British citizens
  3. British Overseas Territories citizens (citizens of Gibraltar)
  4. British subjects (who have the right to live in the UK)
  5. Citizens of Commonwealth countries (who have the right to live in the UK under the Immigration Act 1971)
  6. Irish citizens (under the Common Travel Area – the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands)
  7. All European Union citizens
  8. Citizens of the EFTA member states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland)

UK Visa Types

There are several different visas for the UK and the one you need to apply for will depend on the duration of your trip and your reason for traveling to the UK. Check GOV.UK’s website to learn about these visas.

Visitor visas

  1. Standard Visitor visa
  2. Marriage Visitor visa
  3. Permitted Paid Engagement visa
  4. Parent of a Tier 4 child visa
  5. Visit the UK in a Chinese tour group
  6. Visa to pass through the UK in transit

Work and Business visas

  1. General work visa (Tier 2)
  2. Intra-company Transfer visa (Tier 2)
  3. Minister of Religion visa (Tier 2)
  4. Sportsperson visa (Tier 2)
  5. Temporary Worker – Charity Worker visa (Tier 5)
  6. Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting visa (Tier 5)
  7. Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange visa (Tier 5)
  8. Temporary Worker – International Agreement visa (Tier 5)
  9. Temporary Worker – Religious Worker visa (Tier 5)
  10. Temporary Worker – Seasonal Worker Visa (Tier 5)
  11. Youth Mobility Scheme visa (Tier 5)

Investor, business development and talent visas

  1. Innovator visa
  2. Start-up visa
  3. Entrepreneur visa (Tier 1)
  4. Exceptional Talent visa (Tier 1)
  5. Graduate Entrepreneur visa (Tier 1)
  6. Investor visa (Tier 1)

Other work visas and exemptions

  1. UK Ancestry visa
  2. Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa
  3. Representative of an Overseas Business visa
  4. Turkish Businessperson visa
  5. Turkish Worker visa

Study visas

  1. Short-term study visa
  2. General student visa (Tier 4)
  3. Child student visa (Tier 4)

Family visas

  1. Family visas: apply, extend or switch
  2. Apply for a permit to join your EU or EEA family member in the UK

When to Apply for Your UK Visa

Visa applications are processed within 3 weeks, so you should apply well in advance of your trip. You may submit your application up to 3 months ahead of your departure date.

Where to Apply for Your UK Visa

The British Embassies and Consulates located across the world do not issue visa applications. Instead, you will apply for your visa at one of the visa application centers located in your country:

  1. VFS Global
  2. TLS Contact

These companies deal with visa applications on behalf of the Visa and Immigration service in the UK. VFS Global and TLS Contact is not responsible for making a decision about your application. You will simply submit your application to them and they will then forward it to the British Embassy or Consulate for processing.

In order to find out which company you need to deal with and their location, go to GOV.UK’s website and click on: “Visas and immigration”:

How to Apply for UK Visa

There is an overview on how to apply on VFS Global and TLS Contact’s websites, so you should take a look at those before you do anything else.

Application procedure at VFS Global:

  1. Research your visa type
  2. Apply for your visa through GOV.UK
  3. Pay for your visa fees
  4. Choose your services
  5. Upload your supporting documents
  6. Visit the visa application center
  7. Track your application
  8. Pick up your documents

Application procedure at TLS Contact:

  1. Register on the GOV.UK website
  2. Choose any optional services and book an appointment
  3. Attend your appointment at TLS Contact
  4. Passport Return

Before you submit your application to the visa application center, you must visit either the GOV.UK Visa and Immigration website or Visa4UK’s website to do the following things:

  1. Register your application
  2. Complete the visa application form
  3. Pay the visa fee
  4. Book your appointment at either VFS Global or TLS Contact

Making appointments with the embassy or visa application center is generally free and can be done yourself. However, If you are running short of time or not sure which consulate to apply to or have no idea on how to get this done yourself then not to worry, we will make the appointment for you for a small service fee!

Booking a visa appointment using our services is pretty simple! All you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:

  1. Visit the link to schedule the visa appointment
  2. Submit the appointment details, visa you are applying for, consulate you need the appointment for, the country you need the appointment IN and make the payment
  3. Receive appointment confirmation in email

What Documents to Prepare for United Kingdom Visa

You need to prepare all the required documents for your visa application, so check what they are before you attend your appointment. If you submit an application with anything missing, it may be rejected.

Documents include:

  1. Visa application form
  2. Passport – valid for at least three months after the planned date of return, issued within the last 10 years with 2 free pages
  3. Previous travel history for the past 10 years
  4. Bank statements or proof of earnings such as a letter from employer confirming the start date of employment, salary, role, company contact details
  5. Proof of financial support from a business, a friend or a relative etc
  6. Proof legal residence
  7. An employer’s letter stating your role, salary and length of employment OR a letter from your education provider confirming enrollment and leave of absence. If self-employed – business registration
  8. Birth Certificate and proof of family ties and/or details of anyone accompanying you with a copy of your parent(s) passport (if you are under 18)
  9. Travel dates to the UK
  10. Details of accommodation while in the UK
  11. Declaration of how much you think your trip will cost
  12. Your current home address and how long you’ve lived there
  13. Your parents’ names and dates of birth
  14. Proof of salary
  15. Your employer’s address and telephone number
  16. Your partner’s name, date of birth, and passport number
  17. The name and address of anyone paying for your trip
  18. The name, address and passport number of any family members you have in the UK
  19. Details of any criminal, civil or immigration offenses you have committed

If you’re planning to obtain your flight reservation for visa without paying for the ticket, all you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:

  1. Visit the Visa Reservation website to choose the right package
  2. Submit the travel details and make the payment online
  3. Receive flight itinerary in email

The Visa Appointment Requirements

When you attend your appointment, you will submit your application and supporting documents to the visa officer who will examine them. If he/she needs to confirm any of the information you have provided, they will question you further in order to make a fair decision about your visa application.

If you have not already paid the fee, you will do so at your appointment. You can pay in cash, credit or debit card, but check with the visa application center which payment options there are. There may be additional service fees to pay as well. These fees are non-refundable.

You will also need to provide biometric data which is a scan of your fingerprints and a photograph.

Visa Application Decision

You will be notified when there is a decision about your visa application and you can collect your passport from the visa office or have it mailed back to you. If your visa has been approved, you will find it inside your passport. If it has been rejected, it would have been for a reason such as:

  1. Missing documents
  2. Passport damaged/invalid
  3. Applying for the wrong type of visa
  4. Lack of funds
  5. Fake documents

It is very important for you to take your time when you apply for your visa and check the website (s) of the relevant visa offices for everything you need to do. If you fail to comply with what is required, this will lead to your application being rejected. However, if your application is rejected, you have the opportunity to appeal the decision.

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