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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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:
|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.
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:
Foreign nationals transiting through the international transit areas of the UK airports can apply this visa. A UK transit visa is of two types –
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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)
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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|
|Long Term Standard Visitor Visa||2 years||38905|
|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|
People applying for UK visa on the basis of their private life can get exempted to pay the visa fees on the following conditions:
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.
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.
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:
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.