The UK has been the center of attraction for people lately. People from far and wide visit the UK for different purposes ranging from education to tourism to working or even in most cases, settling down there permanently. Despite that, the citizens of different countries especially in the western part of the world are granted entry without being in possession of the visa. However, other indigenes from other countries will be needing it.
The UK visa grants you access into the country no matter the route used to get in, be it land, sea, or air. Being in possession of the visa means that you are eligible to move freely in the UK without hassles.
However, people are looking to know how they can go about applying for a UK visa. This detailed article will give you the insight you need.
The UK Visa Application Process
You will need to do a number of things before you even start making your UK visa application. The UK visa application process depends on the type of visa you are looking to apply for. This dictates everything you do from now on, so it is extremely important to define why you are planning to travel to the UK. Upon your final decision on the purpose of your travels then you can make the next step.
In addition, applicants that are applying for a UK tourist or short-stay visa can start the application here. However, the link above is for only the UK tourist visa, any other type of visa can visit the online Visa4UK service, including study and work visas. If you are a first-timer, then you will be mandated to create an account, subsequently, those who have an account can just sign in and fill in the required information asked of them.
There are simple steps to follow to have a stress-free application process, these steps are questions that you need to ask yourself so you do not go into this journey and either have to have a do-over or to make costly mistakes or even the worst-case scenario – get denied the visa.
- Identify your UK visa status.
- Choosing the UK visa type.
- Complete the online application form.
- Submit the required documents for a UK visa application.
- Schedule a UK visa appointment.
- Attend the UK visa interview.
Identify Your UK Visa Status
As stated earlier, not all countries are bound by visa acquisition. There are some countries that do not need a UK visa to visit the country.
That means that even if you intend to travel to you will not need a UK visa prior to that only if you are;
- An EEA citizen.
- A Swiss citizen.
- A Commonwealth citizen.
Note: You are to check the list of nationals that need a UK visa to get more information and also know your fate. Once you have checked the list and see that you are to apply for a visa then you can begin your application.
Choosing A Visa Type
Applicants know by now that the process of application depends on the purpose of traveling to the UK hence, the need to apply for the correct visa type.
- Tourist Visa – for all those who wish to enter the UK to visit friends or family members, for holidays, business, private medical treatment, to get married, etc.
- Transit Visa – for those who need to pass through the UK in transit to another country.
- Work Visa – for all those who wish to engage in paid activity in the UK.
- Study Visa – for all those who wish to travel to the UK to enroll at a study course/university. Therefore, you need to be certain of the duration of the course you intend to study. If the duration of your course is likely to be in the short-term then you are to apply for a UK short-term study visa. On the flip side, if the duration of your course is long-term then you would need permission to stay in the UK, therefore, you have to apply for a Tier 4 Visa.
Online Application Form
Mostly, almost all UK applications are done online. You should only start filling your UK online visa application form once you’ve gathered and properly prepared all your supporting documents and have checked that your passport is valid for travel, else you may be required to redo the application which will just be delayed on the application process.
However, do note that the online form is not a form per se, it is more of a questionnaire. Relevant questions are asked to ascertain your identity. Questions like;
- Name and surname;
- Country of residence;
- Marital status;
- Personal number;
- Passport number;
- Reason for wishing to enter the UK;
- Other information about your application.
Even if all your documents were prepared and ready to be sent/uploaded, it will still take at least an hour to completely fill out your application form. As earlier stated, you will be asked to create an account, do make sure that the email address you key in must be accessible to you at all times and you must not forget it as it will be verified.
In addition, do note that if there is any form of lies and false pretense, it can lead to automatic disqualification. Therefore, applicants are to correctly fill in the forms given to them online.
Submit the required documents
During the visa application, you are mandated to submit some important documents that will be used for the processing.
Schedule a UK visa appointment
Once you have made known the appointment location and time, you are to print the email confirming the details of the appointment. Take the printout with you to the location of the appointment alongside the other documents.
Furthermore, there are some documents that are expected to be submitted in the original and not the photocopy, ensure you do as told. Also, make sure that the appointment is made in your name and not another person’s name.
Attend the UK visa interview
Upon getting to the location, you are to have a fingerprint done and then submit the documents you brought with you for proper documentation.
All applicants submitting a visa application must attend the appointment at the visa center in-person including dependent children. However, children under 18 years can come there in the presence of their parents/guardians.