Visit the UK

Visit the UK

Tourist and Visiting visas

The UK is a very popular tourism destination, for shorter or even longer periods of visits. The UK Visitor Visas are issued for short stays, tourism visits and similar purposes. UK authorities rarely do issue a tourism visa for a longer period than six months. The foreign nationals are prohibited from getting a job inside UK with this type of visa, just as with many other types.

Short business trips are handled kind of the same way.

Categories of Tourist and Visiting Visas

Family Visas

The UK Family Visa is issued to visit family members in the UK. This Visa type is for people who have family members working and living in the UK and want to join them for more than six months, as their dependents. The dependents can be husband or wife (spouse), partner, fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner, children, parents, other family members.

Categories of Family Visas

Transit Visas

The UK Transit Visa is for foreigners who are not from the EEA (EU countries, including Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland, and are using the UK as a transit country to pass from another country to their destination. This visa offers the opportunity to apply for a long-term transit visa if the applicant has enough evidence that he needs to travel regularly through UK to arrive at his destination, but has no intention to stay or live there permanently. Such long-term transit visas can be given from 1 to 10 years long.

Categories of Transit visas

Refugee Visa

Temporary Refugee Visa is for people who are about to enter in the UK and are at the borders because had to leave their country as their life was seriously threatened. The application for this visa is made from within the UK.

The visa is temporary, until the visa holder is not endangered anymore and can return back to their country. Visa for Stateless Persons is for foreigners living in the UK and are not nationals in any other country in the world. This visa is given for 2 to 6 years with a possibility of extension.

UK Residence Permits

Indefinite Leave to Remain

The UK Settlement permit also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain, is for those who have been living in the UK for a long period with a temporary visa, and now want to receive a permanent one. The visa applies to people who have lived out of the UK at least 2 years and now want to return, or their passport was lost.

Foreigners who already live in the UK with a refugee or humanitarian status and want to settle there permanently or for family reunion. Most of these visas condition the applicant to have lived minimum 5 years in the United Kingdom.

EEA Residence Permits:

Other Residence Permits

UK Residence permits serve to gain temporary residence in the UK.

Electronic Visa Waiver

The Electronic Visa Waiver is established for citizens of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates who want to come to the UK for maximum six months to do business, to sightsee, study or to get medical care.

Citizens of these countries must apply for other visa types if they seek to come to the UK for other reasons or for longer periods.

How to apply for Electronic Visa Waiver?

The earliest you can apply for this visa is three months and the latest two days in advance the travel date. With this visa there is no possibility to include dependents, everyone must apply separately.

To apply for this visa is simple, and only the following information must be provided:

        – Passport information;

        – The place where the candidate will be living in the UK;

        – Travel itinerary with planned dates of entry and leave

There is a possibility to have change information in this visa when needed, i.e. change as regards of airport, train station, bus station or similar, change as regards of the time of entering the UK and similar.

Upon the application, the visa will be received in one day in a form of a link, in the email address of the candidate for download. As such, it must be printed to be shown at the UK borders when entering.

What a UK Visa holder must know?

Despite the fact that a foreigner might be having a visa, they might be subject to Immigration Control (examination) anytime crossing the UK border. There can also be cases when the visa might e cancelled at the borders.

Any form of overstaying, or violating visa conditions, while being in the UK or out, is considered an act of offense.

Visas sometimes can forbid the holder doing several activities such as:

Such restrictions can be made known to the holder in the following ways:

Frequently Asked Questions Related to UK Visa

Booking a flight for a UK visa application is not compulsory. The UK authorities permit you to apply without having one. You should still submit a travel itinerary, in which you include the intended entry and exit dates.

It may take around three weeks for a UK visa to be processed. The current UK Visa processing time differs from one application to the other based on several factors. These are:
– The visa type you are applying for,
– The country from where you are applying,
– Your specific situation,
– The number of applications the UK consulate/visa processing center is receiving at the time, etc.

Depending on the visa type you are applying for, you may be eligible to use the ‘priority service’ or even the ‘super-priority service’ when filing your application.

The ‘priority service’ enables you to get a decision on your application within five working days for an additional fee of £500. Whereas, the ‘super priority service’ that will cost you £800 aside from the visa fee, and enables you to get a decision by the end of the next working day.

The Immigration Health Surcharge is an amount of money you have to pay when you apply for a visa to the UK. Once you are in the UK with a visa, you are entitled to use services of the NHS the same as other UK citizens. Please note that you will still need to pay for services as prescriptions, dental
treatment, eye tests and assisted conception.

The health surcharge costs £300 per year for a student or Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa, and £400 per year for all other visa and immigration applications.

Some of the most common reasons why UK visas are refused are as follows:

– Missing documents : This is the most common reason why applications are rejected. One missing document and the embassy will be done with your application. You won’t even get a second chance to submit what is missing. You will need to start a brand new application.
Incorrect and mismatching information in your documents.
Insufficient financial means to support your stay in the UK.
Not meeting the English language requirement.
Incorrect organization of documents.

If your application for a UK visa is rejected, you can just give up, or :

– Reapply for the visa. If you reapply, make sure that you do not make the previous mistake, or you improve your situation in order to meet the requirements.

– Appeal on Human Rights ground. You should have a strong basis to appeal a visa rejection decision.

– Challenge the decision via judicial review. You can do this if you have a strong reason to believe that your application has been rejected illegally or irrationally or there has been procedural unfairness during the processing of your application file.

No, it is not possible to have the fee you paid refunded. The fee for a UK visa is required in order to cover the expenses that come out of the processing of your application, thus refunding is not possible if your visa is denied or you decide to withdraw your application while it is being processed.

Moreover, when you reapply for a UK visa after your fist application has been rejected, you will need to pay the fee again.

If you have been involved in criminal activity in the past, the UK authorities will still receive and process your UK visa application. Yet, the Home Office will treat your application differently from the way it treats applications of people with no criminal past.

The length of your sentence and the time that has passed since then are very important in such cases. Your application will be automatically rejected if you have been imprisoned for:

– 4 years or more.

– Between one to 4 years, unless at least 10 years have passed since the end of the sentence.

– Less than 12 months, unless at least 5 years have passed since the end of the sentence.

Your application will also be rejected on the spot if within the period of 12 months before the application is decided, you have been convicted of or admitted an offense for which you received a non-custodial sentence or out of court disposal that is recorded on your criminal record.

If the visa sticker on your passport contains the words ‘Police registration’ or ‘Register with police in 7 days of entry’ then you will need to register with the police once you are in the UK with a valid visa.

You have seven days to go to the police for registration after you arrive in the UK. Note that if you do not register with the police, your visa validity will be shortened and you may need to leave the UK.

Holders of UK visas are allowed to travel abroad while in the UK. However, there may be extra requirements they must fulfill depending on their nationality and purpose of travel. 

Travelling to Europe

To visit other European countries, you may have to apply for a Schengen visa from the UK which allows you to travel for tourism or business purposes for a maximum of 90 days.

You can apply for a visa from the UK even if you are not a British citizen. Although the procedures to apply it are almost the same for all applicants you must familiarize yourself with the specifics if you are applying from the UK.

If you need to obtain a Schengen visa from the UK, it is required that you purchase a Schengen visa health insurance plan that covers your entire period of stay in Europe.

Travelling to USA

To travel to the USA, you might be required to apply for a US visa in the UK, depending on your nationality. If you are a citizen of a country in the Visa Waiver Program, you are not required to apply for a visa, but you will have to apply for ESTA instead.