UK Visitor Visa

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    A country which indeed has so much to offer and has been an attraction point for its eminent history, architectural beauty, cultural experiences, amazing places to visit, and so on. If planning a trip to the United Kingdom, then you would surely need a UK visa.

    Why do you need UK visa?

    A UK visa is necessary if you are intending to travel to the United Kingdom any time soon. Having a UK visa permits the non-Britishers to enter the territory of the United Kingdom.

    A UK visa is generally issued by the British embassies or Consulates which gives the permit to the non-British citizen to travel and stay in the United Kingdom for a specific period. Besides, it also permits the non-British citizen to transit within the international transit areas of the airports in the United Kingdom. Besides, a UK visa is often referred to as London visa as it allows a non-British citizen to travel in London.

    The United Kingdom comprises of four European countries, which are as follows:

    • England
    • Scotland
    • Northern Ireland
    • Wales

    If you are somebody who is planning a trip any of the four above-mentioned countries, then a UK Visa is a must-have for you. It is recommended to apply for a UK visa as it permits one to travel to any of the four countries rather than purchasing individual visa for every member country.

    However, it is necessary to apply for the correct type of UK visa to ensure a hassle-free and stress-free trip. Generally, the United Kingdom offers seven types of UK visa. It is to be noted that though it is not mandatory then it is better to secure your journey and buy travel insurance for the UK. Right travel insurance plan secures you from unfortunate uncertainties which may lead to a fiscal cost.

    Note: Select a UK visa type depending upon the purpose of your trip.

    Here let us have an in-depth understanding of UK visitor visa offered by the British Embassy.

    UK Visitor Visa

    A UK visitor visa permits a non-British citizen to enter, stay and transit throughout the territory of the United Kingdom.

    Anyone who is intending to travel to the United Kingdom whether for vacation/holidays, meet family/friends, for any medical-related treatment, marriage, academic visit or for any other purpose i.e. participating in sports, entertainment and cultural activities can apply for UK visitor visa.

    Types of UK Visitor Visa

    Now, let us discuss the five types of the UK visitor visa, which one can apply depending upon the purpose of the trip, which are:

    UK Standard Visitor Visa

    UK Standard visitor visa includes a UK business visa and the UK tourist visa. If you are planning to travel to the UK from India, then for any Indian citizen the visa issued will be valid for a period up to 6 months. Besides, if one is visiting the country for research purpose like an academician then the visa will be valid for up to 11 months and if one is travelling for a medical treatment to be done privately then the UK visitor visa is valid up to 12 months.

    Moreover, if one intends to stay on a UK visitor visa for a long time that is for more than 6 months then the person needs to appeal for a biometric residence permit. In case, if you do not know, that if you fly to the UK frequently then you may consider applying for a long-term Standard Visitor visa, which is valid for 2 years, 5 years or 10 years accordingly. It is important to understand that under the long-term UK visitor visa from India one can stay for a maximal of 6 months on each trip.

    UK Transit Visa

    This visa is for those non-British citizens who have to transit through the international transit areas of the UK airports. A UK transit visa essentially permits you to travel when you need to need to board any connecting flight from a British airport to reach your destination. Besides, a UK transit visa is of two sorts which are:

    UK Direct Airside Transit Visa

    Any non-British citizen who is not passing through the UK border control shall apply for this visa.

    Visitor in Transit Visa

    Any non-British citizen who will pass through the UK border control, however, will leave the country in no more than 48 hours shall apply for this visa.

    UK Marriage Visitor Visa

    Those who are looking forward to getting married in the UK or filing for a civil partnership should apply for this visa. Besides, any non-British citizen who is intending to travel to the UK to give notice in regards to marriage or civil partnership should also apply for this type of visa. It is to be kept into consideration that having this visa does not permit you to settle in the UK after marriage or civil partnership.

    The UK Permitted Paid Engagement Visa

    If a UK-based company or any business client has invited a non-British citizen, having expertise in a specific profession, then one needs to apply for this type of visa. Besides, any non-British citizen who wishes to do a certain paid work in the absence of any sponsor may also apply for this visa.

    UK Parent of a Tier 4 Child Visa

    This visa can be applied by that parents/guardian whose child is enrolled in the independent schools of UK and paying the fees regularly. Ideally, to apply for this type of visa, the child needs to be less than 12 years of age.

    The Validity of the UK Visitor Visa

    In the below grid, find out the validity of different types of the UK visitor visa:

    Types of the UK Visitor Visa Duration
    Standard Visitor Visa
    • For 6 months
    • 11 months (In cases, if travelling for any medical ministrations)
    • 12 months (for scholars)
    • 2 years, 5 years or 10 years (Specifically for applicants of Long-Term Standard Visitor Visa)
    Transit Visa Within the time frame of 24 hours to 48 hours.
    Marriage Visitor Visa For 6 months.
    Permitted Paid Engagement Visa For a month.
    Parent of a Tier 4 Child Visa Valid for a period of 6 months up to 12 months.

    How to Apply For a UK Visa

    The process to file a UK visa application has become convenient these days. All you need to do is visit the official website of the government of the UK. Besides, visiting the official website, you can also apply for a UK visa through other websites like VFS. In case, if you do not wish to apply for a VFS UK visa, then have a look below and take an understanding of filing a UK visa application online. 

    • As discussed earlier, it is imperative to understand the type of UK Visa you will apply depending upon the purpose of your travel.
    • Once you know the type of UK visa, you would require, go the browser and open the official website of the UK government.
    • Next, go and select the ‘Visas and Immigration’ section of the page.
    • Now, select the UK visa category and accordingly apply for the desired UK visitor visa type.
    • Keep all the documents handy.
    • Be attentive while filling up the UK visa application form.
    • Once you are done filling up the form, pay the fees for the UK visa online.
    • Book an appointment at the UK Visa Application Centre.
    • Do not miss your UK visa appointment and do not forget to give your biometric information.
    • The applicants who clear the UK visa interview, the visas will be issued to them.

    Documents Required to Apply for the UK Visa

    Let us understand the documents, which are generally required while applying for the UK visit visa, and should be submitted along with the UK visa application:

    Document Required for Standard Visitor Visa: Keep the following documents handy while applying for this type of visa:

    • A valid passport along with previous passports, if any.
    • Documents to substantiate your financial position which may include:
    • Bank statements of the account you hold.
    • Confirmation letter regarding the details of your employment.
    • The financial standing of the sponsor.
    • Building society book.
    • In case, if any sponsor is providing financial help for your travel then the financial records of the sponsor will be required.
    • Applicant’s academic or employment details either working or studying in India.
    • In case of a student, the letter from the academic institution on the letterhead, this confirms your enrolment and sanctioned leave application.
    • In case of an employee, the letter from the employer on the letterhead of the company, which mention your current salary, designation along with the duration of your employment.
    • If you are a self-employed applicant, then you would require documents to substantiate the registration of the business, name of the owner and the date the business acme into functioning.
    • In case, if you are travelling for business purpose, you would require a letter from the employer and other documents which substantiates your business commitments in the UK.
    • Verification of the legal residential address if not a citizen of India.

    Document Required For Transit Visitor: Keep the following documents handy while applying for this visa:

    • A valid passport that you possess.
    • Confirmed details of your travel plan.
    • A proof to substantiate your travelling to the destination country.
    • Visa for the destination country/green card/ permit of residence.

    Additional Documents Required for the UK Visa

    In the below table, is a list to check the list of additional documents one may require while filing for the UK visit visa depending upon the type of traveller and the purpose of the visit:

    Type of Traveller Documents Required
    Private Medical Treatment
    • A letter from the doctor, which clearly states about the medical condition and consultation.
    • The letter should also describe the duration, expenses to be involved and the place where the treatment will take place.
    Scholars Travelling for Research Purpose
    • A letter from the current employer, which confirms the period of sabbatical and defines your research topic.
    • A letter acknowledging an invitation from the organization in the UK, which is sponsoring your research.
    Travelling to Participate in an Event
    • A letter from the event organizer in the UK inviting you.
    Travelling for Marriage
    • Documentary proof to substantiate that you are free to marry whosoever you want.
    • Documentary proof confirming the arrangement in regards to your marriage in the UK.
    Travelling for a Permitted Paid Engagement
    • A letter from a UK based organization inviting you.
    • Evidence in regards to recognition of work, which could be in the form of awards, publications, media coverage, and so on.

    UK Visa Fees

    To obtain a UK visa, certain fees need to be paid up along with the visa application.

    In the below grid, look at the application fees that you will have to pay along with your UK visa application:

    Types of UK Visitor Visa   Cost (In Pounds)
    Standard Visitor Visa 6 Months 95
    Medical Treatment 190
    Scholars/Academicians 190
    Long Term Standard Visitor Visa 2 years 361
    5 years 655
    10 years 822
    Transit Visa Visitor in Transit Visa 64
    Direct Airside Transit Visa 35
    Marriage Visitor Visa  95
    Permitted Page Engagement Visa 95
    Parent of Tier 4 Child Visa 516

    Exceptions on UK Visa Fee Payment

    Based on one’s private life, while applying for a UK visa one can be fortunate to be exempted from paying the fees for a visa under the following parameters:

    • There is no place of residence or one cannot afford the equivalent.
    • One does have a place of residence but cannot afford the costs of living inclusive food.
    • When the earning is low and paying the visa fees may affect the child’ well-being.

    UK Visa Processing Time

    The UK visa application takes around 3 weeks to be handled. You will get a choice on your UK visa online application inside this timeframe. In any case, a Family visa generally takes around 12 weeks to get prepared. You may need to stand by longer than this stipulated time on the off chance that you have been approached to submit more data concerning your UK visa application. Then again, a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) can be acquired inside 7 to 10 days of UK visa choice.

    You can likewise settle on need administration to get a UK visa choice inside 5 working days on payment of 500 pounds. There is likewise an alternative of super-priority service that enables you to get a UK visa choice inside 1 working day on payment of 800 pounds. Nonetheless, you must be qualified to use these services.