Individuals may need a UK visa to enter, stay, work or study in the UK. Which visa you need will very much depend on your circumstances and why you are coming to the UK.
The different UK visa types
While there are many visas available, they can be grouped into main categories depending on the area they apply to.
A Family Visa can be relevant for a spouse (or civil partner, fiancé), a parent, a child or other relative. This type of visa will allow applicants to join family members in the UK as their dependants.
International students who wish to come to the UK to study may need to apply for this type of visa. There are different Student Visas depending on whether the student is a child, adult or the individual is coming for a short period of time only.
Visitor and Tourist Visas are short term visas (generally no longer than 6 months) allowing visitors to come to the UK for short stays, tourism and similar purposes. With this visa, you cannot work in the UK.
Individuals coming to the UK for work may need to apply for a specific Work Visa depending on their circumstances. There are many types of visas in this category; which one applies to you will depend on your activity and why you are coming to the UK.
Business Visas allow individuals to come to the UK as investors, innovators or start-ups rather than employees. Similarly to other visa types, which one applies to you will depend on your circumstances.
How do I know if I need a UK visa?
If you are an EU national and have obtained either the pre-settled or settled status via the EU Settlement Scheme, you do not require a visa to stay in the UK. You can use the Home Office’s tool to check whether you need a visa or not, or feel free to get in touch with the team if you’d like more guidance.
How do I apply for a UK visa?
The visa application process will very much depend on which visa you are applying for, particularly if it is part of the points-based system. Generally speaking, you would need to make sure you are eligible and gather the required documents and evidence before completing your application online on the Home Office’s website.
How long does it take to get a UK visa?
Visa application waiting times vary depending on the nature of your application, how complex your case is, and how many requests the Home Office has to handle at any given time. This can range from a couple of weeks to several months. We find that a well-presented case helps the Home Office make a decision quicker.
How much does a UK visa cost?
There is no unique cost for a UK visa and you will need to check the individual specificities depending on which visa you are applying for. Please note that if you are adding dependents to your application, the cost will be per individual. You may also have to consider additional costs such as any tests required, biometrics, translation of documents, healthcare surcharge and other costs that are not part of the application fee.
Can I appeal a visa that has been refused?
If your visa application has been rejected, you can ask the Home Office to reconsider. It is highly recommended to seek the help of specialist immigration lawyers in this case as one must act quickly to meet deadlines and make sure their case is strong enough to appeal the decision.