Apply for Visa of UK: Types, Application Process, Fees & Time

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Summary

  • This article is an in-depth guide to help you apply for the UK visa successfully and get you started with the process.
  • There are many types of visa you can apply to travel to the UK, and certain eligibility criteria for applying for the UK visa.
  • The article also encompasses a checklist of all the travel documents you will require while applying for a UK visa.

The United Kingdom is one of the top destinations among Indians when it comes to studying, travelling, or even settling permanently abroad. The beautiful London city and the countryside of Scotland or Wales are favourites among tourists while visiting family or friends or just exploring the UK. And as for studies, the UK has been a go-to destination for Indian students for a very long time to pursue their higher studies. However, before you start dreaming about visiting or studying in the UK, the first step is to get a Visa of UK which can be a challenging and time-consuming process. But fret not! We have got you covered. In this article, we have talked about everything regarding visas for applicants from India. We will discuss the types of UK visas, eligibility, and requirements for Indians, the application process, and more.

Types of UK Visa

Your UK visa application will depend on the type of visa you need. It depends on your nationality, why you want to go to the UK, how long you want to stay in the UK, and your personal circumstances or skills. For Indian citizens, below are the UK visa types:

Standard Visitor Visa

For visiting friends or family in the UK, or for travel, holidays, business, short study, etc. You can visit the UK for up to 6 months with a visitor visa.

Student Visa

It is again divided into 3 types depending on course length, type and place of study. If your study is 6 to 11 months, you ought to apply for a short-term study visa, a student visa for a longer course, and a child student visa for schooling for 4 to 17-year-olds.

Work Visa

You can work short-term or long-term in the UK with a work visa. It further depends on your skills, qualifications, job offer and sponsorship, type of work, and if you want to bring your family members too.

Family Visa

If you are a spouse, family member or partner of someone who has British citizenship or settled in the UK, you can apply for a family visa to join them in the UK. But they will need to show they can support you financially.

Other visas include a start-up or innovator visa for business and a transit visa if you’re passing through the UK while going to another country. Choosing the visa type is the first step in your UK visa application process. Now let’s look at the eligibility criteria for visas of the UK for Indians.

Eligibility of UK Visa for Indians

To be eligible for obtaining a UK visa, the following are the criteria you need to fulfil:

  • The applicant must have a valid Indian passport.
  • Ability to financially support themselves and their family with sufficient funds for the whole period of their visit to the UK
  • The applicant must not have a criminal record and intend to comply with the laws of the country strictly.

For a Student UK Visa:

  • The applicant must be 16 years or above in age.
  • Should have an unconditional letter received from a recognised educational institution in the UK with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor
  • Ability to speak, read and write fluently in English, proved with English language proficiency test scores through exams such as IELTS

But that is not it. Let’s move on to the documents and other requirements you will need while applying for a visa of the UK.

Requirements for Visa in the UK

Here are the details of documents needed and some other requirements before you apply for a visa of the UK:

  • Original passport with six months validity
  • Recent and coloured passport size photographs
  • A duly filled copy of the online UK visa application form
  • Appointment confirmation letter
  • Receipt of UK visa fee payment done while applying online
  • A personal cover letter
  • Proofs of sufficient funds to cover your stay such as original bank statements for the last 6 months, payslips of the last 3 months or income tax returns of the last 3 years
  • Other supporting financial documents such as fixed or recurring deposits, property investments, other investments, etc.
  • Proof of employment and leave sanction letter if employed
  • Business registration licence if self-employed
  • Invitation or sponsorship letter whenever applicable, along with sponsor’s documents

In case of student visa:

  • Document proofs of academic studies and qualifications
  • Letter of CAS, Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies and the reference number used to obtain CAS
  • Financial proofs showing the availability of funds to pay for the study program chosen and maintain yourself in the UK (bank statements or letter from your financial sponsor)

Moreover, you are also required to take a mandatory tuberculosis test, and the test results need to be included in the visa application. And if required for certain courses, you will have to get an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate.

UK Visa Application Process

Now that you know all the requirements for a UK visa, you can apply online. Below is how the process goes:

  • To apply visit the UK government visa and immigration website. Or you can also hire a consultant to help navigate you through the whole process.
  • You need to fill out the online application form, pay the fee, and book an appointment to submit your application documents at the nearest VAC, Visa Application Centre. The fees differ according to the type you are applying for. You also need to pay a healthcare surcharge while applying for a student visa in the UK. Moreover, you need to print the email confirming your appointment with all the details and carry it with you to the UK visa application centre.
  • On the appointed day and time, you need to carry all the required documents to the VAC along with the appointment confirmation letter.
  • At the VAC, you are also required to give your biometrics and digital photographs.
  • After successful submission of your documents at the VAC, you will be issued with an acknowledgement receipt. You are required to show this receipt while collecting your passport later on after the visa decision is made. You can also prefer to get the passport delivered to you via post.

Conclusion

Whether you are planning to travel, settle, or study in the United Kingdom, the process of getting a visa to the UK can be overwhelming without proper guidance. However, Leapscholar can make the process seamless for you. Our experts have assisted thousands of applicants to get a UK visa by overcoming any hassles in the way. So get in touch with us today and start your journey to the UK!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the visa processing Time for the UK?

Ans. Typically, the processing time is up to 15 working days. But currently, due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and global travelling restrictions, UK immigration is experiencing unpredictable demand for all visas. Therefore, it might take weeks to get a decision on visas. However, if any additional documentation is required, it may get postponed even further.

2. How early can you apply for a UK visa?

Ans. The earliest you can apply for a UK visa and the advisable time is:

  • 3 months before your planned date of travel for visitor visas
  • 3 months before your employment start date for most of the work visas
  • And 6 months before your study program start date for student/child student visas

3. What are the application fees for a UK visa?

Ans. Here is the list of Application fees based on types:

  • Short Term Valid for up to 6 months – Rs. 9837
  • Short term study visa for 6 – 11 Months – Rs. 19260
  • Temporary work visa (Seasonal) – Rs. 25266
  • Work visa for Skilled workers for over 3 years – Rs. 48046

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An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.