UK Visa Application – UK Visa Types and Requirements.
A UK visa is a document that gives you the legal right to be in the UK either temporarily or permanently. This visa is usually a stamp you get on a passport document. It is issued by the UK embassy or consulate office in your home country.
Being issued a UK visa by the embassy means that you meet the requirements and are eligible to visit or live in the United Kingdom. The reasons why people go through the UK visa application process vary. Here are some of the reasons why people apply for a visa to the UK:
- For School.
- For work or business-related purposes.
- Tourism or short stay.
- To join a family member who is already in the UK.
- When you are en route to another country and need to go through the UK.
- To live permanently in the UK.
- As a refugee or as a person fleeing persecution and in need of humanitarian help and protection.
- If you are a stateless person.
- As someone needing permission to stay.
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UK Visa Application Process
The UK visa application process depends on the type of visa you are applying for. If the type of UK visa you want is a short stay or a tourist visa, you can start your UK visa application here.
If you are applying for other types of visas, you will need to make use of the Visa4UK online service. This includes study and work visas. For first-time applicants, you will need to create an account. For people with an account already, you will need to sign in and enter the areas needed with the needed information.
To apply for a UK visa follow these simple steps:
- Note the reasons you need a UK visa.
- Select the type of visa that fits your need.
- Then complete an online application form.
- Get all the required documents needed for a UK visa application.
- Proceed to schedule your UK visa appointment at the embassy or consulate office.
- Attend the slated visa interview.
Who Needs a UK Visa
If you are a US citizen, a member of the EU member state, or from certain Commonwealth countries, then you do not need a visa for the UK for up to six months.
There are some citizens of countries who are exempt from the UK visa requirement. This depends on your nationality. You are not required to apply for a UK visa to visit England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland if you are:
- An EEA citizen (European Economic Area).
- A Swiss citizen.
- A Commonwealth citizen.
If you are not a citizen of these countries and you need a visa, you will need to proceed with the visa application steps
Required Documents for UK Visa Application
Some standard documents are needed to apply for a visa. And every applicant must fulfill them. These documents needed vary on your nationality and also the type of visa you are applying for.
You are required to submit the following documents for a UK visa application:
- UK visa application form. This depends on the type of visa you are applying for. You will be required to complete an online form at the Visa4UK website. Or complete a manual application form.
- Two photographs. It should be taken within the past six months and in color.
- Your Valid Passport.
- Your Proof you have the financial means to cover the living costs while in the UK. This can be a statement of your bank records within the last six months.
- A Proof of accommodation.
- Your Detailed travel itinerary. This includes your travel plans in the UK.
- Tuberculosis medical Test Results. Citizens of lots of countries are required to submit a TB test result to declare eligibility to the UK.
- Biometric information. For applicants applying for a visa that lets you stay in the UK for more than 6 months, you will be needed to submit biometric information. This information includes your fingerprints, and a digital photograph, taken at an approved center.
- UK visa invitation letter. This is applicable if you are staying over with a friend or family. Your host has to be a legal resident or a UK citizen.
- Paid UK visa fees. The receipt should be submitted to confirm that the required fees have been paid.
- An English proficiency test result. This is required of some countries, especially non-English speaking countries.
- Make translations of any documents you have that are not in English or Welsh.
UK Visa Types for UK Visa Application
There are different reasons why people want to apply for a UK visa. That is why the government of the UK has created an organized visa system based on the purpose of visitors. And under multiple visa types.
Here are the UK visa types:
- Work Visas.
- Business Visas.
- Study Visas.
- Visitor Visas.
- Family Visas.
- Settlement Visas.
- Transit Visas.
How Much Time Does it Take to Get a UK Visa?
Usually, it takes about 3 weeks for a UK visa to be processed. This is also depended on your nationality or country of origin. The UK Visa application time also varies based on the application and other factors. Some of these factors are:
- The visa type you are applying for.
- Your nationality or the country you are applying from.
- The applicant’s specific situation or purpose of applying.
- The number or amount of applications that are received by the UK consulate/visa processing center. This could also affect the processing time.
How to get my UK Visa Faster
Based on the type of visa you are applying for, you may be eligible to use the ‘priority service’. Or eligible to use the ‘super-priority service’ when sending your visa application.
This ‘priority service’ is used to help you get a decision on your visa application within five working days. It incurs an additional fee of £500. While the ‘super priority service’ incurs a service fee of £800. And this is aside from the visa fee. This Super Priority Service lets you get a visa decision by the end of the next working day.
Reasons for a UK Visa Denial?
In some cases, applicants are also denied a UK visa. Some of the reasons for this refusal can be:
- Missing documents. Missing documents are one of the most common among the denials to the UK visa. If you have a missing document, you will not be given a second chance. This means that you will need to start a new application
- Having a piece of incorrect or mismatching information in your documents.
- If your financial means to support your stay in the UK are insufficient.
- When you do not meet the required English language proficiency test score.
- An incorrect organization of documents.
What to do in Case of Visa Denial?
If your UK vis application is denied, you can either give up or:
- Reapply for another UK visa. If you send in another new application. Ensure that this new application carries the correct information.
- Make an appeal based on Human Rights grounds. You should only make an appeal when you have a strong reason to appeal the visa rejection decision.
- Challenge the embassy or consulate’s decision via judicial review.