A wide range of people visit the United Kingdom every year for distinct purposes such as sightseeing, studying, or even working. Even though 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 United Kingdom.
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 a particular visa has.
This detailed blog will help you understand the UK visa requirements and procedures you need to go through in order to obtain a visa to the United Kingdom.
UK Visa Application Process
The UK visa application process and service you need to use to apply for a UK visa depends mostly on the visa type you need to apply for.
You will need to use the online Visa4UK service for 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.
- Choose the right UK visa type
Most of the application process for a British visa, including the UK visa requirements, depends on your purpose of visiting the UK. Your purpose of travel to the UK ascertains what type of visa you need, which can be one of the following:
- UK Tourist Visa – People who wish to enter the UK to visit friends or family members, for holidays, business, private medical treatment, or for a short span of time.
- UK Transit Visa – For people who need to pass through the UK in transit to another country.
- UK Work Visa – For people who wish to engage in paid activity in the UK.
- UK Study Visa – For students who wish to travel to the UK to enroll at a university. If your course is a short-term course you ought to apply for a UK short-term study visa. Whereas, if you need long-term permission to stay in the UK, you need to apply for a Student Route (Known as Tier 4 Visa previously). You can now apply for a Student Visa up to six months before courses start, as opposed to three. According to the Point-Based System, you need to collect 70 points to be eligible for a Visa.
- Other visas – For people who wish to set a business in the UK, or to join a family member living in the UK
- Complete the online application form
Usually, the UK visa online application form consists of questions on personal information as:
- Your full name
- Country of residence
- Marital status
- Personal contact number
- Passport number
- The purpose of wishing to enter the UK
- Other information related to your application.
If the information entered in the application form doesn’t comply with the information in the other required documents, your application gets rejected.
- Collect the required documents
As a part of your UK visa application, you should submit some mandatory required documents to support your case.
You should submit the following documents to apply for a UK visa:
UK visa application form: According to the UK visa type you are applying for, you may have to complete the form online, or the manual application form.
Two photographs: These photos should be taken within the past six months and in color.
Your Valid Passport: It must be valid for three more months beyond the date you plan to leave the UK after your trip. It must also have at least one blank page for the visa.
The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from your school: Proof that you have got admission to a particular college or university.
Proof of English Language proficiency: Test Scores of any English language proficiency test such as IELTS.
Proof you have the financial means to cover the living costs while in the UK: This may include your bank statements for the last six months or payslips for the same period.
Proof of accommodation: You will need to present a document that shows where you will be accommodated while in the UK.
Detailed travel itinerary: Submit a travel plan that gives all the information regarding how and what you are planning to do in the UK. Include the travel dates, places you will visit, meeting agenda, booked tour, festival agenda, etc.
Biometric information: If you are applying for a visa that lets you stay in the UK for more than 6 months, you will need to submit your biometric information. This includes giving your fingerprints and a digital photograph taken at the appropriate application center.
UK visa invitation letter: If you will be staying over with a friend or a family member, then you should submit a letter of invitation. Your host must be a UK national or a legal resident.
Paid UK visa fees: You should submit the receipt that confirms you have paid the visa fee as required.
Certified translations of any document that is not in either English or Welsh.
- Schedule a UK visa appointment
After scheduling 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, along with the required documents.
Make sure that the documents are as required because even a little mistake can sometimes cause a lot of trouble. Also, the appointment must be made in your name and not in someone else’s.
- Attend the UK visa interview
When you attend the UK visa interview, you will need to provide your biometric information including a photograph and a digital scan of your fingerprints.
Every applicant who is submitting a visa application must attend the visa interview in person, you should be fully prepared with everything for attending the Interview. Applicants under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
- UK Visa Application Denial
Pay detailed attention to the whole application process, as even small mistakes can lead to the rejection of your application by the UK Home Office. Some of the common 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 the UK
- Fraudulent or missing documents
- You have overstayed on a previous trip
- Criminal history
- Appeal Against the UK Visa Denial
If your UK visa application gets rejected, you are notified with the reasons behind your rejection. If you think that this decision has not been taken rightfully, then you can appeal it.
- Fill in Form IAFT-2, which is known as an appeal form
- Submit it to the UK Immigration and Asylum Chamber
- The body will forward the documents to the concerned authorities
- A new decision will be taken and communicated to the applicant in writing
If in case, the decision is not changed, you can always file a new application after correcting the previous mistakes.