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  • UK Visa Types

    In order to visit the United Kingdom (UK) for study, work, tourism or any other reason, an individual is required to go through the visa application process. The application process includes furnishing specified travel documents and paying the visa fee. There are various types of visas to enter the UK, the eligibility is based on the applicant’s purpose of visit. The application process can be carried out online and the documents can be submitted during the visa appointment.

    Types Of UK Visa

    • UK Visitor Visas - Visitor Visa
    • UK Study Visas (Tier 4)
    1. Student Visa
    2. Doctoral Extension Scheme
    • UK Work Visa (Tier 1)
    1. Investor
    2. Entrepreneur
    3. Graduate Entrepreneur
    4. Exceptional Talent
    • UK Work Visa (Tier 2)
    1. General
    2. Intra-company Transfers
    • UK Work Visa (Tier 5)
    1. Government Authorised Exchange
    2. Youth Mobility Scheme
    3. Creative and Sporting Visas
    4. Charity Worker
    5. Religious Worker
    6. International Agreement
    • UK Family Visas
    1. Family Visas
    2. UK Ancestry
    • Other Visas
    1. UK Settlement
    2. Right of Abode
    3. Residence Permit

    UK Visitor Visas - Standard Visitor Visa

    If an individual wants to visit the UK for tourism, leisure, attending events/seminar, medical treatment, business (based on Visitor Visa Rules), etc. he/she can apply for the UK Standard Visitor Visa. The applicant must be from outside the EEA and Switzerland to be eligible for this type of visa. The applicant can initiate the application process three months prior to the intended date of travel. The visa allows the holder the holder to stay in the UK for up to six months while it can be extended 11 months for medical treatment and 12 months for research during an academic sabbatical.

    The Standard Visa costs £89 while the 11 months extension under medical treatment and 12 months extension under research will cost £179 for each category. The Visitor Visa under the long-term category will cost £337 for two years, £612 for five years, and £767 for the ten years validity period.

    The following visas are now replaced by the Standard Visitor Visa:

    • Family Visitor Visa
    • General Visitor Visa
    • Sports Visitor Visa
    • Entertainer Visitor Visa
    • Child Visitor Visa
    • Business Visitor Visa
    • Prospective Entrepreneur Visa
    • Private Medical Treatment Visitor Visa
    • Approved Destination Status (ADS) Visa

    Eligibility Factors

    • The applicant must leave the UK at the end of the visit
    • Sufficient funds to support stay, travel, and other expenses in the UK for himself/herself and the dependants, if any
    • Details of the travel plan
    • Visa fee payment, etc.

    Documents required for the visa application

    • A passport or any other valid travel document
    • Proof of sufficient funds in the savings account
    • Letter of consent from parents or legal guardians (if the applicant is under the age of 18)
    • Certified translations of documents which are not in English or Welsh
    • Other documents as specified in the application

    UK Study Visas (Tier 4) - Student Visa

    Applicants over the age of 16 who are offered a place on a course in the UK can apply for the Student Visa. The applicant must be from outside the EEA and Switzerland in order to be eligible for the application. The student is required to show proof of sufficient fund in his/her savings account while being eligible to speak, read, write, and understand English.

    Under the student visa, the applicant can initiate the application process as early as three months prior to the intended date of travel. A visa fee of £335 and the UK healthcare surcharge (based on the duration of the stay) are applicable for the visa application process. Depending on the nature of the course/study, the duration of the stay is decided.

    Eligibility Factors

    • Offer of a place in a course/study
    • Sufficient funds to support the travel and stay expenses (not applicable for fully sponsored applicants)
    • Knowledge of English (based on Secure English Language Test)
    • Visa fee payment, UK healthcare surcharge, etc.

    Documents required for the visa application

    • Proof of offer in a course/study
    • A passport or any other valid travel document
    • Proof of sufficient funds in the savings account (not applicable for fully sponsored applicants)
    • Letter of consent from parents or legal guardians (if the applicant is under the age of 18)
    • Tuberculosis test result
    • Certified translations of documents which are not in English or Welsh
    • Other documents as specified in the application

    UK Study Visas (Tier 4) - Doctoral Extension Scheme

    In order to be eligible for the Doctoral Extension Scheme (DES), the applicant is required to meet the following criteria:

    • Valid Tier 4 UK Study Visa at the time of application
    • Studying PhD or any other doctorate level qualification
    • Apply for the visa before 60 days of completing the course (submitting the final version of the thesis)
    • Sufficient funds to support the stay and expenses in the UK
    • Applying from within the UK
    • Submit specified documents

    Documents required for the visa application

    • A valid passport
    • Police Registration Certificate (if applicable)
    • Biometric Residence Permit (if applicable)
    • Two recent passport-sized photographs
    • Other documents based on the application

    UK Work Visa (Tier 1) - Investor

    The individuals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland can consider applying for the UK Investor Visa if the investment in the UK is £2,000,000 or above. The application process is based on certain eligibility factors which determine the approval or rejection of the visa application. An individual can initiate the application process three months prior to the intended date of travel.

    The applicants are required to pay £1,561 as the visa application fee. Additionally, the applicants are also required to pay the UK healthcare surcharge which is based on the visa scheme and period of cover. The UK Investor Tier 1 Work Visa allows the holder to a maximum stay of three years and four months. If the investment is £5 million, the investor can apply to settle after three years, however, if the investment is £10 million or above, the investor can apply to settle after two years.

    Eligibility factors

    • The applicant must be 18 years or above when applying for the visa
    • Investment fund of at £2,000,000 which can be invested in the UK without any issues

    Students who are already in the UK and financially sponsored by the government or an international scholarship agency can also apply for the UK Investor Visa based on certain eligibility factors.

    Documents required for the visa application

    • Valid passport with an empty page which is blank on both sides or other applicable travel document
    • Criminal Record Certificate
    • Tuberculosis test results
    • Certified translations of documents which are not in English or Welsh

    UK Work Visa (Tier 1) - Entrepreneur

    Individuals from outside the EEA and Switzerland who wish to set up or run a business in the UK with £50,000 or more can apply for the UK Entrepreneur Tier 1 Work Visa. The applicant can apply for the visa prior to three months from the intended travel date. The visa fee depends on the applicant’s nationality and the mode of application. Additionally, the applicant is also required to pay the UK healthcare surcharge. While individuals can extend the visa validity through an application, the visa holders from other categories are also allowed to switch to the UK Entrepreneur Visa.

    Eligibility Factors

    • Applicant must be at least 16 years of age and he/she must also pass the English Language Requirements
    • Applicant must have investment funds of £50,000 or more
    • Investment fund must be free to spend in the UK

    Documents required for the visa application

    • A passport or any other valid travel document
    • Proof of investment funds
    • Proof of sufficient funds to support his/her stay in the UK (£3,310 for applicants from outside the UK and £945 for applicants who are in the UK).
    • Criminal Record Certificate
    • Tuberculosis test result
    • Certified translations of documents which are not in English or Welsh
    • Other documents as specified in the application

    UK Work Visa (Tier 1) - Graduate Entrepreneur

    The applicants who are graduates from outside the EEA and Switzerland can apply for the visa once they are officially endorsed by either the Department for International Trade (DIT) or an authorised endorsing UK higher education institution (HEI). Depending on whether the applicant is endorsed by DIT or HEI, the processing time will defer. The visa fee depends on the applicant's nationality and mode of application. Additionally, the UK healthcare surcharge will be payable by the applicant.

    The UK Graduate Entrepreneur Tier 1 Work Visa allows the applicant to stay in the UK for one year while it can also be extended or switched.

    Eligibility Factors

    • Official endorsement from one of the recognised endorsing bodies
    • Bachelor's, Master's or PhD
    • Applicant must also pass the English Language Requirements

    Documents required for the visa application

    • A passport or any other valid travel document
    • Letter of endorsement
    • Proof of sufficient funds to support the stay and travel expenses in the UK (£1,890 for applicants from outside the UK and £1890 for applicants who are in the UK).
    • Criminal Record Certificate
    • Tuberculosis test result
    • Certified translations of documents which are not in English or Welsh
    • Other documents as specified in the application

    UK Work Visa (Tier 1) - Exceptional Talent

    If the applicant is endorsed either as a recognised leader (exceptional talent) or an emerging leader (exceptional promise) in the field of science, engineering, humanities, medicine, digital technology or the arts, he/she can apply for the UK Exceptional Talent Tier 1 Work Visa. The applicant must be from outside the EEA and Switzerland to be eligible for the application.

    Once the individual is endorsed by the Home Office for endorsement as a leader or an emerging leader in any particular field, the applicant will be able to initiate the application process. Based on the endorsement, mode of application, and the applicant's nationality, he/she will be required to pay a certain amount of visa fee which is divided into two categories. Applicants from outside the UK can expect a maximum stay of five years and four months while the applicant from inside the UK is eligible for a stay up to five years. The applicant also choose to extend the visa by additional five years. In addition to the visa fee, the applicant will need to pay for the UK healthcare surcharge based on the duration of stay.

    Eligibility Factors

    • Endorsement letter
    • Review of documents
    • Visa fee payment
    • Applicant must also pass the English Language Requirements

    Documents required for the visa application

    • A passport or any other valid travel document
    • Letter of endorsement
    • Proof of sufficient funds to support the stay and travel expenses in the UK
    • Criminal Record Certificate
    • Tuberculosis test result
    • Certified translations of documents which are not in English or Welsh
    • Other documents as specified in the application

    UK Work Visa (Tier 2) - General

    Individuals from outside the EEA and Switzerland who have been offered a skilled job in the UK are eligible to apply for the UK General Tier 2 Wok Visa. In order to work and live in the UK, the applicant must be employed by a licensed sponsor. Applicants from outside the UK can expect to get a decision within three weeks. The visa fee depends on the applicant's nationality, mode of application, visa categories, and other factors. Additionally, the applicant is also required to pay for the UK healthcare surcharge depending on the duration of the stay.

    The visa is granted for a maximum of five years and 14 days which can be extended for additional five years. The applicants are also allowed to bring their family members to the UK and also do a second job, as long as it doesn't interfere with the job he/she has been sponsored for. The application process requires the applicant to provide biometric data at a visa application centre.

    Eligibility Factors

    • Applicant has been offered a skilled job in the UK
    • A licensed employer is sponsoring the visa
    • Applicant must also pass the English Language Requirements
    • Visa fee payment
    • Documents specified in the application form

    Documents required for the visa application

    • Certificate of Sponsorship
    • A passport or any other valid travel document
    • Proof of sufficient funds to support the stay and travel expenses in the UK
    • Criminal Record Certificate
    • Tuberculosis test result
    • Certified translations of documents which are not in English or Welsh
    • Other documents as specified in the application

    UK Work Visa (Tier 2) - Intra-company Transfers

    If the applicant has been offered a job in a UK branch of a firm and he/she is from outside the EEA and Switzerland, the Intra-company Transfers Visa will help the applicant in securing a UK Visa. For the applicant to work and live in the UK, he/she must be offered a job by an employer which comes under licensed sponsor in the UK.

    The visa fee depends on the applicant's nationality and the mode of visa application. Once the applicant completes the application process by paying the visa fee along with the UK healthcare surcharge, he/she can expect a decision within three weeks from the date of application.

    Types of Intra-company Transfers

    There are three types of Intra-company Transfers which are mentioned below:

    • Long-term Staff
    • Short-term Staff
    • Graduate Trainee

    Maximum stay for each UK Work Visa (Tier 2) - Intra-company Transfers Category

    • 9 years under the Long-term Staff (for earnings more than £120,000 per annum)
    • 5 years and 1 month under the Long-term Staff (for earnings less than £120,000 per annum)
    • 12 months for Graduate Trainee
    • 12 months for Short-term Staff

    Eligibility Factors

    • Applicant has been offered a skilled job in the UK
    • A Certificate of Sponsorship from the employer
    • Applicant must be legally allowed to work in the UK
    • Minimal salary of £41,500 for Long-term Staff, £30,000 for Short-term Staff, and £23,000 for Graduate Trainee
    • Visa fee payment
    • Documents specified in the application form

    Documents required for the visa application

    • Certificate of Sponsorship
    • A passport or any other valid travel document
    • Proof of sufficient funds to support the stay and travel expenses in the UK
    • Criminal Record Certificate
    • Tuberculosis test result
    • Certified translations of documents which are not in English or Welsh
    • Other documents as specified in the application

    UK Work Visa (Tier 5) - Government Authorised Exchange

    Applicants who wish to visit the UK for a short-time programme such as research, fellowship, training, etc. through a Government Authorised Exchange, can apply for the UK Visa under certain eligibility criteria. The applicant must be from outside the EEA and Switzerland in order to be eligible for the application.

    The visa fee depends on the nationality of the applicant and the mode of application. The applicant is also required to pay the UK healthcare surcharge as a part of the application process. The application can be initiated prior to three months from the intended date of travel. The visa will allow the holder to stay in the UK for 12 to 24 depending on the applicant's requirement and the category of the visa.

    Eligibility Factors

    • Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK licensed sponsor which is valid for three months from the date of issuance
    • Visa fee payment, UK healthcare surcharge, etc.

    Documents required for the visa application

    • Certificate of Sponsorship
    • Proof of sufficient funds in the savings account (not applicable for fully sponsored applicants)
    • A passport or any other valid travel document
    • Criminal Record Certificate
    • Tuberculosis test result
    • Certified translations of documents which are not in English or Welsh
    • Other documents as specified in the application

    UK Work Visa (Tier 5) - Youth Mobility Scheme

    The individuals between the age group of 18 to 30, who wish to work and live in the UK for up to two years, are eligible to apply for the UK Visa under the Youth Mobility Scheme. The applicant is required to have at least £1,890 in his/her savings account to be eligible for the application process.

    The visa fee is £235 and the applicants can expect to hear a decision within three weeks. The applicant can apply for the visa six months prior to the intended date of travel. The visa will allow the holder to enter and leave the UK any number of times as long as the visa is valid. The UK Visa under the Youth Mobility Scheme enables the individual to live and work in the UK for up to a maximum of 24 months.

    Eligibility Factors

    In order to be eligible for the application, the applicant must be between the age group of 18 - 30, and from one of the following countries:

    • Australia
    • Canada
    • Hong Kong (sponsorship required)
    • Japan
    • Monaco
    • New Zealand
    • Republic of Korea (sponsorship required)
    • Taiwan

    The applicants who are British overseas citizen, British overseas territories citizen, and British national (overseas) can also apply for a visa under this category.

    Documents required for the visa application

    • Certificate of Sponsorship (if applicable)
    • Proof of sufficient funds in the savings account
    • A passport or any other valid travel document
    • Certified translations of documents which are not in English or Welsh
    • Other documents as specified in the application

    UK Work Visa (Tier 5) - Creative and Sporting Visas

    Individuals who have received a job offer to work as a sportsperson or creative worker in the UK can proceed with the application under the Creative and Sporting Visas. The applicant must be from outside the EEA, Switzerland, Ireland, and meet the other eligibility criteria as specified in the application. Applications from creative artists such as actor, dancer, film crew, musician, etc. are accepted from applicants if they have a Certificate of Sponsorship.

    The applicant can initiate the application prior to three months from the date of planned travel. The visa application decision is notified to the applicant within three weeks from the date of application. The visa fee is subject to the applicant's nationality, mode of application, and other important factors. Additionally, the UK healthcare surcharge is payable by the applicant along with the visa application fee. The visa allows the holder to work and study in the UK for a maximum of 12 months which can be extended based on certain criteria. If there is a change of sponsorship, the applicant must re-apply for the visa.

    Eligibility Factors

    • For Creative workers -
    1. Certificate of Sponsorship
    2. Sufficient funds in the savings account (not applicable for full sponsorship)
    3. Unique contribution to the UK labour market
    4. Specified minimum salary
    • For Sports Person -
    1. Certificate of Sponsorship
    2. Sufficient funds in the savings account (not applicable for full sponsorship)

    Documents required for the visa application

    • Certificate of Sponsorship
    • Proof of sufficient funds in the savings account (not applicable for fully sponsored applicants)
    • A passport or any other valid travel document
    • Letter of Endorsement from a sport’s governing body is applicable for an applicant who is a sportsperson, coach, etc.
    • Tuberculosis test result
    • Certified translations of documents which are not in English or Welsh
    • Other documents as specified in the application

    UK Work Visa (Tier 5) - Charity Worker

    Individuals who wish to visit the UK for unpaid voluntary work for a charity are required to obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed employer. The applicant must be from outside the EEA and Switzerland to be eligible for the application. The application process takes three weeks and it can be initiated three months prior to the intended date of travel. The visa fee amount depends on the nationality of the applicant and the mode of application. The applicant is also required to pay the UK healthcare surcharges.

    The visa allows the holder to visit the UK for a maximum of 12 months depending on the nature of travel and the category of the visa. During the course of the stay in the UK, the applicant can take his/her family members to the UK and also choose to work or study based on the specified guidelines.

    Eligibility Factors

    • Certificate of Sponsorship
    • Sufficient funds to support the travel and stay expenses in the UK (not applicable for fully sponsored applicants)
    • Visa fee payment, UK healthcare surcharge, etc.

    Documents required for the visa application

    • Certificate of Sponsorship
    • Proof of sufficient funds in the savings account (not applicable for fully sponsored applicants)
    • A passport or any other valid travel document
    • Certified translations of documents which are not in English or Welsh
    • Other documents as specified in the application

    UK Work Visa (Tier 5) - Religious Worker

    If a Religious Worker wishes to visit the UK for preaching or working in a religious group, he/her must have a Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed sponsor. The application can be initiated three months prior to the intended date of travel and the decision usually arrives within three weeks from the date of application.

    The visa fee is based on the applicant's nationality, mode of application, and other factors such as entry scheme, etc. Additionally, the cost for UK healthcare surcharge is paid by the applicant based on the duration of the stay. The visa allows the holder to live and work in the UK for a maximum of 24 months. The visa also allows the holder to take his/her family to the UK and carry out work/study under the specified visa guidelines.

    Eligibility Factors

    • Certificate of Sponsorship
    • Sufficient funds to support the travel and stay expenses (not applicable for fully sponsored applicants)
    • Visa fee payment, UK healthcare surcharge, etc.

    Documents required for the visa application

    • Certificate of Sponsorship
    • A passport or any other valid travel document
    • Proof of sufficient funds in the savings account (not applicable for fully sponsored applicants)
    • Tuberculosis test result
    • Certified translations of documents which are not in English or Welsh
    • Other documents as specified in the application

    UK Work Visa (Tier 5) - International Agreement

    Individuals who need to visit the UK to carry out contracted work for a foreign government while working under the international laws can apply for the UK Visa under the International Agreement Scheme. In order to be eligible for the application, the applicant must have a Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed employer.

    The applicant is required to pay the visa fee which is based on the applicant's nationality and mode of application. Moreover, the UK healthcare surcharge is paid by the application as a part of the application process. The visa allows the holder to stay in the UK for up to 24 months based on certain factors. The applicant can initiate the application process three months prior to the intended date of travel. Once the application is submitted, the decision usually comes out within three weeks from the date of the application.

    The visa is provided under the following circumstances:

    • If the work is covered by the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
    • Working as a private servant in a diplomatic household
    • Following specified work agreements between the UK and other countries.
    • If the work if for an international organisation or an overseas government

    Eligibility Factors

    • Certificate of Sponsorship
    • Sufficient funds to support the travel and stay expenses (not applicable for fully sponsored applicants)
    • Visa fee payment, UK healthcare surcharge, etc.

    Documents required for the visa application

    • Certificate of Sponsorship
    • A passport or any other valid travel document
    • Proof of sufficient funds in the savings account (not applicable for fully sponsored applicants)
    • Tuberculosis test result
    • Certified translations of documents which are not in English or Welsh
    • Other documents as specified in the application

    Other Visa - UK Settlement

    If an individual is from outside the EEA or Switzerland or is an extended family member of an individual from the EEA or Switzerland, he/she can apply for the UK Settlement Visa. As a member of the EEA or Swiss national, an individual is not required to apply for the Settlement Visa, however, it can help the applicant in re-entering the UK more easily and quickly when they are frequently travelling abroad. Additionally, it can also help as a proof of document which allows him/her to work in the UK. Moreover, the visa holder could be subject to certain benefits under the possession of the UK Settlement Visa. Typically, this visa is valid for five years, however, in case the visa expires due to a new scheme, the individual may have to re-apply for another application based on the up-to-date criteria. The application costs £65 and the applicant is required to provide biometric details along with the other specified documents.

    Other visa - Right of Abode

    All British nations automatically have the Right of Abode in the UK. The individuals with Right of Abode are allowed to live and/or work in the UK without any restriction. Neither will they require to have a visa to visit the UK nor do they face in restriction pertaining to duration of stay in the UK.

    Other visa - Residence Permit

    An applicant can apply for a Residence Permit if he/she is from outside the EEA and/or the family member, or extended family member, of an EEA national who is a permanent resident in the UK. By providing the documents related to work, self-employment or studies, an applicant seek for the UK Residence Permit.

    UK Family Visas

    An individual will need a family visa to visit the UK in order to live with a family member for more than 6 months. The application is applicable for living in the UK with parents, spouse/partner, fiancé/fiancée or proposed civil partner. An application may take up to 12 weeks for an applicant who is outside the UK while it can process within eight weeks if the applicant is within the UK. The visa fee depends on the location of the applicant and the mode of application.

    UK Ancestry Visa

    An applicant can apply for the UK Ancestry Visa three months prior to the intended date of travel. The applicant will be required to pay £496 as the visa fee. Additionally, the UK healthcare charges are also applicable to the application. The visa allows the holder to stay in the UK for up to five years. The visa allows the holder to work, study or to bring a family member to the UK. The visa can be also be extended.

    An applicant can apply for the UK Ancestry Visa under the following circumstances:

    • Applicant is a Commonwealth citizen
    • Application is from outside the UK
    • Proof that one of the grandparents was born in the UK
    • Other factors based on the application

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