Wide ranges of people visit the United Kingdom every year under different purposes as for sightseeing, studying, or even working. Despite that the nationals of many Western countries, in particular of the European countries, can enter the United Kingdom visa-free, the rest of world citizens are very likely to need a visa in order to be permitted to step in the UK.
The UK visa allows you to enter the country, whether it is through the sea, land or air. The possession of a visa means that you have fulfilled the requirements that the particular visa has.
This detailed article will help you understand the UK visa application process and procedures you need to go through in order to obtain a visa to the United Kingdom.
UK Visa Application
The UK visa application process is approximately similar to the application process for most of the UK visas. The application procedures for a UK visa depend mostly on the visa type you need to apply for.
The service you need to use in order to apply for UK visa, depends on the visa you’re applying for. If you are applying for a tourist or short stay visa you can apply using the Access UK service for a:
- Standard Visitor visa
- Marriage Visitor visa
- Permitted Paid Engagement visa
If you do not already have an account, you will have to sign in and give the required information. If you don’t, then you will have to create an account.
For every other type of visa you will have to use the online Visa4UK service, including study and work visas. If you are applying for the first time you will have to create an account. If you already have an account, just sign in and fill the areas with the required information.
To apply for UK visa you must go through these simple steps:
- Find out if you need a UK visa.
- Chose the right UK visa type.
- Complete the online application form.
- Collect the required documents for a UK visa application.
- Schedule a UK visa appointment.
- Attend the UK visa interview.
Find out if you need a UK visa
You may be exempt from the UK visa requirement, depending on your nationality. You will not have to apply for a UK visa prior to your trip to England, Scotland, Wales or the Northern Ireland, if you are:
- An EEA citizen.
- A Swiss citizen.
- A Commonwealth citizen.
Check the list of nationals that need a UK visa for more information in this regard.
If you realize that you need a visa, then you can proceed with the other steps!
Choose the right UK visa type
Most of the application process for a British visa, including the visa requirements, depends on your purpose of visiting the UK. Your purpose of travel to the UK determines what type of visa you need, which can be one of the following:
- UK Visit Visa – for all those who wish to enter UK to visit friends or family members, for holidays, business, private medical treatment, to get married, etc.
- UK Transit Visa – for those who need to pass through UK in transit to another country.
- UK Work Visa – for all those who wish to engage in paid activity in the UK.
- UK Study Visa – for all those who wish to travel to the UK to enroll at a study course/university. If your study is short-term you ought to apply for a UK short-term study visa. Whereas, if you need a long-term permission to stay in the UK, you have to apply for a Tier 4 Visa.
- Other visas – which include visas to set a business in UK, visas to join a family member living in the UK
Complete the online application form
Usually the application form contains questions on personal information as:
- your name & surname
- country of residence
- marital status
- personal number
- passport number
- reason for wishing to enter the UK
- other information about your application
If the information in the application form doesn’t comply with the information in the other required documents, your application will be rejected!
Collect the required documents for a UK visa application
You are required to submit some mandatory required documents for UK visa application. Some of the mainly required documents are as follows:
- A UK visa application form – fully completed and printed.
- Passport or travel document – valid for the entire period of stay in the UK and having at least one blank page.
- Two passport-sized colored photographs – taken last six months, in color, in the format of 45mm high x 35mm wide.
- Biometric information (if applying for a visa for longer than six months) – Fingerprints and photographs must be offered at the application center when applying for the visa.
- Detailed travel itinerary. Information about your travel plans, to the UK along with plane tickets, places you will visit, meeting agenda, booked tour, festival agenda, or others. To learn how to make flight reservation without paying visit the article.
- Letter of invitation for UK visa. It must be written by a citizen or legal resident of the United Kingdom, with whom you have family ties or friendship.
- Document to confirm a paid UK visa fee.
Schedule a UK visa appointment
After making the appointment online, print the email confirming the details of your appointment, and take it with you to the UK visa application center you have chosen to attend, together with the required documents.
The documents required in original must be submitted in original. Make sure that the documents are as required, because sometimes even a little mistake can cause a lot of trouble. Please note that the appointment must be made in your name not in someone else’s.
Attend the UK visa interview
When you attend the UK visa application center, you will need to provide your biometric information, which includes a photograph and a digital scan of your fingerprints.
Every applicant who is submitting a visa application must attend the visa application center in person, including children. Applicants under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
Apply for a UK Visa from USA
To apply for a UK visa from USA there are some specific procedures that you must go through. Although US citizens do not need to apply for a UK visitor visas, they must apply for visas in the Points Based System.
In addition, US green card holders may be required to apply for a UK visa if they hold a citizenship of a country that does not have a visa facilitation agreement with the UK.
UK Visa Application Denial
Pay attention to the whole application process, since even small mistakes can lead to the rejection of your application by the UK Home Office. Some of the main reasons for visa rejection are:
- Missing Documents.
- Applying for the wrong type of visa.
- Failure to prove you have the financial means to support your stay in UK.
- Fraudulent documents.
- You have overstayed in a previous trip.
- Criminal history.
How to Appeal Against the UK Visa Denial?
If your UK visa application is rejected, when you receive the answer on your application you will also be notified on the reasons behind it. If you think that this decision has not been taken justly, then you can appeal it.
- Fill in Form IAFT-2, which is an appeal form
- Submit it to the UK Immigration and Asylum Chamber
- This body will send the documents will be forwarded to the relevant authorities
- A new decision will be taken and communicated to the applicant in writing
If the decision is not changes, you can file a new application by correcting the previous mistakes.
Can I Extend my UK Visa?
Extending your UK visa while in the UK is possible. However, the process differs depending on the visa
type you hold. If you are in the UK on a standard visitor visa, you will be eligible to apply for a visa
extension as long as the total time you spend in the UK is less than 6 months.