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United Kingdom

UK Visa

People who do not belong to the EU, USA and a few other visa-exempt countries require a permit to visit the country. Citizens of the UAE, Kuwait and a few other GCC countries also have an Electronic visa waiver program. Indian citizens require a UK Visa to enter the country. The permit is issued in the form of a sticker in your passport. The validity of the visa depends upon the types. Different types of visa have multiple duration and entry types given with that particular permit.

How to Apply for UK Visa?

The process of applying for a UK Visa for Indians online is described as below.

  1. Create an account on the UK Visa application portal called Visa4UK. If you are applying for a visitor visa, you can also apply it via the visa immigration service portal too.
  2. Complete the UK online visa application form with your details.
  3. Proceed to pay the UK Visa fees online.
  4. Book your visa appointment at a visa application centre (VAC) for the visa and biometric submission.
  5. Take a print out of the confirmation of the appointment you receive in your email.
  6. Along with this, attend the appointment at the VAC with your documents to finally submit your application.

Please note that in certain cases, you may be required to submit to an interview. Also, it is necessary to ensure that you submit genuine and correct documents. Any false information can lead to visa rejection. A refusal for the permit can affect your future applications.

UK Visa Types

There are a number of types of permits issued to visit the United Kingdom. For the temporary visas; Based on the purpose of visit, the major types can be classified into the following.

  • UK Tourist/Visitor Visa – This type allows you to visit the country for a short term visit. These are normally issued for a duration of 6 months. However, in certain cases where the applicant requires to travel to the country multiple times over a few years, it may be issued for even 2,5 or 10 years. However, you will only be allowed to stay for a maximum of 6 months per entry. Based on the type of visit, these can further be classified into the following –
    1. Standard Visitor – This is issued to visitors travelling for the purpose of tourism, business, medical treatment, and other similar short term visit purposes.
    2. Marriage Visitor – This type is required if you are visiting the country to get married or get into a civil partnership in the UK.
    3. Transit – This is only required if you have to travel through the UK as a transit to visit another country.
  • Student – This type of permit is issued to people who want to pursue a course in the UK. This is generally based on the Point Based System (PBS). The types of student permits are as follows –
    1. Short-term study – Used for students doing short term courses or research for 6 or 11 months.
    2. Tier 4 General Student – This is issued in cases where you have been offered a place on a course. Since this is a PBS type, you will need to meet the necessary eligibility points. The visa is issued as per the duration of your course.
    3. Tier 4 Child Student – Children between the ages of 4 and 17, visiting the UK to take part in studies in an independent school will require this type.
  • Work – The work permit is issued to individuals who are visiting the country to take part in work or employment activities. This is also a PBS system and requires the individuals to meet the eligibility points. The types of work visas are as follows.
    1. Tier 2 – This is issued to individuals who are moving to the country to take part in long term work.  You will be required to be sponsored by a licensed sponsor for this. There are several sub-divisions of this visa too.
    2. Tier 5 – A 5th tier permit is issued for short term work. These can be unpaid voluntary work, religious work, sports-related, etc. These can further be split into multiple types based on the purpose.
    3. Tier 1 – For individuals performing long term business activities, and planning to set-up their business, a tier 1 type is the apt one. This can be issued for entrepreneurs, start-ups, etc based on the eligibility.
  • Family – You can apply for a family visa is you are going to the UK to live with your spouse, parent, child, or a relative who will be providing for you for a long term. These visas are issued for more than 6 months. If you require to visit them for a period of fewer than 6 months, you can apply for a standard visitor visa instead.

Documents required for UK Visa

As per the UK Visa documents requirements for Indian citizens, the documents needed for UK Visa depends on the type of visa. Each one of the UK Visa types has a certain set of documents specific to it. However, the general requirements for most types are as follows –

  • UK visa application form – Online completed application form on Visa4UK
  • 2 recent passport size photographs
  • A passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of return, along with at least one blank page
  • Proof of financial means to support your stay in the UK
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Complete travel itinerary
  • Biometric information, if applicable
  • Visa fees receipt
  • Proof of occupation

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