Your Ultimate Guide to Navigating UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

Apply for a UK Visa - UK Immigration Solicitor

Anyone wishing to travel, study, work, or settle in the United Kingdom must comprehend the procedure for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), which may be a challenging. Whether you’re thinking of moving to the UK for a short time or for the long term, this guide will cover all the bases when it comes to visas and immigration.

What you need to do for UK Visas and Immigration

To apply for a UK Visa and immigration, you’ll need to follow several steps.

Choose a visa

In order to travel to the United Kingdom to study, work, visit, or join family, you may be required to have a visa.

There are many visas based on:

  • What is your background?
  • reasons why you want to visit the UK
  • your desired duration of stay
  • your current situation and abilities

Before you submit your application, you are required to determine whether or not you need a visa and, if so, what kind of visa you require. You may not need a visa to enter or leave the United Kingdom, depending on your country of origin.

Make sure your application is accepted before you go on your trip.

Those who are citizens of Ireland are exempt from the need to get a visa.

If you like to visit the UK

You may visit the United Kingdom for up to six months if you apply for a Standard Visitor visa. For instance: 

  • to see loved ones or on a vacation
  • for an official engagement
  • to complete a brief academic programme

To legally tie the knot in the United Kingdom, you need to get a Marriage Visitor visa.

You are unable to work in the United Kingdom while on a visitor’s visa. A Standard Visitor visa costs £115 for up to 6 months.

If you’re travelling through the UK

Travelling through the United Kingdom on your route to another country, such as during a stopover between flights, may need a visa.

No transit visa is required for you if you:

  • the family visa under the European Union Settlement Scheme
  • having a travel document from the Home Office, for instance 
  • because you are a person without a country or citizenship
  • need a visa for a standard visit
  • must possess a Marriage Visitor visa

If you want to study in the UK

  • Where you study, the duration of your course, and the kind of visa you need all play a role.
  • You are permitted to participate in a short-term educational programme that does not exceed six months if you have a Standard Visitor visa.
  • If you want to take an English language course in the UK for a period of six to eleven months, you’ll need a short-term study visa. It costs £200 for a Short-term study visa.
  • The duration of a student visa is often longer. Along with a guaranteed spot, you’ll need the sponsorship of an authorised educational institution. You may work on this visa.
  • Anyone between the ages of 4 to 17 who wishes to attend a private school may apply for a Child Student visa. This visa allows you to work to a certain extent if you are 16 or older.

If you want to work in the UK

With a work visa, you may work in the UK for either a short or lengthy period. Work visas come in a variety of forms.

Your visa requirements are dependent upon:

  • knowledge, experience, and qualifications 
  • With a job offer and sponsorship in hand,
  • Have your family with you if you want to.
  • your plans, such as participating in athletic events, volunteering, or attending religious services

Establishing a company is possible with an Innovator Founder visa.

If you want to join family in the UK

If you are a spouse, partner, or family member of someone who has British citizenship or has settled in the United Kingdom, you are eligible to apply for a family visa to join them. Their ability to financially support you can be a requirement.

After a certain time in the UK, you could be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to stay (ILR).

Your loved one’s visa status in the UK

If you have relatives already in the UK on a valid visa, you may be eligible to apply to join them. At the very least, they should be:

  • someone you’re married to
  • a parent if you are a child 

Refugee family reunion visas

If you were forced to leave your country and found yourself separated from your spouse or child, they may apply to join you in the United Kingdom.

Everyone in your family may apply if you or a member of your family has been granted humanitarian protection or asylum but does not possess British citizenship.

A family member from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein

To enter the United Kingdom, you need a relative who qualifies for the free EU Settlement Scheme family permit and who:

  • resided in the United Kingdom as of December 31, 2020.
  • belongs to the settled or pre-settled category
  • they were in a relationship with you by December 31, 2020 (unless you’re requesting a child that came into this world after this date)

Your spouse or civil partner, children, grandchildren, parents, and grandparents are all considered close family members.

If you have a family permit, you can live, work, and study in the United Kingdom for a period of up to six months. After your family visa expires, you have the option to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in order to remain in the UK. Within three months of your arrival in the UK, you are often required to submit an application.

Prepare your application

Many visas now have online applications and payment options.

You will need to apply and pay individually for each dependent who wants to come to the UK with you.

When to apply

It is common for the application deadline to be:

  • For visit visas, you need to apply at least 3 months before your prospective departure date.
  • For the majority of work visas, the most important time to apply is 3 months before to the start of your job.
  • Students and children must apply for visas at least 6 months before the start of the academic term.

The settlement application approval process may take up to six months, and you must complete it before traveling to the United Kingdom. You must travel before your settlement permit in the UK expires.

How long it takes to get a decision

Your visa application’s processing time will vary according on the kind of visa you’re seeking.

A quicker decision on your visa application could be possible if you pay for it, however this will depend on:

  • the visa you are seeking
  • the way you submit
  • location you submit your application from

Fees

Each visa has its own price. The visa you are applying for will determine the price.

Everyone in your immediate family who wants to join you in the UK must pay the same amount.

Cover medical expenses

As an applicant, you must include payment for the healthcare surcharge if you are:

  • requesting a work, study, or family visa
  • submitting an application to remain in the UK for a period longer than six months

Submitting an application on behalf of another

You may submit someone else’s visa application. For example, a family member living abroad who doesn’t have access to a computer or your child if they can’t properly apply themselves.

If the applicant is under the age of 18, you must obtain written consent from a parent or legal guardian before applying on their behalf.

Instead of entering your personal information, please enter the applicant’s.

Not having tuberculosis

If your intended stay in the United Kingdom exceeds six months, you may need to undergo a tuberculosis test to apply for a visa.

Verify whether a tuberculosis test is necessary.

In such case, you’ll need to include a certificate proving you’re free of tuberculosis to your visa application.

Change or withdraw your application

Get in touch with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) if you need to make any changes to your application after you’ve submitted it.

Cancelling your application is something you can do. The only way to get your money back is if UKVI hasn’t begun processing your application yet.

Prove your identity

It is necessary to provide identification and eligibility documentation at the time of application.

Your nationality and passport type will determine the specifics of this process.

First, you’ll need to decide:

  • schedule a time to visit a visa application centre
  • Download the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app on your mobile device.

When you begin the application process, you will be able to see if an appointment is necessary or whether you may utilise the smartphone app.

Appointments at visa application centres may be necessary

External organisations manage the visa application centres. You may schedule an appointment to submit your biometric data (fingerprints and picture) using the link they’ll provide you on their website.

Schedule your appointment

You may be required to travel in order to reach the visa application centre that is closest to you, which may be located in another country. 

After submitting your application online, you have 240 days to verify your identity. After that, you will have to start the application process all over again.

A basic service is available, and you may pay more for additional features if you want them. Enhancing your application’s chances of success by paying for extra services is not a guarantee.

Children under 16

An adult over the age of 18 must accompany children under the age of 16 to the appointment.

There will be no picture session without an accompanying adult for children less than five. They are exempt from the need to provide fingerprints.

Regular services

Appointments are free at most places where you can apply for a visa.

The going rate for a regular appointment is £76.50 in certain places. Alternate visa application centres provide free appointments; however, you will be responsible for covering your own transportation expenses.

Possible options for you are:

  • must submit your paperwork in advance of your scheduled visit
  • You may pay to have your proof scanned during your appointment.

You may see a list of required documents in your application.

In most cases, while they handle your visa application, the centre will keep your passport. They could also retain copies of your paperwork.

Extra optional services

If you wish to schedule an appointment for a certain day and time, for instance, you have the option of paying for it via the system.

In addition to the basic application procedure, you may have the option to pay for additional services, such as having your papers scanned instead of doing it yourself or having your passport held at all times.

There is no guarantee that your application will be accepted just because you pay for services that are not required.

When you put in an application for another

The applicant must appear in person at the scheduled appointment at the visa application facility to provide the necessary papers and biometric data.

They must also verify the accuracy of the information by signing an application form.

Using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ smartphone app

A digital picture of your face and a scanned copy of your identification will be required by the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app.

To complete your online application, you must scan and submit the necessary papers to prove your eligibility. You may see a list of required documents in your application.

When you put in an application for another

The candidate must use the app to verify their identification.

Making a decision about your application

  • The Home Office will notify you of their decision on your application by letter or email.
  • Follow its instructions to the letter.
  • Look in the trash or spam folders if you still haven’t gotten the email.

Upon approval of your application

One of these options will be provided to you:

  • passport stickers (also known as vignettes)—if you provided your biometric data at a visa application facility
  • if you used the smartphone app to establish your identification, you will have access to see your immigration status information online.

The following information may be found in your vignette or immigration status report: 

  • the kind of visa you have been granted, such as a student visa.
  • the beginning and ending dates of your visa’s validity
  • your visa’s terms and restrictions

The terms of your visa

Listed below are the things that are not allowed in the UK. As an example, they may state:

  • “No access to public funds” means you are not eligible to receive benefits.
  • Forget about working, whether for pay or not, in the UK.
  • You are limited to working only for your sponsor.

When you get your vignette

There are two possible outcomes if the visa processing a centre retains your passport: 

Please collect the passport and vignette, as I will be sending them to you with the vignette already attached, since this service was paid for when you applied.

To get your vignette, you must bring your passport to the visa application centre, assuming you want to retain it.

If your vignette has a mistake

Get in touch with the visa application department right away if you find a mistake in your vignette; they may fix it before you visit the UK.

You will be required to submit a fresh application to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) if you become aware of the mistake within three months of your arrival in the UK; otherwise, you will be required to pay the penalty.

Applying for a biometric resident visa

After arriving in the UK, those who have received a vignette and want to stay for more than six months are need to get a biometric residency permit (BRP).

Do this no later than 10 days after your arrival in the UK or before the vignette sticker expires, whichever comes later.

Where you can pick up your BRP is something you may specify when you apply.

Prior to receiving your BRP, ensure that all of the facts are accurate. You can see the term “cut off” if your name is really lengthy. The space on the BRP card is limited, thus this is not an error. You are obligated to notify us of any spelling errors.

If your BRP has any mistakes, you have 10 days from the date of collection to notify us.

Accessing your immigration status online

The details of your immigration status will be accessible to you via an online portal. The internet-based service also allows you to communicate information about your immigration status with other people, such as employers or educational institutions.

In some circumstances, such as when you pass over the border of the United Kingdom, certain government agencies and public authorities will have the ability to access the information on your immigration status.

There will be no vignette or BRP for you.

The rejection of your application

You should expect to get either a letter or an email that provides an explanation for the rejection of your application.

We will return your passport if we retain it during the application process.

Moreover, if you are eligible for any of the following, your denial letter will specify:

About Our Services

Our team of experienced solicitors dedicates itself to providing personalized assistance and guidance throughout the immigration process.

We understand that each case is unique, which is why we prioritise individualised attention and tailored solutions for our clients. With our expertise and commitment to excellence, you can trust us to handle your immigration matters with professionalism and efficiency.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us assist you with your UK visa and immigration needs.

FAQs

How do foreign people apply for a working visa in the UK?

Your company will require you to have a certificate of sponsorship, qualify for a position on the list of eligible jobs, and be willing to provide a minimum income. English proficiency (oral, written, and spoken) is also required. Your visa, if granted, may remain valid for up to five more years.

Can I cancel my UK visa and reapply?

Yes, you can cancel your application for a UK visa. Remember, though, that if you want to apply again after withdrawing, you’ll need to make a new application. Fix all of the mistakes you made in the first application before you send it again.

How and where to apply for a skilled worker visa in the UK?

People who want to get a Skilled Worker visa must fill out an online application, attach any supporting documents, and pay the required fee. As stated on the Certificate of Sponsorship, applications can be made up to three months before the worker plans to start working in the UK.

Can I use my IELTS UKVI score of 6 to apply for a UK visa?

Yes you can apply. UKVI accepts IELTS at band scores 4.0 and above, which are equivalent to CEFR level B1.

How many times can I apply for a UK visa?

As long as your circumstances have changed since your previous application, you may apply for a UK visa as many times as you like. You may lose your chances and be banned from applying if you keep applying without explaining why you were rejected. Before applying, get everything you need and rectify any errors raised in previous rejections. 

How much is a UK visitor visa application fee?

For a standard six-month visitor visa, the fee is typically around £115 for most applicants.

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