A UK visa is the authorizing document that gives worldwide citizens the right to enter, stay temporarily or live forever in the territory of the UK. A visa is usually either a stamp you receive in your passport or a document given by a UK consulate or embassy in your country of residence.
If you are issued a visa, it means that you are eligible to enter the UK and that you meet the requirements of the particular visa that you have been given. There are different reasons why people want to apply for a UK visa, such as:
- To work and to do business
- To study
- For short stays and tourism
- To join family members who are already in the UK
- To transit through the UK to another country
- To live permanently
- As a refugee or as someone who needs humanitarian protection
- As a stateless person
- As someone who needs permission to stay
How Much Does a UK Visa Application Cost?
The cost of a UK visa application is based on the type of UK visa you need to obtain in order to enter the UK. The visa fees vary from £93 for a visit visa up to 9 months, to £3,250 for a settlement visa as another dependant relative. There are also additional optional Premium Services outside the UK and inside the UK, which can be as cheap as £55 and as expensive as £10,500
The relevant UK authorities take a decision on your visa application, mainly based on the required documents for a UK visa. For every UK visa, there are specific required documents. According to the visa type you are applying for, you need to collect all these documents. Then you need to submit them on the day of your interview.
Make sure the required documents for the UK visa you are applying for, comply with the criteria set by the UK Home Office.
What Are the Required Documents for a UK Visa?
You should submit the following documents to apply for a UK visa:
- UK visa application form. According to the UK visa type you are applying for, you may have to complete the form online at the website of the Visa4UK website, or the manual application form.
- Two photographs. These photos should be taken within the past six months and in color.
- Your Valid Passport. It must be valid for three more months beyond the date you plan to leave the UK after your trip. It must also have at least one blank page for the visa.
- Proof you have the financial means to cover the living costs while in the UK. This may be your bank statements for the last six months, or pay slips for the same period.
- Proof of accommodation. You will need to present a document that shows where you will be accommodated while in the UK. Note that you do not have to fully pay a hotel/hostel in UK before getting the visa, just to get such a document.
- Detailed travel itinerary. Submit a travel plan that gives all the information regarding how and what you are planning to do in the UK. Include the travel dates, places you will visit, meeting agenda, booked tour, festival agenda.
- Tuberculosis Test Results. Nationals of several world countries will need to submit the requests of a Tuberculosis Test in order to be eligible for a UK Visa.
- Biometric information. If you are applying for a visa that lets you stay in UK for more than 6 months, you will need to submit your biometric information. This includes giving your fingerprints and a digital photograph taken at the appropriate application center.
- UK visa invitation letter. (If applicable). If you will be staying over at a friend or a family member, then you should submit a letter of invitation. Your host must be a UK national or a legal resident.
- Paid UK visa fees. You should submit the receipt that confirms you have paid the visa fee as required.
- Certified translations of any document that is not in either English or Welsh.
Additional Requirements According to Your Employment Status
You will need to submit extra documents according to your working status, as follows:
- If you are employed:
- A letter from your employer. This letter should confirm your position at work, your salary and the length of employment.
- If you are self-employed:
- Business registration documents. They should confirm the business owner’s name and the date the business started trading.
- If you are a student:
- A letter from your education provider. The letter should be confirming your enrolment and leave of absence.
Additional Requirements for Applicants Under the age of 18
Applicants under the age of 18 shall submit some several additional documents. These documents are as following:
- Birth Certificate.
- Adoption papers (if applicable).
- If travelling unaccompanied or with someone other than a parent(s):
- A signed letter from the parent(s) confirming details of anyone accompanying the minor.
- A copy of the parent(s) or legal guardian’s biographical page of their passport.
Documents to Present at the UK Port of Entry
At the UK port of entry, you will need to show some documents to the border control police.
If you are an EU/EEA national, you can use the EU/EEA channel to get your documents checked. You only need your ID or passport. Adults must accompany children from the age of 17 and under.
Non- EU/EEA nationals need the following documents when they show at the UK port of entry:
- Valid Passport.
- Landing Card. You will get this from your carrier. You need to fill it in before your reach the border control.
- Visa (if applicable).