UK Visa Guide

UK VISA

Overview

The United Kingdom is an island nation in north-western Europe that comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is the birthplace of Shakespeare and the globally popular music band The Beatles. England is a hub of European culture and finance with its capital city being London. UK is also home to the most famous universities in the world, namely Oxford and Cambridge. The UK has made remarkable contributions to the growth of the world economy, mainly in sectors such as technology and industrial. After the end of World War II, the UK’s most prominent exports have been in the areas of cultural, namely literature, theatre, film, TV, and popular music. UK’s greatest export has been the English language, which is now spoken in every nook and corner of the world and has become the leading global medium of cultural and economic exchange. Once covering more than one-fourth of the globe, the first half of the 20th century saw the dismantling of the British Empire during the course of two World Wars. However, the UK rebuilt itself into a modern and affluent European nation. It is one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, a founding member of NATO, and of the Commonwealth.

The cultural and business environment of UK is marvellous and invites numerous individuals from all across the globe. However, the beaches, mountains and lush countryside are famous for attracting tourists of every ilk.

TYPES OF UK VISA

Family Visas: If you any siblings or any other family member who stays in UK, then you would need a family visa to visit them. The condition is that they should hold a permanent UK citizenship with valid legal documents. You need to mention all the details of the member whom you are planning to visit along with their residence information as that will be your residence for the time duration you are in UK.

Family Reunion Visa - You can apply for a separate family reunion visa in case you and your family have planned a meet up in near time. You do not need a family visa as you will just be attending family reunion and coming back. You need to mention this specific reason in the application document.

Ancestry Visa- If you have a British citizenship grandparent, then you can visit or work in UK by applying for ancestry visa. You need documents supporting the proof of your ancestor being a part of UK and are holder of permanent citizenship. In case you are found to have some past criminal records then you will be required to sit for personal interview. This visa would take 8 weeks of time after submitting the documents to the officials.

Settlement Visa - In case, you are already working or studying in UK and you are planning to continue it further or plan to settle in the same city post study or work then you need to apply for settlement visa. You get a settlement visa if you have been in UK for more than 5 years.

Returning resident Visa: In case you have been in UK for some years for study or work purpose and then came back to your country then for returning back to UK, you will need a returning resident visa. You will not be allowed to return back without a permanent residency or return visa. You need to show the documents stating that you have been in UK in the past for some duration of time.

Transit Visa - If you are traveling to any country and you have a connecting flight through UK then you are required to have a transit visa. The condition is that the stay should be 24 or more hours in UK premises.

Investor Visa This is required in case you are planning to invest some amount in any property in UK. There is investor 1 and investor 2 category. This category is decided on the basis of investment amount

Entrepreneur Visa: In case you are planning to set up a business in UK then you are required to op for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa under the points based system category of UK immigration rules. You need to submit all the details regarding your business plan and documents stating that it is not harmful to UK premises and population in any ways.

Graduate Entrepreneur Visa:If you have completed your graduation and you want to start your own business in UK, then you are required to opt for Graduate Entrepreneur visa. The condition is that your business idea should have been tested in legal terms and acknowledged by your university.

Work Visa:There are two types of work visas when it comes to UK; Tier 1 and Tier 2. You can apply for tier 2 visa in case a skilled job has been offered to you in UK or you are from Switzerland or outside the European Economic Area (EEA). If you come to UK on the basis of Tier 2 visa, you can be in UK for 5 years and 14 days or for the time period that is mentioned in your sponsorship certificate plus one month. Whatever is shorter from the two.

You can apply for tier 1 visa if you are outside of EEA or Switzerland. Or, you have been ever endorsed ass leader/emerging leader in the field of the arts, digital technology, engineering, medicine, science or humanities.

Study visa:There are subtypes of the students’ visa, depending the duration of course that you are going to pursue.

  • Short-term study visa:You can be eligible for this type of visa if you are going to study a short course and are above the age of 18 years. Generally, the short-term study visa is valid up to 6 months and can be extended up to 11 months for some pre-listed exceptional courses.
  • Child student visa:If you want to study in an independent school in UK and you are aged between 4 years to 17 years, you can apply for child student visa.
  • General student visa:The general student’s visa is for those who are of 16 years or above.

Visitor’s Visa:You can apply for visitor’s visa for several purpose of visiting UK. You can visit your friends or family, for any private medical treatment, for having any kind of meetings, business purpose, for any sport activity or event, prospective entrepreneurship, visit for academics and many more such reasons.

Marriage visa:The marriage visa for UK, also known as the spouse visa is a kind of settlement visa. This type of visa allows you to stay in UK up to 30 months and can be extended for next 30 months as well. For being eligible for applying for the spouse visa, you need to have a genuine relationship proof and you are good to go.

Tourism visa:To have visited beautiful places like Scotland, North Ireland which is very famous places in United Kingdom, you will need to apply for the tourist visa. For applying for tourist visa, you will have to provide the details like; number of days of your stay in UK.

Medical visa: You can get the medical visa for UK if you want to visit there for any medical purpose like a personal medical treatment. The time duration of this visa depends on the time that can be taken for the treatment.

Family visa: UK family visa can be granted to those who want to permanently establish the family in UK with their already existing family members in UK. You cannot get UK family visa if you are already in UK on work visa. Following are the cases through which you can get through the UK family visa:

  • As a partner/spouse of resident of UK.
  • As a UK resident’s child.
  • As a relative who is in need of long-term care from resident of UK, due to sickness or any kind of disability.
  • As a widow partner of someone who was a resident of UK before.
  • As a separated partner/spouse.

UK VISA APPLICATION PROCESS

Once you’ve figured out the VISA category you wish to apply for, you must choose between an online or offline application. There are many agencies that -for a small fee will do all the work - but if you like doing things yourself then we have a stepwise checklist to ensure you have all the information you will need to apply to the UK embassy

We have tried to make it easy for you by segregating the application process stepwise. So, that you don't miss any details and skip the primary step for applying to the UK embassy.

STEP 1: Type of Visa

First and foremost step is determining what type of visa will you require? Work permit, study visa, a family visa, or a visitor visa. To apply for a UK Visa - your country of origin, the purpose of the trip and your duration will all make a difference to your eligibility; other factors that affect your eligibility:

  • If you can prove your entering the UK shall only be productive to the country and its public not harmful
  • If your able to prove your qualification to avail a visa
  • If you have a valid passport - for a minimum of 6 months
  • At the time of application, you must not be entangled in any criminal activity
  • If you can prove you have the financial resources to support yourselves and your dependents during the duration of their stay
  • Applicants should undergo medical tests to acquire a clean bill of health
  • Sometimes applicants may be requested to attend face-to-face interviews before receive the visa

STEP 2: BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT

Aristotle said “Well begun is half done”; remember to keep your application and legal documentation safe and easily accessible before leaving your home for the embassy. No embassy will entertain walk-in applicants, and you will have to make an official appointment before your name may be called out.

Make sure all the required documentation is ready in a folder with copies of the originals – you never know when they could come in handy.

STEP 3: VISA EMBASSY

On the day of your appointment, you will need to be early for it - at least 15 minutes early! Being on time is the bare-minimum and showing up late is not an option. If you’re not there when they call out your name – your application will not be accepted that day.

Once the visa filing process is completed, and you’ve handed over all the necessary documents you will be issued an acknowledgment receipt, that can be used later to collect your application.

STEP 4: VISA APPLICATION

Prior to handing over the folder, you need to ensure that a) the application form is filled up accurately, b) signed correctly and c)the necessary documents are arranged in order - as dictated by the visa regulations - along with d) photocopies of said documents. If not done correctly, you will be issued one more token and be expected to re-submit the application. This will delay your process.

Once your application documents are under the verification process, it shall take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to verify them. Both your application form and travel documents will be checked and if all is in order; then the documents plus your passport will need to be submitted to the embassy until they’re done with your verification and approval process.

STEP 5: INFORMATION INTO EMBASSY SYSTEM

Once your informational data is entered into the system, you will receive a hard copy of the same which you need to sign in front of the embassy officials. Before making this vital signature, take around 10-15 minutes to recheck all the details entered are in a proper manner – there should be no spelling errors or any misleading data.

In the interim, you will be asked to pay £89 (Pound sterling) that is approximately ₹8,147 (Indian Rupees depending on current exchange rate) but it as the application fees after which you will get a receipt of the same. You may pay more if you want to fast-track your visa approval; merely make sure you keep the receipt safe and return it when collecting your application.

STEP 6: BIOMETRIC FINGERPRINT SCAN

After all this process is done, then at the end you will be asked to do a biometric scan using an electronic scanner. Make sureyour fingers and palms are clean and you have no cuts, abrasions, stains or any other markings since it will affect your ability to provide acceptable finger scans.

The scanning process usually takes under fifteen minutes, and the embassy will send it further within the next few days. Just remember to keep the receipt safely as without it you won’t get your passportback; and with this last step, ends your application process.

UK Tourist Visa

LIST OF DOCUMENTS REQUIRED APPLYING FOR A UK SHORT-STAY VISA:

  • UK visa application form
  • Recent passport-sized color photographs, taken in the past six months
  • Existing passport which has to be valid for at least 3more months from the intended date of departure from the UK. Your passport also must have at least one blank page for the visa
  • Proof of means of subsistence to cover living costs in the UK
  • Bank statements for the last six months
  • A letter confirming employment and the last six pay slips. The letter should include the period of employment, wages drawn, the position of the job, perks, and your company’s contact details
  • Proof of accommodation mentioning where you will be staying during your entire stay in the UK, which could be at a friend or relative’s place or at a hotel or a hostel
  • Your detailed travel itinerary which gives information of your travel plans in the UK along with tickets, places you are going to visit, your meeting agenda, tours booked in advance, your festival agenda, etc.
  • Tuberculosis test results, if you belong to a country listed amongst countries requiring a prior TB test before coming to UK for a period over six months
  • Proof of paid UK visa fees
  • Biometric information, but this is only required if you are applying for a visa for more than a six-month stay. During the application process, fingerprints and photographs must be offered at the proper application center
  • UK visa invitation letter should be submitted if it is applicable. It is a letter of invitation issued by a citizen or legal resident of the UK stating that they have invited you to stay with them

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF UK VISAS

Additional documents are required to be submitted depending on the type of visa you are going to apply, such as:

  • Earlier passports when applying for a visa which requires it specifically
  • Previous visas, if any
  • Documents to prove financial sufficiency for duration of stay in UK
  • Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS)
  • Parents’ or legal guardian letter of consent, if you are a minor
  • Proof of dates of entry and exit from the UK
  • In some cases, you may need to show booked flight tickets
  • Medical certificate
  • Costs of medical treatment in the UK, if you are coming for medical treatment
  • The address of the places where you will be staying during your visit to the UK
  • Your home address and the times you have lived there before, if you have
  • Name of parents and your dates of birth
  • Present annual income, which may be salary, pension, personal business profit, etc.
  • The places where you have traveled in the past 10 years, and the proof of the time when you traveled there
  • If you are employed, you need to give your employer’s address and phone number
  • Your partner’s name, date of birth, and passport number, if they are alive
  • If someone else is sponsoring your trip, you will have to provide their name and address
  • Provide the name, address, and passport number of your family members presently living in UK, if you have any
  • The criminal record history obtained from the relevant authorities in your country of residence
  • Documents which confirm that it is your intention to leave the UK at the end of your visit, and that it is not your intention to stay permanently in the UK
  • You will also need to produce documents which confirm a paid return or onward trip, as well as other costs which relate to your visit
  • You will have to produce documents of any business or other activities which you want to undertake while you are staying in the UK, and it has to be allowed by your visa type
  • If someone else is sponsoring you, you will have to produce evidences substantiating their financial ability to cover your cost of living during your entire stay in the UK. The sponsor may be a businessperson, a friend, family member already living in the UK, or that they will be in the UK when you arrive. These documents must also prove the sponsor’s financial ability to take care of the living costs and of their dependents. These documents may be their bank statements, their building society book, or a letter from their employer.

 

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