There are a number of reasons why many opt to travel to the United Kingdom. Some go for leisure, others for work, studies, or because they have family members staying there. Regardless of the reason, visitors will have to opt for a Visa in order to visit the country.
Different Types of UK Visa:
Depending on the reason for which a customer wishes to travel to the UK, they will have to opt for a particular kind of Visa. There are a number of Visas and they can be broadly categorized into the following:
- Study Visa - Individuals who wish to study in any of the universities within the UK and are above 16 years of age 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.
- 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 a work permit can procure this Visa. This Visa can also be availed by the company in which the applicant is working, 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.
- Visitor Visa - Individuals visiting the UK for the purpose of sightseeing or a vacation can procure the Visitor Visa.
- Family Visa - Individuals who wish to visit a family member staying in the UK for a period of 6 months can avail this Visa.
Steps to Apply for a Visa to the United Kingdom:
- Once customers decide the kind of Visa that they will need to apply for, they will have to visit the official United Kingdom Government website and apply online for a Visa
- Once the appointment day has been fixed, applicants must arrive 15 minutes prior to the appointment, at the Visa application center along with their appointment letter, application pack, their passport along with a valid travel or passport document that has a minimum of one blank page on both sides.
- Once applicants arrive at the center, they will be given a token and will have to follow the order of the token to make their application.
- Once the filling process for the Visa is finished, they will be provided with a receipt which needs to be maintained as they will have to provide that in order to collect documents at a later stage.
- Customers will have to note that, once their application has been submitted, they will not be able to submit any other documents. Only the documents that have been provided at the beginning will be considered.
- Applicants can apply for a Visa up to a period of three months prior to date of travel to the United Kingdom. Customers are advised not to confirm travel necessities and arrangements until they receive their Visa. Supporting documents will need to be arranged for this.
- In order to complete this application process, customers will have to book and also attend an appointment at any of the Visa application offices in India. Applicants will have to compulsorily book appointment before submission.
- Applicants will have to provide their photograph and fingerprints (biometric information) at the application center and this also includes a digital photograph and a finger scan. The scan procedure involves an electronic scanner and no other chemicals or liquids including ink, therefore customers must ensure that their fingertips do not have decoration or cuts, or abrasions of any kind.
- After this, their digital photo will also be taken without sunglasses or spectacles or head covering unless it is for medical or religious purposes. Unless biometric information has been provided, applicants Visa cannot be processed.
- Customers can choose whether they will want to collect their documents themselves or have them delivered by post.
UK Visa Application Fees:
The cost for a standard visitor Visa is Â£87. Based on the stay of the visitor, the cost varies and an optional priority Visa service costs Â£150.
The table below illustrates the fee required for Standard visitor Visa based on the duration for which the applicant will be staying:
|Type of Visa||Fee (in INR)|
|Short term - for a period of up to 6 months, both single and multiple entries||8,700|
|Long term - valid for a period of 2 years||33,000|
|Long term - valid for a period of 5 years||60,000|
|Long term - valid for a period of 10 years||75,200|
Processing Time for Visa Application
Based on the country/city the customer is applying from, the processing time differs.
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 fifteen days.
- For family visit, Visas are processed within thirty days and if the purpose is transit, it takes about sixty 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 ten to fifteen days.
- Settlement Visas take up to ten days for processing.
- Non-settlement Visas can take up to ninety days but majority are done within ten 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 Â£400 per person and fill out the respective form.
- Biometric information must also be provided.
UK Visa Embassies in India:
The United Kingdom is represented by the following establishments in India -
- British High Commission - New Delhi
- British Consulate-General - Mumbai
- British Consulate-General - Kolkata
- British Consulate-General - Chennai
- British Consulate-General - Goa
News About UK Visa Application
UK Tier 2 Visas offered to Students
The United Kingdom (UK) will now offer Tier 2 visas to graduate level students wishing to work in the country. Those with an offer of a graduate-level job may apply for a Tier 2 visa and may take up sponsored employment through the Tier 2 visa. Over 28,000 employers in the UK are licensed Tier 2 sponsors. There is a Tier 1 visa available to graduate entrepreneurs who are recognised by the UK Trade and Investment Commission or their education institute, this will allow them to stay in the country for up to 2 years for developing their business, after that they can apply for a Tier 2 visa or the main Tier 1 visa. Tier 5 visas will be given to graduates wishing to take up professional training or corporate internships, providing that the internship pays them the equivalent of the national minimum wage. PhD students can apply for a Tier 4 visas under the Doctorate Extension Scheme which allows them to stay in the country for up to a year extra to look for employment. The PhD holders apply for this visa will need to show proof that they have a place to study and their education institute must be on the Tier 4 sponsor list, they should also have the financial disposition to support themselves during their stay in the UK and should possess a level of English to study their course.
Citizens May Need a Visa To Travel Across Europe
Post Brexit, a number of changes would be occurring for citizens of the UK as well as the rest of the European Union, including the flexibility of travelling throughout Europe with just one passport.
Post attacks on Belgium, France and Turkey, regulations have become increasingly taxing and stringent, resulting in the imposition of strong visa procedures on UK citizens as well.
This decision would impact a lot of individuals across the United Kingdom, significantly. These norms will affect the travel plans of Britons and also those who travel abroad for study or work. But in the interest of national security, these decisions may be needed.