The United Kingdom (UK) is an attractive location for travelers all around the world, be it for tourism, studies or just for business purpose. While citizens of many countries are exempted from requiring a valid visa to enter the country, there are people from many other nationalities who require a valid visa to cross its borders. We were there in UK during July 2018 and we had to apply a visitor visa.
The UK Visa application process is not that complex. However, it does require a bit of patience and can be frustrating for someone with a lack of it. The process goes like this:
- Check the type of Visa you would require, and the documents needed for UK Visa:
- It is very important that you apply for the right type of Visa for UK. Failing to do so might lead to you being denied entry into the country by the UK immigration officials. You can check the type of UK Visa you require here. All the information about different types of UK visa, including UK Transit Visa can be found here.
- Find out the respective UK Visa Application Centre in your city or nearby:
- Availability of a UK Visa Application Centre nearby, with your preferred slot is also something that you should verify before filling in the UK visa application. Information regarding visa application centers can be found sorted by country name here.
- Apply for the UK Visa and book an appointment:
- Once you have gathered the necessary documents and ensured that you have taken note of the above information, you can apply for the UK visa here. It has ideally 3 basic steps:
- Fill in the Application Form
- Schedule an appointment at the nearest UK Visa Centre (which is usually a TLS Contact Centre)
- Pay the Visa Fees
In our case, the UK Visa fee was 176 Euros for a standard Visitor Visa for 3 months (multiple entry).
- Appear on-time for the appointment and submit the required documents:
- Appear on-time with the documents for submitting the biometric details and the required documents.
- You would ideally need:
- Your Passport- Original, which you have to submit it for the period that your visa gets processed. The UK Visa Authorities would send it back to you by post at your given address in the application.
- Your Residence Permit/ Identity Card from the country of your present residence. Although the website says that all documents should be in English, yet, I submitted my residence permit, salary statements in German and there was apparently no problem (well, I got the Visa).
- Income proofs like salary statements, bank statements.
- Printed version of the UK visa application form and the document checklist which will be provided to you after you have finished the online application.
- A tentative travel plan needs to be filled in while applying (flight tickets and hotel bookings not required).
While your application is under process, you can check your UK visa application status by logging in to the respective TLS Contact Center of the place where you have applied from. I applied for my UK visa from Munich (Germany) and hence I checked it here. You need your GWF Number for the same.
The official UK Visa website mentions that they need approximately 3 working weeks to process the visa. However, from what we have seen, it varies depending on the time of the year when the visa is applied. I know some whose visa got approved within 4 days while some other did not have it even after a month. Hence, I would suggest you plan much in advance!
UK is a fabulous country, rich in history, culture, art, natural beauty, food and of course, lovely people. Hence, apply for the UK Visa with utmost care and patience and ensure that you have all the correct information filled in.
As for our experiences in UK while we were visiting places like London, Sheffield, Chatsworth, Monsal Dale, look out this space for my blogs on these places coming soon!