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UK Visa

The United Kingdom has a unique amalgamation of history, culture, food and gorgeous views making it a famous tourist destination. It also has some of the finest and oldest universities including the prestigious Oxford University. The UK's capital London is not only one of the world’s best cities but also one of the four fashion capitals in the world. Travel enthusiasts wish to travel to the UK at least once in their lives. If you too are planning a trip to the United Kingdom, you will need to apply for a UK visa. Moreover, if you purchase travel insurance before your trip, you can enjoy every moment of your trip without a care in the world.

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About UK Visa

A UK, a visa is an official document that allows a non-British citizen to enter the territory of the United Kingdom. It is a permit issued by the British Embassies or Consulates that allows a foreign national to travel or stay in the UK for a specified time. UK visa also grants permission to people from outside the country to transit through the international transit areas of the airports in the United Kingdom. Some people also refer to the UK visa as the London visa, which authorises a foreign traveller to travel to London.

Look at some essential features of the UK Visa for Indians:

Categories Specification
UK Visa Price* Starting INR 3621 for transit visa
UK Travel Insurance Visa Requirement Strongly advised
UK Visa Processing Time 3 weeks, can be faster by paying additional GBP 500
UK Visa on Arrival for Indians Not Available

*Values will vary depending on the category of the visa applied

All Indian nationals travelling to the United Kingdom are advised to obtain a travel insurance policy before they commence their trip. A travel insurance policy for the Uk will protect you from sudden eventualities and cover unaccounted expenses that may arise during your trip to the UK.

Features of UK Visa

  • One visa to travel to 4 European countries
  • Available for both short-stay and permanent residency
  • Standard Visitor visa is available for 6 months or 11 months
  • Long-term Standard Visitor visa available for 2 years, 5 years and 10 years
  • Pay the additional amount (as of now GBP 500) to get a faster decision on UK visa application India i.e. within one or five working days

Types of UK Visa

Types of UK Visa

The United Kingdom offers four UK visa types to foreigners who wish to come here for varying purposes. All foreign nationals need to apply for the right type of UK visa before travelling. Moreover, you should buy travel insurance for the UK no matter which type of visa you apply for. Make sure to choose a suitable type of UK visa based on the purpose of your travel. Take a look at the various UK visa types offered by the British Embassy:

  • UK Transit Visa

    Foreign nationals transiting through the international transit areas of the UK airports can apply this visa. A UK transit visa is of two types –

    • UK Direct Airside Transit Visa or DATV: a foreign national who will not be passing through the UK border control should apply this type of UK transit visa.
    • Visitor in Transit visa: To be applied by a foreign national who will be passing through the UK border control but leave the country within 48 hours.
  • UK Standard Visitor Visa

    A Standard Visit Visa for the UK allows a non-British national to enter, stay as well as transit through the UK. People travelling to the United Kingdom for vacation, to meet family or friends, to receive private medical treatment, and conduct business including participation in sports, entertainment and cultural activities, can apply this type of UK visa. People travelling to the UK for marriage or an academic visit can also apply it.

    A Standard UK Visitor visa or UK Tourist visa from India is usually issued for 6 months. While academicians visiting for research purposes can get a visa valid for up to 11 months, people travelling to receive private medical treatment can get a UK visitor visa for up to 12 months.

    People who wish to stay on a UK visitor visa for more than 6 months should also apply for a biometric residence permit as well. Frequent flyers can apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa, which is issued for 2 years, 5 years or 10 years. However, you can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each trip under a long-term UK visitor visa from India.

    Standard Visitor Visa also includes the following UK visas:

    • UK Marriage Visitor Visa
    • Visiting Academic Visa
    • Permitted Paid Engagement Visa
    • Private Medical Treatment Visa (6-11 months)
  • UK Parent of a Tier 4 Child Visa

    This is a type of UK Visit visa that can be applied by people whose child studies in an independent day school in the UK on payment of regular fees. The child should be below 12 years of age to be able to apply for this UK visa type.

  • UK Study Visa

    Non-British citizens can study in the UK on an appropriate UK study visa. Children as well as adults who want to study in a school or university in the UK for a short or long course can apply this UK student visa. It also allows students to conduct research as a part of their course curriculum. These are of the following types:

    • UK Study Visa (Regular): Can be applied by students for various graduate, postgraduate and research programmes.
    • UK Short-term Study Visa: This type of UK visa is usually granted for 6 months to applicants above 16 years. However, it can be granted for 11 months if you are studying an English language course.
    • UK Child Student Visa: Minor students between 4 and 17 years of age who wish to study at a school or educational institution in the UK should apply this type of UK Study visa. Holders of this visa can also work part-time or full-time under specific conditions. This type of UK visa can also be extended.
  • UK Work Visa

    A non-British national who wants to travel to work in an organisation located in the UK can apply a UK work visa. Most UK Work visas for Indians also require payment of a healthcare surcharge to obtain the visa. Take a look at the various UK work visa types:

    • UK Long-term Work visas
      This type of UK visa includes a General Work visa, a Minister of Religion visa, an Intra-company Transfer visa as well a Sportsperson visa.
    • UK Short-term Work visa
      It is a Tier 5 UK visa for temporary workers and includes a Charity Worker visa, Government Authorised Exchange visa, a Creative and Sporting visa, an International Agreement visa, a Seasonal Worker visa, a Religious Worker visa and a Youth Mobility Scheme visa.
    • UK Investor, Business Development & Talent visa
      This type of UK work visa allows its holder to set up, run or invest in an organisation or business in the UK. It is a Tier 1 UK visa that includes Innovator visa, Exceptional Talent visa, Start-up visa and Investor visa.
    • Other Work visas for UK
      This is a type of UK work visa that allows its holder to work in the UK even if they do not fall into any other UK visa category. It includes Ancestry visa, Representative of an Overseas Business visa, Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa and Exempt Vignette.
  • UK Family Visa

    This UK visa can be applied by a non-British citizen who wants to live with one of their family members settled in the UK for over 6 months. Family members include spouse, partner, child, parents, fiancé/ fiancée or relative needing long-term care.

    You will have to pay a health surcharge at the time of applying for this UK visa. Family visa applicants will also have to prove their knowledge of the English language unless the applicant is a child or a dependent adult relative.

    You can use this type of UK visa to join your family members only if they are existing British citizens, are settled in the UK or have humanitarian protection or refugee status in the UK. You can use this UK visa to join your parents if they have lived in the United Kingdom for 7 consecutive years.

Validity for Different Types of UK Visa

To find out the validity of different types of UK visas, refer to the table given below:

UK Visa Types Duration
UK Visit visa Standard Visitor visa Up to 6 months
11 months (if travelling to receive medical treatment)
12 months (for academicians)
2 years, 5 years or 10 years (for applicants of Long-Term Standard Visitor Visa)
Transit visa 24 hours to 48 hours
Marriage Visitor visa Up to 6 months
Permitted Paid Engagement visa Up to 1 month
Parent of a Tier 4 child visa 6 to 12 months
Study Visa Short-term Study visa 6 to 11 months
General Student visa 6 months (can be extended)
Child Student visa 6 years (if the student’s age is below 16 years)
3 years (if the student is 16 or 17 years old)
Work Visa Long term work visa 12 months (Graduate Trainee)
Up to 3 years (Minister of Religion visa, Sportsperson visa)
Up to 5 years (General work visa)
5 years, 9 years (Long-term staff)
Short-term Work visa Up to 6 months (Seasonal Worker visa)
Up to 12 months (Charity Worker visa, Creative and Sporting visa)
Up to 12 or 24 months (Government Authorised Exchange visa)
Up to 24 months (Youth Mobility Scheme visa, Religious Worker visa)
2 years (International Agreement visa)
Investor, Business Development & Talent visa 2 years (Start-up visa)
Up to 3 years (Investor visa)
3 years (Innovator visa)
Up to 5 years (Exceptional Talent visa)
Other Work visas Up to 6 months (Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa)
3 years (Representative of an Overseas Business visa)
5 years (Ancestry visa)
Family Visa 6 months (Spouse/ partner)
2.5 years (Fiance/ fiancée, parents)
Unlimited (Adult Dependent Relative)

UK Visa for Indians

Indians are one of the top recipients of UK visas in the world. This includes a US student visa, UK work visa and UK tourist visa. According to the British High Commission in New Delhi, more than 118,000 Indian students were issued UK students in the previous year ending June 2022. Indians were also granted the highest number of Tier 2 visa Uk or skilled work visas in the world.

All Indian citizens need to apply for a UK visa to travel to or transit through the United Kingdom. Moreover, all UK visa applicants should be above 18 years of age. Underage applicants need to apply for a minor visa. Whether you are an adult or a minor, both adults and minors to protect yourself from any unpredictable adversities can obtain travel insurance for your UK trip. It is also strongly recommended as the UK is a very expensive place and any kind of emergency can cost you thousands of pounds.

UK visa for Indians is easily granted given you meet all their requirements. Financial ability plays a huge role, so make sure you have sufficient funds to sustain your stay in the UK.

When to Apply for a UK Visa?

Apply for UK Visa

Indians can file their UK visa application not before 3 months from the date of departure from India. This time period is valid for all UK visa types including a visit visa, work visa, family visa or study visa. It is advisable to apply for a travel insurance policy for your UK trip before you apply for a UK visa. It usually takes around 3 weeks to process a UK visa for Indians but there may be delays depending on different situations.

The visa can also be processed faster by paying GBP 500 additionally in case of urgency. However, you should always apply for it as soon as your plans are finalised so that you have enough time before the departure.

How to Apply for a UK Visa?

You can easily file a UK visa application online by visiting the official website of the UK Government. You can also apply offline by visiting the VFS Global UK Visa Application Centre. The UK Government has appointed VFS Global as the partner for Visas and Immigration. If you want to file a UK visa application yourself, you can follow the steps given below to apply for UK visa:

  • Determine the type of UK visa that you need to apply for according to the purpose of your travel
  • Visit the official website of the government of the UK (GOV.UK)
  • Go to ‘Visas and Immigration’ page
  • Select your UK visa category and apply for the right type of UK visa
  • Arrange all the required documents
  • Fill up the UK visa application form
  • Pay for your UK visa fees online
  • Book an appointment at the UK Visa Application Centre
  • Attend your UK visa appointment and give your biometric information
  • The UK visa will be granted to the applicants who clear the visa interview

Documents for UK Visa from India

Documents for UK visas will vary with the category; however some general documents need to be provided for all the UK visas. The following documents should be submitted along with your UK visa application:

  • Current valid passport along with previous passports, if any
  • Travel booking confirmation (Flight tickets, hotel bookings, etc.)
  • Financial documents showing your financial standing and funds available. This may include:
    • Bank statements
    • Letter from the employer confirming details of employment
    • Building society book
    • Sponsor’s financial standing
  • Certificate of criminal record
  • Sponsor’s financial reports, in case another person is providing financial support for your travel
  • Employment or academic details for applicants who either work or study in India.
  • Documents of business registration stating owner’s name and the date of commencement of business operations (in case of Self-employed applicants)
  • A letter from the employer along with other documents supporting your business engagements in the UK (in case travelling for business purposes)
  • Confirmation of legal residential address (if applied by non-Indian nationals staying in India)
  • Health certificates (Tuberculosis test report, COVID-19 vaccination certificate, etc.)

For students, workers and other long-term residents, proof of knowledge of the English language is also required. Some additional documents required for different UK visas are given below:

Additional Documents Required for UK Visa

Different kinds of travellers need to submit a few additional UK visa documents. Refer the table below to check the list of additional documents:

Types of Travelers Additional Documents Required
Minors 1. Birth certificate or other legal document proving the relationship between the minor and the parent/ guardian
2. Letter from the parents confirming the person accompanying the child and mentioning accommodation details (if minor is travelling with a guardian)
3. Photocopy of parents’ passport stating the passport number and signature (if minor is travelling with a guardian)
Private Medical Treatment 1. Letter from the doctor confirming the medical condition and consultation as well as duration, cost and place of treatment/ consultation
Academicians travelling for research purposes 1. A letter from the current employer confirming the period of sabbatical and defining the topic of research
2. A letter of invitation from the host organisation in the UK sponsoring your research
People travelling to participate in an event 1. A letter of invitation from the event organisers in the UK
People travelling for marriage 1. Document proof to show that you are free to marry anyone
2. Document proof to confirm arrangements for your marriage in the UK
People travelling for a permitted paid engagement 1. A letter of invitation from a UK based organisation
2. Proof of work recognition in the form of publications, awards, recent coverage, media coverage, etc. (For professional experts)
Prospective Entrepreneurs 1. Letter of support from one or more UK government departments/ entrepreneurial seed funding competitions/ registered venture capitalist organisations regulated by FCA
Sportsperson 1. Letter of Endorsement from the Sports governing body
Innovation visa applicants 1. Proof of investment funds
Ancestry visa applicants 1. Birth Certificate
2. Birth Certificate of parents or grandparents on whom your ancestry claim rests
3. Marriage certificates of parents and grandparents
4. Legal adoption certificate, in case you or your parents were adopted
5. Proof of perspective plan of working in the US
6. Marriage certificate (if your spouse, partner or fiancé(e) wants to join you)
Domestic workers’ applicants 1. Letter from your employer confirming that you were working with them for a minimum of 1 year and he’ll pay the national minimum wage
2. Any one document during the period you were working with the same employer including payslips, income tax returns, health insurance, employment contract, work visa and visa entry stamps on your passport.

Do’s to Ensure Smooth UK Visa Processing

  • The passport should have at least 1 blank page and must be valid for the entire duration of your stay in the UK
  • Any documents which are not in English or Welsh should be submitted along with its certified translated copy
  • Stay aware of the details of your travel including travel dates, place of accommodation in the UK, the estimated cost of your trip, etc.
  • Be aware of your details including name and date of birth of your parents, your current residential address and the duration of your stay there, your annual income, etc.
  • Keep the following information handy –
    • Information on your travel history
    • Address and contact number of your employer
    • Name, date of birth and passport number of your partner
    • name and address of your sponsor
    • Name, address and contact number of the family member residing in the UK
    • Information on your civil, criminal or immigration offences
  • Get a UK travel insurance policy for your trip before you apply for a UK visa. It will save you from any emergency expenses, minimise loss in case of trip cancellation and show that you’re a responsible traveller to the immigration authorities.

UK Visa Fees

The UK visa fees vary according to the types of visas available for travelling to the United Kingdom. Take a look at the table below to know the visa fees for UK visa application:

UK Visa Types Cost (INR)
Visit Visa Standard Visitor visa 6 months 10347
Medical Treatment 20694
Academicians 20694
Long Term Standard Visitor Visa 2 years 38905
5 years 69325
10 years 86604
Transit visa Visitor in Transit visa 6622
Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV) 3621
Marriage Visitor visa 10347
Permitted Paid Engagement visa 10347
Parent of a Tier 4 child visa 54943
Study Visa Short-term Study visa 6 months 20694
General Student visa* 37560
Child Student visa 37560
Work Visa Tier 1 (Investor) For main applicant and dependants 169484
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) For dependants only 107195
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) For dependants only 39112
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Main applicant 17279
Skilled Worker With a certificate of sponsorship 64669 - 127785
Skilled Worker For shortage occupation 25557-97572
Skilled Worker Health and Care Visa 25557-49562
Global Business Mobility - main applicant and dependants Graduate Trainee, Service Supplier, UK Expansion Worker, Secondment Worker 26799
Family Visa Joining your spouse, child or parent 159137
An adult who requires care by a relative 336277
*Applicants of general student visa will also have to pay a health surcharge as part of their UK visa online application.

Exceptions on UK Visa Fee Payment

People applying for UK visa on the basis of their private life can get exempted to pay the visa fees on the following conditions:

  • No place of residence or means to afford it
  • Have a place of residence but cannot afford costs of living including food
  • Earn very low and visa fee payment can affect your child’s well being

However, you must meet the eligibility criteria for getting a UK visa fee waiver. You can read more about UK visa waiver eligibility on their official website.

Travel Insurance for UK

Planning a trip to the United Kingdom and finally getting your UK visa is a fantastic feeling. For many people, travelling to the UK might be a regular affair but for others, it may be their maiden UK trip. Everyone wants their trip to be perfect and memorable but even a small eventuality can cause a huge dent to your travel plans.

Moreover, it can cause major financial loss and might disrupt your travel budget entirely. The only way to keep your trip protected from such situations is by buying a travel insurance policy for the UK.

A travel insurance policy is a safety shield that guards the insured traveller against any uncertainties that you may face during your trip. It will cover any emergency expenses that you may incur during your UK trip on medical treatment, loss or delay of check-in baggage, trip cancellation & curtailment, personal liability, trip delay, personal accident and missed connecting flight among others. It also lends a helping hand in case you need emergency cash during your stay in the United Kingdom.

Different kinds of travellers can opt for different types of travel insurance plans based on their requirements. For instance, families can opt for Family Travel Insurance, senior citizens can get Senior Citizens Insurance. People travelling to study in the UK can apply for Student Travel Insurance. You can also opt for Single Trip Travel Insurance or Multi-Trip Travel Insurance based on the frequency of your travel.

A variety of overseas travel insurance plans are available for travellers to choose from. You can compare the covers and premium charged by the various travel insurance policies online before finalising a travel insurance policy.

How to Get Travel Insurance for a UK Trip?

A travel insurance policy can be bought both online and offline. Indians who want to purchase a travel insurance policy online for their UK trip can follow the steps given below:

  • Decide the insurance provider from whom you want to buy travel insurance. You can do so by comparing the coverage and premium charged by different travel insurance provider online
  • Visit the official website of the insurance provider
  • Select the travel insurance plan that you want to buy for your trip to the UK
  • Fill up the proposal form for the policy
  • Pay the insurance premium online
  • Download your travel insurance policy

UK Visa Processing Time

Generally, a UK visa application takes about 3 weeks to be processed. You will get a decision on your UK visa online application within this period. However, a Family visa usually takes about 12 weeks to be processed. You may have to wait longer than this stipulated time if you have been asked to submit more information regarding your UK visa application. On the other hand, a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) can be obtained within 7 to 10 days of a UK visa decision.

You can also opt for priority service to get a UK visa decision within 5 working days on payment of 500 pounds. There is also an option of super-priority service that allows you to get a UK visa decision within 1 working day on payment of 800 pounds. However, you have to be eligible to utilise these services.


  • Q: Do I need a visa to the UK?

    Ans: Yes. All Indian citizens need a valid UK visa to travel, stay or transit through the borders of the United Kingdom.
  • Q: Where can I go with a UK visa?

    Ans: If you have a UK visa, you can travel to any of the four European countries forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain. This includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Q: How much bank balance is required for a UK visa?

    Ans: For people planning to study in the UK, they must have at least GBP 1334 per month for up to 9 months if they are taking up a course in London. Workers must be paid at least GBP 25,600 annually to get a valid UK work visa.
  • Q: Can I get a UK visa without a bank statement?

    Ans: If students can't produce a bank statement, you can ask your bank to produce a letter confirming that you have sufficient funds and have held them for 28 consecutive days.
  • Q: Is a UK visa easy to get?

    Ans: The process to obtain a UK visa is not difficult if you follow all the procedures correctly and submit all the required documents. You can apply for a UK visa online which saves you from a lot of hassle. However, you must appear for your UK visa interview before it is granted to you.
  • Q: Why would a UK visa be denied?

    Ans: A UK visa will be denied if the UK immigration authorities aren’t satisfied with your answers during the visa interview or if your documents are incomplete. This can happen if you do not fulfil the criteria for a certain type of UK visa or do not have the required documents. If your interviewer is not satisfied with your claims at the interview, you will be denied a UK visa. In many cases, people with a criminal background or insufficient funds may be denied a UK visa. Make sure to carefully prepare for all these UK visa application requirements to avoid rejection.
  • Q: Do I need travel insurance for the UK?

    Ans: Having a travel insurance policy during your UK trip is not mandatory. However, all Indians should obtain a UK visa before travelling to the United Kingdom to stay protected from any unforeseen emergencies and expenses that you may incur during your trip. A travel insurance policy covers everything from medical expenses to travel-related issues as well as trip cancellation and personal liabilities.

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*Price shown is for a 30 day trip to Thailand with 1 lakh dollar coverage for an adult of age 25 years

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