There are a number of people every year who wish to go to the United Kingdom. Reasons such as work, leisure, education are the most common ones cited by those who wish to go to the country. Some would also wish to settle down there and take all the benefits that the country has to offer. However, in order to go to the United Kingdom, individuals must first apply for a visa and only then will they be able to go to the country. This article talks about the basic aspects of UK visa application.
Types of Visa Available:
There are a number of visas available based on the applicant and also the reason for which a visa is being procured. Some of the common ones include -
Work Visa - This visa is provided to those who wish to work within the UK and also have secured a job in the region. Work visa is of three kinds.
- Tier 1(General) - The Tier 1 visa is not applicable for applicants who come from outside the United Kingdom. Tier 1 general Visa and Tier 1 Post Study Work categories were available to allow skilled individuals to work in the United Kingdom without the need for a sponsorship from the company, but these categories are closed to new applicants.Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and Tier 1 Investor Visa is available for those customers who wish to start a business or invest in the United Kingdom.
- Tier 2 (Work Permit) - Individuals who have work permit can procure this visa. This visa can also be availed by the company in which the applicant is working in if it is in the UK. Intra company transfers are also included in the same. A certificate of sponsorship from the United Kingdom Government is necessary prior to applying for this category visa.
- Tier 5 - Individuals who wish to procure short term training or experience within the country can apply for this kind of visa who are between the ages of 18 to 35.
- Study Visa - Individuals who wish to study in any of the universities within the UK and are above 16 years can apply for this visa. They should also have been accepted by the universities in the UK and must have enough finances to pay for their education and also their stay.
- Family Visa - Individuals who wish to visit a family member staying in the UK for a period of 6 months can avail this visa.
- Visitor Visa - Individuals visiting the UK for the purpose of sightseeing or a vacation can procure the visitor visa.
Customers can apply for a UK visa by visiting the official website.
Eligibility Criteria to Apply for a UK Visa:
In order to apply for a UK Visa, the applicant needs to fulfill the eligibility criteria. Given below is the eligibility criteria for a UK Visa.
- Applicants must prove that their entering to the UK will not be harmful in any way and will only be productive to the country and its public
- Applicants must be able to prove their qualification to avail a visa
- A passport that is valid for a minimum of 6 months must be provided
- At the time of application, applicants must not be embroiled in any criminal case.
- The applicant should have financial resources to support themselves and their dependents during the course of their stay in the country
- Applicants should undergo medical tests to acquire clean bill of health
- Applicants must have a work visa(if applicable)
- At certain times, applicants may be asked to attend interviews to receive visa
Documents Required to Apply for a UK Visa:
While applying for a UK visa, applicants will have to submit certain documents. These documents are listed below and are compulsory.
- Receipt for paid visa fee
- Appointment confirmation letter/document
- One recent colour photograph that is passport sized and should meet UK visa requirement. Immigration photo guidance is necessary only when the applicant is exempt from providing biometrics
- A printout of the application form taken online which has been dated and signed
- In case applicant has applied for a settlement visa then a completed self-assessment form that is dated and signed is necessary
- Other supporting documents such as proof of age and address
- Marriage or divorce certificate along with evidence of applicant’s family staying in their native country when they travel
- Evidence of education
- Evidence of income and bank account, tax submissions and so on.
- Photographs on the application. However UKVI does not need passport photos from those who submit biometrics.
The cost for a standard visitor visa is £87. The cost varies based on the visitor’s stay. Optional priority visa service costs GBP 150, and is optional.
Processing Time for Visa Application:
The visa processing time varies based on the city/country customers are applying from.
For example, if an individual is applying for the same from New Delhi, India then based on the visa applied for, processing time varies.
- For visit visas such as long term visit, visa will be processed within ten days.
- For other visit visas such as general visit, business visit or other visits, processing time is within 15 days.
- For family visit, visas are processed within 30 days and if the purpose is transit, it takes about 60 days for visas to be processed.
- For all of the above, stay duration is 6 months or less.
- For PBS or Point Based System visas, the processing duration is 10-15 days.
- Settlement visas take up to 10 days for processing.
- Non-settlement visas can take up to 90 days but majority are done within 10 days.
Steps to Receive a Faster Response:
In case customers have applied for settlement using SET (AF, F,LR,M,O) forms, they can receive a response within five working days through additional processes.
- In addition to the visa fee, they will have to pay another £400 per person and fill out the respective form.
- Biometric information must also be provided.
Modes of Application:
Customers can apply for a UK visa online. They will have to visit the official website and fill out necessary details and also provide required documents. Further instructions will be provided after that.
UK Visa Embassies in India:
The United Kingdom is represented by the following establishments in India -
- British High Commission - New Delhi
- British Consulate-General - Chennai
- British Consulate-General - Kolkata
- British Consulate-General - Mumbai
- British Consulate-General - Goa