The United Kingdom is a historic country with an impressive cultural heritage. The UK is composed of four constituent countries including England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Island. The UK is comprised of several major cities in the world such as the capital city known as London which is one of the leading financial, commercial, and cultural centres in the world. Other major cities in the UK including Manchester, Liverpool, and Birmingham located in England, Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland, Belfast and Londonderry in Northern Ireland, and Cardiff and Swansea in Wales.
The people of the UK are called ‘Brits’, and they are officially referred to as British. The UK is home to over 60 million people with over 10 million living in the major cities. It is no doubt that this is a safe haven for international visitors. According to some statistics, the UK recorded over 30 million international visitors in 2018. The country averages above 20 million international visitors since 2002 with London accounting for 54% of those international visitors.
For Indians planning to enter, visit or live in the UK is required to apply and obtain a UK visa before he/she can be eligible to enter into the UK.
UK Visas Types, Processing Time and Duration
|Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)||8 weeks||5 years|
|Tier 2 (General)||3 months||5 years|
|Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer)||3 months||5 to 9 years for a salary under £120,000 and over £120,000 respectively|
|Tier 2 (Sportsperson)||3 weeks||3 years|
|Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)||6 months||3 years and 1 month|
|Tier 5 (Temporary Worker)||3 weeks||6 months|
|Tier 1 Entrepreneur||3 months||3 years|
|Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur||3 months||6 years|
|Tier 1 Investor||3 weeks||3 years and 4 months|
|Tier 4 (Child) Student||3 months||3 to 6 yeazrs|
|Tier 4 (General) Student||3 months||6 months to 1 year and four months|
|Short Term Study||3 months||6 to 11 months|
|Parent of Tier 4 (Child) Student||3 months||2 months|
|Permitted Paid Engagement||3 weeks||1 month|
|Uk Visitor||3 weeks||12 months|
|UK Spouse||2 weeks||2 years 6 months|
|UK Child||2 weeks||2 years 6 months|
|UK Parent||2 weeks||2 years 6 months|
|Airside Transit||10 days||Only allowed entry to the airport|
|Visitor in Transit||10 days||4 days|
Suggested Visa Types for Different Individuals
If you want to apply for a visa to the UK but do not know which one you want to apply for, below is the description of the various visa types you can apply for. You can check to see which one perfectly fits your purpose of entering the United Kingdom.
- Work Visa: If you want to work in the UK, the visa type you are required to apply for is the work visa. This visa type comes in different subtypes that you can choose from such as the Exceptional talent or Tier 1, General, Intra-company transfer, Sportsperson, Minister of Religion or Tier 2, and Temporary worker or Tier 5 visas. One major requirement for this type of visa is that you have a valid letter from a recognised company in the country.
- Business Visa: This visa is perfect for anyone is planning to do business or invest in the UK. You can either apply for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, and the Tier 1 Investor visa. With any of these visa subtypes, you are permitted to live in the country for 3 to 6 years with the ability to conduct business in the country. Before you can be eligible for this visa type you must be able to provide a valid proof of sufficient funds.
- Study Visa: If you wish to study in any of the recognised schools, universities, or institutions in the UK, you have to apply for the study visa. You can choose to apply for either the Short term, General and Child student visa. The validity period of this visa type is based on the duration of your study but cannot be more than 6 years. Before you can qualify for this visa, you must be able to provide proof of admission into any of the recognised schools, universities, and institutes in the UK.
- Visitor Visa: This visa is the right choice if you are planning to visit the UK for tourism, family or vacation purposes. If you are planning to visit your child studying in any of the recognised schools in the country, you can apply for the Parent of Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa. Or if you are just visiting for tourism purposes, you can apply for a UK visitor’s visa, and lastly, you can also apply for the Permitted Paid Engagement visa. With this visa type, you are only eligible to live in the country for not more than 12 months.
- Family Visa: This visa type is granted to anyone who has family members who are working and living in the UK and they want to visit them for a stay, not more than six months. These set of people can either be a husband or wife (spouse), fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner, partner, parents, children, or other family members.
- Transit Visa: For anyone planning to transit through the UK to another country must apply for this visa type. This visa type comes in two tiers which are the Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV) and the visitor in transit visa. The DATV is for anyone who wants to transit through any of the airports in the UK, while a visitor in transit visa is issued to anyone who wants to take other means of transportation in the country. This visa type is valid for 4 days.
General Requirements for the United Kingdom Visa for Indians:
- Provide a completed and valid UK visa application form.
- You must have two coloured photographs, which should be taken in the last 6 months
- Provide your valid passport and it must be valid for more than 3 months beyond the duration of your stay in the UK
- You must be able to provide proof that you have the financial capacity to cover your expenses while you are in the UK.
- You must provide valid proof of accommodation.
- You must be able to provide a well-detailed travel itinerary.
- You must provide a tuberculosis test results.
- You must provide your biometric information if you are planning to obtain a visa that allows you to stay in the UK for more than 6 months.
- Have available a UK visa invitation letter if you are staying with a friend or a family member, and your host must either be a legal resident or a UK national.
- You should be able to provide a valid receipt of your paid UK visa fees for confirmation.
- Provide a certified translation of any document that is not in either Welsh or English.
How to Apply for a UK Visa
- Step 1: Before you get started with the application you must choose the right UK visa type that will serve the purpose of your entry to the UK.
- Step 2: Download and complete the online application form.
- Step 3: Gather the required documents that are needed for a UK visa application.
- Step 4: Pay the visa fee
- Step 5: Schedule your UK visa appointment.
- Step 6: Proceed to attend the scheduled UK visa interview.
To complete the UK visa form, download the application form for the visa type you are planning to apply for using this link: https://visaguide.world/europe/uk-visa/application-forms
After you have downloaded the application form, you just need to correctly fill it out. Therefore, you submit the form with the other requirements to the closest diplomatic-consular or embassy to you. Additionally, you need to know that the consulate/embassy can ask you for extra documents and if you didn’t fill out the application form completely or correctly your visa application might be declined.
- For any non-citizen of the UK planning to work in the country, this is the right visa type to obtain.
- This visa type comes in multiple subtypes that you can apply for such as the Exceptional Talent, General, ICT, Sportsperson, Minister of Religion, and the Temporary worker visa. See below a brief description of the different subtypes;
- Exceptional Talent: This is a work visa subtype for foreigners who have been endorsed either as a recognized leader or an emerging leader in fields such as Engineering, Medicine, Humanities, Science, and more. To obtain this visa subtype you need to apply for endorsement at the website of the UK home office which is https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office
- General Work Visa: This is a work visa which is only issued to highly skilled workers who are not citizens of the European Economic Area and Switzerland such as India, who have a job offer for a skilled job or a job in the Shortage List. To obtain this visa you are required to have a job offer from a licensed sponsor in the UK with pay not less than £30,000 a year. You should be able to provide a valid certificate of sponsorship issued by the employer as a proof.
- Intra-company Transfer Visa: This is a UK work visa for skilled workers of any multinational company in a foreign country, with at least 1-year work experience in the company that is expected to be transferred for a job in the UK branch. You must be able to provide a valid Certificate of Sponsorship by a licensed Tier 2 sponsor (that is a multinational company).
- Sportsperson Visa: This is a work visa for a foreign sportsperson who want to move to the UK and is sponsored by someone in the UK. To be eligible for this visa subtype you must have a valid proof that you are good in any of the recognised sport or you are a qualified coach.
- Minister of Religion Visa: This a work visa subtype for skilled workers who has a full-time job offer in a religious organization, as a minister of religion, missionary, or as a member of a religious order. You must have proof that you have either completed training as a missionary, have work experience in the same faith in your home country, or have other similar training or education or certificate.
- Temporary Worker Visa: This work visa is for foreigners who wish to work temporarily in the UK for a period of not more than 2 years. To be eligible you need a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed employer.
- With this visa, you will be able to work in any part of the country.
- This visa is valid for 6 months to 9 years depending on which subtype you are planning to obtain.
- The fee for this visa varies based on the visa sub-type you are applying for between $244 to $1020.
- Some specific documents related to this visa type are; Letter of Recommendation from a reputable Government or Private institute, getting a minimum of 10 points for your means of subsistence, and a certificate of sponsorship.
- If you wish to invest or do business in the UK, you need to apply for this visa.
- This visa has several sub-types you can obtain like Tier 1 Entrepreneur, Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur, and the Tier 1 Investor visa. See below a brief description of the available business visa subtypes;
- Tier 1 Entrepreneur: This is a business visa that is issued to international businesspersons who would like to invest between £50,000 to £200,000 in the UK. They can either choose to establish a new business or form a business partnership with an existing company. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is given for three years and four months. To be eligible, you must have a well-documented business plan of your proposed business project with all parts of it, which includes investment, costs, and also the expected returns from business operations
- Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur: This is a business visa issued for one year to non-residents of the UK who are graduates that have been officially endorsed as having a credible and genuine business idea to come to the UK to live and establish their businesses. One major requirement for this visa subtype is that you must be registered with the police.
- Tier 1 Investor visa: This business visa is for foreigners who want to invest in any part of the UK with a minimum of £2,000,000. To be eligible for this visa, you must be able to prove that you the money you are investing belongs to you, spouse or family member.
- With this visa, you are eligible to partake in any type of business in the country as long as it complies with the rules and regulations of the country.
- This visa is valid for 3 to 6 years depending on which sub-type you are planning to obtain.
- The fee for this visa varies based on the visa sub-type you are applying for between $1021 to $1623.
- You must apply for this visa if you are planning to study in any part of the country.
- This visa type comes in multiple subtypes that you can apply for like Child Student, General Student, and the Short Term Study visa. See below a brief description of the available study visa subtypes;
- Child Student Visa: This study visa is for foreigners who are between the ages of 4 to 17 who want to take a course at any of the independent schools in the UK, whose studies are at or under the level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework. To obtain this visa, you must be able to provide a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies that is issued by a recognised independent school in the UK.
- General Student Visa: This is a study visa granted to foreign students who are at least 16 years old and want to enrol in studies in the UK. You must be able to provide a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies issued by a licensed Tier 4 sponsor.
- Short Term Study visa: This is a study visa granted to foreigners who want to participate in a temporary study program, which will last between 6 or 11 months. However, it is limited to study courses for learning the English language, and short term study programs or research projects that are part of the main foreign degree-awarding studies. To be eligible for this visa subtype, you must be able to provide a valid proof of a reserved seat in the short term study course in the UK.
- With this visa, you can study in any of the reputable and recognised schools, universities, or institutes in the country.
- This visa is valid for 6 months to 6 years depending on which subtype you are planning to obtain.
- The fee for this visa varies based on the visa sub-type you are applying for between $186 to $384.
- For any non-citizen of the UK planning to visit the country for tourism or any other reason, you can apply for this visa.
- This visa type comes in multiple subtypes that you can apply for such as the Parent of Child Student, Permitted Paid Engagement and UK Visitor visa. See below a brief description of the available study visa subtypes;
- Parent of Child Student Visa: This is a visitor’s visa subtype that is issued to parents who want to accompany their child who is younger than the age of 12, to study at an independent school in the UK. You must have valid proof that you are the parent or legal guardian of the child before you can be eligible for this visa type.
- Permitted Paid Engagement Visa: This visitor visa subtype is granted to anyone seeking to serve through their expertise in the UK. If you will be working for a company, private client, organization or institution, or in a job in the PBS that does not require a prior sponsoring employer. To obtain this visa type, you must provide a valid letter of invitation from the host organisation.
- UK Visitor Visa: This visa subtype is for anyone who wishes to travel to the UK for tourism, medical treatment, or professional reasons. You have to provide a valid Certificate of English Language, well-detailed estimated costs of your visit, or specifics about your living address in your home country such as how long you have been leaving there.
- With this visa, you can only visit but you are not eligible to work in the country.
- This visa is valid for 1 to 12 months depending on which sub-type you are planning to obtain.
- The fee for this visa varies based on the visa sub-type you are applying for between $89 to $516.
- For any non-citizen who has a family member or partner who is a citizen or is legally living in the UK, and wants to visit can apply for this visa.
- This visa type has multiple subtypes that you can apply for such as the UK Spouse, Child, Parent visa. See below a brief description of the available study visa subtypes;
- UK Spouse Visa: This family visa subtype is for anyone who wants to live in the UK with his or her spouse who is a legal resident or citizen of the UK. To be eligible for this visa, you must be able to provide a valid Certificate of Marriage to a UK citizen or legal resident.
- Child Visa: This visa is for British citizen who has children living outside the UK and wants to bring them into the UK. You must be able to prove that the child is legally yours before you are eligible for this visa.
- Parent Visa: Similar to the child visa, this visa is for any British citizen who has parents outside the UK and wants to bring them into the country. To be eligible for this visa, your child must be under 18 and a British child.
- With this visa, you are not eligible to work in the country but you are permitted to stay in any part of the country for the duration of your visa.
- This visa is valid for 2 years and 6 months.
- The fee for this visa is $1464.
- For any non-citizen of the UK who wants to transit through the UK to another country can apply for this visa.
- This visa type comes in two subtypes you can apply for which are the Direct Airside Transit and the Visitor in Transit visa. See below a brief description of the available study visa subtypes;
- Direct Airside Transit Visa: This visa subtype is for foreigners who want to change flight in a British airport to another country. To obtain this visa, you must be able to provide a visa for the destination country.
- Visitor in Transit Visa: This visa subtype is for foreigners who need to leave the airport and take another means of travel. However, this visa is only valid for up to 4 days. For this visa, you must be able to provide valid proof as to why you need to travel by other means of transportation.
- The fee for this visa varies based on the visa sub-type you are applying for between $35 to $64.
- Some specific documents related to this visa type are; Visa of the destination country you are intending to enter and proof of eligibility that you can enter the destination country.
UK Visa fees
Total FEES ($)
|Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)||608|
|Tier 2 (General)||1020|
|Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer)||1220|
|Tier 2 (Sportsperson)||610|
|Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)||610|
|Tier 5 (Temporary Worker)||244|
|Tier 1 Entrepreneur||1021|
|Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur||1021|
|Tier 1 Investor||1623|
|Tier 4 (Child) Student||348|
|Tier 4 (General) Student||348|
|Short Term Study||186|
|Parent of Tier 4 (Child) Student||516|
|Permitted Paid Engagement||93|
|Visitor in Transit||64|
Reasons for Visa Denial/Rejection:
Your visa may be rejected or denied for the following but not limited to the listed reasons below;
- Provision of an invalid letter of reference or any required document.
- Insufficient funds for the purpose of entry.
- Lack of required documents or provision of documents in confusing languages.
- If you cannot provide a valid certificate of sound health when you are coming from areas affected by pandemic diseases determined by the Ministry of Health;
- Records of previous criminal actions.
- If there is any reason to believe you will not return to your home country after the speculated period of stay.
To avoid your visa being rejected you need to ensure that:
- You have perfectly and properly filled your visa application form.
- The documents you are providing are valid and do not contain any false information.
- You have a valid proof of sufficient funds that will sustain you for the speculated period of stay available.
- All your documents are properly translated to English to avoid any form of confusion.
The UK Visa Application Centres and Embassies in India
Frequently Asked Questions
Are visa extensions available for the available visa types?
Yes. You can apply for visa extensions for the different available visa types such as the visitor, family, and work visas if your current visa is about to expire, however, you need to contact the nearest consulate or embassy to see how long you can extend your visa for.
Can my visa application be processed faster than the speculated time?
Yes. Moreover, you will be required to pay additional fees for express processing.
Can I reschedule my visa application interview?
Yes. If you can provide a well-grounded reason as to why you need to reschedule the interview. Additionally, you have to ensure that you call the visa application centre beforehand.
If my visa application is rejected can I reapply?
Yes. However, if for any reason your visa application was rejected, it is best that you find out what reason it was so that you can make the right adjustment before reapplying.
How long does it take for a visa interview to be scheduled?
The time it takes for a visa interview to be scheduled is dependent on the consulate or embassy you want to obtain your visa through. However, it is often within two weeks from the day you paid your visa fee.