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What documents will I need?

Planning a visit to Britain but not sure what documents you’ll need? Find key information on passport requirements, visas and Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) below. Detailed guidance can also be found on the official government website .

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EU, EEA and Swiss nationals

Some entry requirements changed for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals, post Brexit.

Most travellers from the EU, EEA and Switzerland will require a passport to enter Britain and Northern Ireland. Your passport will need to be valid for your entire stay here. 

Some, but not all visitors can use an EU, EEA or Swiss national ID to enter Britain and Northern Ireland until at least 31 December 2025. Check website for who is eligible.

Common Travel Areas

For those in the Common Travel Areas (known as Britain and Northern Ireland, the rest of Ireland, and Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man), please see here for the  different document requirements .

The rest of the world

You must have a valid passport to enter Britain and Northern Ireland, and it should be valid for the whole duration of your stay.

Most people coming to visit Britain and Northern Ireland will need a visa. To discover whether you need one or not depends on why you’re visiting and your nationality. 

You’ll have to either:

Apply for a standard Visitor Visa. There is a cost for this, and it must be applied for three months before travel.

Be able to visit Britain and Northern Ireland for six months without needing a visa.

You can check which applies to you .

More information on short-stay visas can be found on the official government website.

Electronic Travel Authorisation

By the end of 2024, Electronic Travel Authorisation will be a requirement worldwide for visitors who do not currently need a visa for short stays. More information on the ETA scheme can be found on the official government website.

Until the introduction of the ETA, most travellers from the EU, EEA and Switzerland won’t require a visa but will still need their passport to enter Britain and Northern Ireland. Your passport will need to be valid for your entire stay.

VisitBritain/Tomo Brejc

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If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you can find the most up-to-date information on visiting Britain and Northern Ireland on the official government website .

American, Canadian and Australian tourists, and citizens of certain Commonwealth countries, can travel visa-free throughout Britain and Northern Ireland, providing you have a valid passport and your reason for visiting meets the immigration rules .

The Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme started to replace the electronic visa waiver from late 2023:

  • From 15 November 2023, nationals of Qatar require an ETA to travel to the UK.
  • From 22 February 2024, nationals of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE require an ETA to travel to the UK. The ETA scheme is now open for applications from nationals of these countries.
  • More countries will be added to the scheme at a later date.

An ETA will cost £10 per application when the scheme opens, will permit multiple journeys and be valid for two years or until the holder’s passport expires - whichever is sooner.

More information on the new ETA scheme can be found via the official government website.

For nationals of all other countries, you can check if you need a UK visa here.

Immigration applications

Please note that www.GOV.UK is the only official UK immigration website and provides all of the information necessary to successfully complete an application.

We have received reports of customers using non-GOV.UK websites to support their UK immigration applications. If you have made use of these websites, please be aware of the following:

  • Some non-GOV.UK websites deliberately attempt to deceive customers by making it appear as though they are an official part of the application process.
  • These websites can pose a risk to a customer’s security and data.
  • They will often charge applicants extra, unnecessary fees in addition to any fees related to the official immigration application.
  • The information included on these websites is not moderated by the Home Office and may be inaccurate or misleading.

If you think you may have been a victim of a non-GOV.UK website seeking your data and/or money, please report this to Reporting fraud and cyber crime | Action Fraud .

Visa Traveler

Exploring the world one country at a time

UK tourist visa: Requirements and application procedure

Updated: September 9, 2023

United Kingdom UK Tourist Visa Image

The UK tourist visa requirements are clear and easy to understand. UK tourist visa application is online but the rest of the process requires an in-person appointment for biometrics.

The UK or the United Kingdom is comprised of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. To visit any of these four countries, you would need a UK tourist visa. UK tourist visas are valid for 6 months and you can stay up to 180 days in the UK.

The UK tourist visa application process is long and there is no status tracking. Make sure to start your UK visa process at least two months from your intended date of travel to the UK.

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United Kingdom Tourist Visa Requirements by Nationality

Minimum passport validity required to enter the UK

  • Passport must be valid for the entire stay in the UK

Visa EXEMPT nationalities

Unlimited entry.

  • This requirement will change from 01 Jan 2021 when UK will no longer be part of the EU
  • Czech Republic
  • Liechtenstein
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland

6-month entry

  • You must carry all documents needed for a visitor visa to show at the port of entry if asked
  • Visa is REQUIRED if you have a criminal record or refused entry into the UK before
  • Anguilla (British territory)
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bermuda (British territory)
  • Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba (Dutch territory)
  • British Virgin Islands (British territory)
  • Cayman Islands (British territory)
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Falkland Islands (British territory)
  • Hong Kong
  • Marshall Islands
  • Montserrat (British territory)
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Pitcairn Island (British territory)
  • San Marino
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Maarten
  • St Vincent and The Grenadines
  • Timor Leste
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands (British territory)
  • United States of America
  • Vatican City

Visa REQUIRED nationalities

  • Afghanistan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Congo, Dem. Rep. of
  • Congo, Rep. of
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Dominican Republic
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • North Korea
  • North Macedonia
  • Palestinian Territories
  • Philippines
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • São Tomé and Principe
  • Turkmenistan

Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) required nationalities

  • United Arab Emirates

24-hour VISA-FREE entry at Heathrow airport

  • Eligible to request a 24-hour VISA-FREE entry at London’s Heathrow airport if holding a valid visa from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or any EU/Schengen country
  • Must be in transit to/from the country of visa (Ex: if holding a Canada visa, you must be in transit to/from Canada only)
  • Onward flight must be within 24 hours (on the same day or next day before midnight)
  • Granting the 24-hour entry is at the sole discretion of the immigration officer
  • Applies to all nationalities

BONUS (FREE eBook Download): Travel 56 countries VISA-FREE with a visa from the US, Canada, Schengen, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan or Singapore


United Kingdom UK Tourist Visa Requirements - Visa Application

First, check if you need a visitor visa to travel to the UK in the “UK tourist visa requirements by nationality” section above.

Alternatively, you can check your eligibility and requirements on the UK gov website .

Validity of UK tourist visa

UK tourist visas are valid for 6 months from the date of visa issue.

Example: If your UK visa was issued on January 15, the visa will be valid until July 15. 

NOTE There have been instances where visas were issued with validity starting from the date of travel mentioned in the visa application. 

When to apply for UK visa

You can apply for a UK visa up to 3 months in advance.

Example: If you plan to visit the UK on April 15, you can apply for your UK visa on or after January 16.

Also, keep in mind that you must apply for your UK visa at least 3 weeks prior to your travel, otherwise, you may not receive your visa on time. There are no refunds if you receive your visa after your travel date. 

IMPORTANT The UK visa process can take up to 3 weeks and even longer in some cases. I strongly recommend applying for your UK visa at least 2 months in advance.

How long can you stay in the UK?

The UK tourist visa allows you to stay up to 180 days in the UK. But if you stay that long continuously in the UK on a tourist visa, you will have serious trouble getting another UK visa in the future or entering the UK next time.

Here is my advice. Stick to the days you have mentioned in your UK visa application. A few days more or less is fine. But staying months on your UK tourist visa will pretty much look like you “live in the UK” rather than “vacation/holiday”. 

Application procedure

The UK visa application is online. You must apply for the visa online at the UK Visas and Immigration website

Below are the steps you will go through for your UK tourist visa application

  • Go to the UK Visas and Immigration website
  • Select your preferred language, type of visa, your country, nearest visa application center, etc
  • Create a login using email and password
  • Complete in the application form
  • Sign the declaration
  • Pay visa fee
  • Submit the application
  • Download and print the submitted visa application form
  • Make an appointment at your nearest UK visa application center
  • Attend the appointment at your nearest UK visa application center
  • Submit your passport, visa application and supporting documents at the visa application center
  • If applying from the US, Australia or New Zealand, mail your passport, visa application and biometrics receipt to your nearest visa application center
  • Pickup/receive the passport when the visa decision is made

Below are some of the information you will provide in the application form

  • Your travel dates to the UK
  • Your hotel address and telephone number in the UK
  • Your total estimated cost for the trip
  • Your present home address and how many years you’ve lived there
  • Your parents’ names and their dates of birth
  • Your annual income
  • Your travel history for the past 10 years
  • Your employer details including the address and telephone number

Templates for UK visa by Visa Traveler

Documents required

The following are the documents required for UK visitor visa application 

  • Completed online visa application form with GWF number
  • A passport-size photo (optional)
  • If employed – an employment letter on company letterhead indicating your length of employment, salary, role, etc.
  • If self-employed – a business registration document indicating your business name, date of business, etc.
  • If student – a letter from the school/university on the letterhead indicating your enrollment, leave of absence, etc.
  • Proof of funds ( bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months)
  • Proof of legal residence (if applying from a 3rd country. you must submit a copy of your visa or residence permit of that country)

Do you need flight tickets and hotel bookings for the UK visa application?

UKVI has stopped asking for flight tickets and hotel bookings for UK visa applications. But some nationalities are still being asked to submit flight tickets and hotel bookings.

When you complete your online UK visa application, you will see a checklist of documents to be uploaded. Check if you are asked to submit flight tickets and hotel bookings.

Even if you are asked to submit your flight tickets and hotel bookings, you should not book any flights/hotel until your UK visa is approved.

For flights, get a price quote from British Airways which can be used as a flight itinerary for your UK visa application. Visa ticket booking agencies such as DummyTicket offer flight itineraries for the UK visa for $19, valid for 2-3 weeks.

For hotel, book a refundable or pay at check-in hotel on or Expedia . Cancel the booking after your visa is approved.

For more options, check out my detailed flight itinerary and hotel reservation articles.

Photo requirements

A passport-size photo is only required if are exempt from biometrics. All tourist visa applicants MUST give their biometrics. Your fingerprints and digital photos are taken during your biometrics appointment.

Since all tourist visa applicants MUST give their biometrics, a passport-size photo is not required. But, I suggest bringing one with you on the day of your biometrics appointment just in case.

Visa application fee

The UK tourist visa application fee is £95 GBP. You will pay this fee in your local currency. Due to exchange rates, you may end up paying about £2 – £5 GBP more.

You can use the UK home office visa fee wizard to find out the exact visa fee that you would need to pay in your local currency. 

If you are applying for a long-term UK tourist visa, below is the visa fee for 2, 5 and 10-year tourist visas. 

  • 2 years: £361 GBP
  • 5 years: £655 GBP
  • 10 years: £822 GBP

Visa appointment

As part of the online application process, you will be prompted to make a visa appointment at your nearest UK Visa Application Center . Visa Application Centers are run by either VFSGlobal or TLSContact in conjunction with UK Visas and Immigration.

On the day of the appointment, you will give your biometrics (fingerprints and photo) and submit your original documents. You must bring all your original documents along with one photocopy of each including your passport.

Applicants from the USA, Australia (Adelaide and Hobart only) and New Zealand

You must give your biometrics at your nearest Biometric Enrollment Center and later send/post your documents to the nearest UK Visa Application Center.

During your online UK visa application, you will be prompted to make a biometrics appointment at your nearest Biometric enrollment center.

  • Biometric enrollment centers in the USA are run by the US Homeland Security.
  • Biometric enrollment centers in Australia are run by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
  • Biometric enrollment centers in New Zealand are run by Immigration New Zealand.

The biometrics appointment takes about 10-15 minutes. You will give your fingerprints and photo. You will receive an acknowledgment stamp on the biometric appointment confirmation.

You must then mail your original passport, visa application, biometric confirmation with the stamp, supporting documents and return postage to the UK Visa Application Center you have selected during your online visa application.

You will be notified via email when the UK Visa Application Center receives your documents.

Visa processing time

The UK tourist visa processing takes up to 3 weeks. There have been incidents where UKVI has taken over 2 months to process, especially when the visa applications are “not straightforward”.

UKVI considers a visa application “not straightforward” if additional information is required to process the visa. Additional information can be, verifying information, background check or requesting additional documents. UKVI usually notifies you in such cases and requests any additional documentation necessary.

Keeping such incidents in mind, ALWAYS apply for your UK visa at least 2 months prior to your travel.

If you have to travel sooner, you should purchase the “Priority Visa Service” while applying online. Or at least before you mail/submit your documents. This way your visa application will be processed within 5 working days.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE When I applied for my UK visa, the visa processing time was about 2 weeks. I had a planned trip to Canada before my trip to the UK. My trip to Canada was in 4 weeks, so I thought I had enough time to apply for my UK visa. However after I submitted my passport, the email confirmation said the visa process would take up to 4 weeks. I panicked. I went ahead and paid for the priority visa service. I panicked again. Then I emailed a formal visa withdrawal request, so I could at least get my passport back and make my trip to Canada. However, my visa was processed within 2 days of paying the priority visa service fee. Please do not make the same mistake as I did. Apply for your UK visa at least 2 months prior to your travel.

Visa application status tracking

Online visa application tracking is NOT AVAILABLE on the UK Visas and Immigration website. To track your UK visa application status, you must use UK Visas and Immigration’s email or phone option, which unfortunately is NOT FREE.

UKVI charges for all phone and email inquiries. 

Below are UK Visa and Immigration phone, email details and charges.

PHONE Telephone: +44 2034811736 Available 24 hours from Monday to Friday Calls cost £1.37 per minute plus any international call charges

EMAIL Email communication must be initiated via Email UK Visas and Immigration Email inquiries cost £5.48. Follow-up emails after that are not charged. You will receive a response to your email within 2 working days.

You must give out your credit card information for billing when you start the phone inquiry. For email, you must fill out the payment form and then you can submit your email inquiry.

PERSONAL OPINION Email inquiries generally receive a standard response saying that your application is “in process”. Phone inquiries are slightly better and cheaper.

Priority visa service

If you would need to travel to the UK urgently, you can opt for the “Priority Visa Service”.  This service is expensive and may not be available in all countries. If available, you will see the option in your online UK visa application. 

  • Priority visa service fee: £220 GBP
  • Visa processing time: Guaranteed in 5 working days

Priority visa service must be purchased during your online visa application. This will ensure your visa is processed within 5 days.

Purchasing this service after you have submitted/mailed your documents will take much longer than 5 working days. You must first pay the fee on the Visa Application Center (VAC) website and then email the receipt to the Visa Application Center where you have submitted/sent your documents. It can take more than a day for the VAC staff to locate your packet and push it into the priority queue

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE I purchased my priority service after I had mailed my documents. My visa application was approved within two days of buying the priority visa service.

Super priority visa service

If you would need to travel to the UK immediately, you can opt for “Super Priority Visa Service”. This service comes with a hefty price tag, so purchase this service only in super urgent, emergency cases. 

  • Super priority visa service fee: £956 GBP
  • Visa processing time: Guaranteed in 24 hours

Cancel your UK visa application

If you haven’t given your biometrics at the visa application center yet, you can cancel your UK visa application and get a full refund of your visa fee. The procedure to cancel your UK visa application depends on at what stage your application is in.

Application not submitted and fee not paid : If you haven’t paid your fee and haven’t submitted your application, there is a “Delete Application” option that will delete your current visa application.

Application not submitted but fee already paid : If you have already paid your fee and have not yet submitted your application, you can still delete your application but you may have to send a formal refund request in writing to the visa application center.

Application submitted, fee paid but haven’t given your biometrics : If you haven’t given your biometrics at VFS/BLS, you can cancel your application and request for a refund. The refunds take 4 weeks. 

Application submitted, fee paid, biometric given , and documents/passport already submitted: If you have already given your biometrics and submitted your documents/passport, you CANNOT cancel your visa application anymore. You can only WITHDRAW your visa application. You must email the visa application center a formal withdrawal request. Upon receipt of the withdrawal request, the visa application center will return/mail your passport back. Any visa fee and priority service fee paid are not refundable. 

IMPORTANT Even though UKVI says the refunds are processed in 4 weeks, it usually takes 8 weeks or even longer. There have been instances where applicants waited several weeks and some even gave up on their refunds. However, I have seen applicants having success in getting their refunds by reminding UKVI with phone calls or emails. It costs about $5 USD to email them, but it helps in getting your refund eventually. 

Withdraw your UK visa application

The UK visa application center keeps the passport for the entirety of the visa process, which could be 3 weeks or more. There may be emergencies where you need to have your passport with you. The only way to request your passport back is by formally withdrawing your visa application. 

If you withdraw your application, the visa fee and any priority service fee you have paid are NOT refundable.

To withdraw a visa application, you must submit a withdrawal request along with the reason for the withdrawal to the visa application center via email. It might take up to 72 hours for the consulate to locate your packet and send it back to you.

You must first call/email the UK Visas and Immigration mentioning your intention to withdraw your application. They will guide you through the process of withdrawing your application. Usually, the UK visa application withdrawal request should be a signed document with personal information including the GWF number. This document must be printed and signed. It must be scanned and emailed to the visa application center. Below is a sample withdrawal request letter.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I hereby request to withdraw my UK visa application. I understand that the visa fee is non-refundable. I also understand that my package may not be shipped for up to 72 hours.

Full Name of the Applicant: <name> GWF Number: <GWF number> Date of Birth: <date of birth> Nationality: <Nationality> Country of Residence: <Country of residence> Passport number: <Passport number> Type of Visa Applied: General Visit (up to 6 months) Biometric taken date:  <biometric date> Visa application centre’s address:  <address of the visa application center where you have submitted your documents> Contact number of the applicant: <Your phone number>

Priority Service Paid: <YES/NO> Priority Service Paid On: <Priority service purchased date>

Reason for Withdrawal: Emergency international travel has been scheduled. I need to have my passport in order to travel. Please return my passport as soon as possible. Thank you!

<Your signature here> Signed: <Your full name> Date: <date>

IMPORTANT Cancellation or withdrawal is NOT a refusal. It WILL NOT affect your future UK visa applications. You don’t need to mention it in your future UK visa applications either.


United Kingdom UK Tourist Visa Requirements - UK Currency

Entering the UK by air

At the immigration, the officers may ask you questions about your trip, how long you plan to stay, your next destination, etc. You may be asked to show your return/onward ticket and your hotel booking. If you are traveling on a one-way ticket, you can use OnwardTicket to get proof of your onward ticket. 

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: The immigration officer at Heathrow Airport asked me to show my return/onward ticket. I had a print of my onward ticket, so quickly took it out and gave it to the immigration officer.

Get a proof of onward ticket for your trip from OnwardTicket

Leaving the UK by air

If you are flying out of Heathrow Airport, make sure to arrive early. The airport is huge and you may have to take a bus from the gate to the flight.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is GWF number in UK visa application ?

GWF reference number is the unique visa application number that was provided to you on your visa application submission. You must provide your GWF number when calling or emailing UK Visas and Immigration. Without the GWF number, UK Visas and Immigration will not be able to provide you with a status update on your visa application.

What to do if my UK visa application is refused?

If your UK visa application is refused, the first thing is to understand the  reasons for your UK visa refusal . If the reason is due to missing information, proof of funds or documentation, make sure to fix these the next time you apply for your UK visa.

Write a detailed cover letter explaining the reasons for your previous visa refusal, missing information/documentation and any additional information/documentation that you have provided in the new application. This will help the ECOs cut to the chase and focus on the new information/documentation.

There is no “appeal” for UK visa. So, re-apply for your UK visa by making sure you have the new information, proofs and documents that were lacking previously. You must pay the visa fee again as the fee paid for your previous application was non-refundable.

If you do not know the reason for your visa refusal/denial, give at least 6 months before you apply for the visa again. 

Can I get my UK visa application fee refund if denied?

No. The visa fee and any priority service fee paid are non-refundable if your visa application is denied. The visa fee is also non-refundable in incidents where the visa is approved for less number of days than requested.

I’m planning to visit the UK and Schengen countries on a single trip. Should I apply for my UK visa first or Schengen visa first?

If you plan to visit the UK and Schengen countries on a single trip, ALWAYS apply for your UK visa first. 

UKVI keeps the passport for the entirety of the visa process and there is no visa status tracking. Calls and emails to customer service are charged. Even if you pay and contact, you will usually get a canned response. If your UK visa is refused, there is no “appeal”. You can only re-apply, which means you have to repeat the entire process again.

On the other hand, the Schengen visa application process is much streamlined. There is application tracking, customer service and appeal. 

I highly recommend applying for your UK visa first and get done with it. After that, apply for your Schengen visa. 

When applying for your UK visa, show a “UK-only” itinerary for your UK visa. This eliminates the need for submitting your Schengen visa, flights in/out of the Schengen region, etc. 

United Kingdom UK Tourist Visa Requirements - London Tower Bridge

The UK tourist visa requirements are clear and easy to understand. But, the visa application process is long and expensive. Apply at least 2 months in advance, and follow all the proper steps and documentation. Tourist visas are usually multiple-entry with 6 months validity.


Thirumal Motati

Thirumal Motati is an expert in tourist visa matters. He has been traveling the world on tourist visas for more than a decade. With his expertise, he has obtained several tourist visas, including the most strenuous ones such as the US, UK, Canada, and Schengen, some of which were granted multiple times. He has also set foot inside US consulates on numerous occasions. Mr. Motati has uncovered the secrets to successful visa applications. His guidance has enabled countless individuals to obtain their visas and fulfill their travel dreams. His statements have been mentioned in publications like Yahoo, BBC, The Hindu, and Travel Zoo.


I highly recommend using these websites to plan your trip. I use these websites myself to apply for my visas, book my flights and hotels and purchase my travel insurance.

01. Apply for your visa

Get a verifiable flight itinerary for your visa application from DummyTicket247 . DummyTicket247 is a flight search engine to search and book flight itineraries for visas instantly. These flight itineraries are guaranteed to be valid for 2 weeks and work for all visa applications.

02. Book your fight

Find the cheapest flight tickets using Skyscanner . Skyscanner includes all budget airlines and you are guaranteed to find the cheapest flight to your destination.

03. Book your hotel

Book your hotel from . has pretty much every hotel, hostel and guesthouse from every destination.

04. Get your onward ticket

If traveling on a one-way ticket, use BestOnwardTicket to get proof of onward ticket for just $12, valid for 48 hours.

05. Purchase your insurance

Purchase travel medical insurance for your trip from SafetyWing . Insurance from SafetyWing covers COVID-19 and also comes with a visa letter which you can use for your visas.

Need more? Check out my travel resources page  for the best websites to plan your trip.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER We are not affiliated with immigration, embassies or governments of any country. The content in this article is for educational and general informational purposes only, and shall not be understood or construed as, visa, immigration or legal advice. Your use of information provided in this article is solely at your own risk and you expressly agree not to rely upon any information contained in this article as a substitute for professional visa or immigration advice. Under no circumstance shall be held liable or responsible for any errors or omissions in this article or for any damage you may suffer in respect to any actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the information in this article. Please refer to our full disclaimer for further information.

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please refer to our full disclosure for further information.


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Do you need a visa to go to the United Kingdom?

James March

Jun 25, 2022 • 3 min read

Group of people walking along cliff edge looking at city views. Edinburgh Castle in the distance

Here's the visa info you need for a visit to Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland © Andrew Merry / Getty Images

Traveling between England , Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland reveals both the shared culture and distinct local flavors that contribute to the UK . Save for the occasional inconvenience of long lines at passport control and security, entering and leaving the UK was fairly straightforward in the past. Now, due to Brexit, information on visa requirements has changed for EU citizens and immigration restrictions are often on the news in the UK. It's essential to check with your local British embassy, high commission or consulate before leaving home.

What you need to know about visas in the UK

The UK government has a handy online guide to help you check if you need a UK visa . Britain is not a member of the Schengen Zone, so you will need to show your passport when arriving and leaving from a UK border point.

Visas are generally not needed for stays of up to six months for tourism or visiting friends and family. This applies to citizens of the EEA (European Economic Area) nations, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, and the USA.

Following Brexit, the EU Settlement Scheme is the system that EU citizens who are already living in the UK need to follow, but there is also a family permit you can apply for if you’re a family member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. ​​It lets you come to the UK for up to 6 months. You can work and study, and come and go as many times as you want before the permit expires.

Anyone wishing to work, do business or academic research in the UK will need to apply for a visa, as will students wishing to study for longer than six months. The Youth Mobility Scheme , for Australian, Canadian, Japanese, Hong Kong, Monégasque, New Zealand, Sammarinese and Icelandic citizens aged 18 to 30, allows working visits of up to two years, but must be applied for in advance. Those coming from Hong Kong (if you have a SAR passport), Japan, South Korea and Taiwan must be selected in the Youth Mobility Scheme ballot before they can apply.

Tourists from China, India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and many other destinations , will need to apply for the Standard Visitor visa . It lasts six months, costs £100 and must be applied for online in advance of travel. A decision is usually provided within three weeks. Applications to extend your stay must be made before your visa runs out, but there are strict limitations. If you know you want to be in the UK beyond six months, it's best to apply for the more costly long-term Standard Visitor visa, which lasts for two (£376), five (£670) or ten (£837) years.

Commonwealth citizens with a UK-born parent may be eligible for Right of Abode , which entitles them to live and work in the UK. You can only get the right to abode through marriage if you’re a female Commonwealth citizen. Commonwealth citizens with a UK-born grandparent could qualify for a UK Ancestry visa, allowing them to work full-time for up to five years in the UK. You should get a decision on your visa within three weeks when applying from outside the UK and the fee is £531.

British immigration authorities have always been tough; you may be required to demonstrate proof of onward travel or an outbound departure date (for example, a flight booking home), and possibly evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself while in Britain.

This article was first published Mar 16, 2021 and updated Jun 25, 2022.

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UK Visitor Visa (Tourist Visa Advice!)

Anne morris.

  • 2 October 2022


There are many reasons why you might require a UK visitor visa to come to the UK, from seeing the sights to seeing friends or family.

If you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, the Standard Visitor Visa allows you to visit the UK, usually for a period of up to 6 months.

The UK Visitor visa requires an application to be made from outside the UK, which will be assessed to assess whether you meet the requirements under the visitor rules and qualify as a genuine visitor. You will need to provide supporting documents that prove you qualify for a visitor visa. Failure to show that you meet the visa requirements will result in a refusal and loss of your application fee.

What is a UK visitor visa?

The UK Standard Visitor visa replaced a number of previous categories of visitor visas. It allows visitors to come to Britain for a short stay for a number of permissible reasons, including leisure (for tourism, visiting family and friends), for  business-related activities or sporting or creative events, and other reasons such as receiving private medical treatment.

It is not possible to switch into a different visa category from the visitor visa once you are in the UK; you would need to return to your home country and apply from there for a different visa.

How long does a UK visitor visa last?

The visitor visa generally lasts for 6 months.

You can apply to stay longer if you’re coming to the UK for private medical treatment (up to 11 months) or you’re an academic on sabbatical and coming to the UK for research (up to 12 months) but you will also need to apply for a biometric residence permit.

Under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) agreement, Chinese nationals are allowed to enter the UK with an approved tour group for up to 30 days.

Long term visitor visa 

The long-term visitor visa may be available if you are looking to make frequent visits over a longer period, such as 2, 5 or even 10 years, however you can only stay in the UK for up to 6 months at a time.

What are the permitted activities for visitors?

The visitor rules specify activities that are allowed under the route. The following are permissible activities:

  • Tourism, for example on a holiday
  • Visit family or friends
  • Volunteering for up to 30 days with a registered charity
  • Transiting through the UK to travel to another country
  • Certain business activities, for example attending a meeting or interview
  • Taking part in a school exchange programme
  • Undertake a recreational course of up to 30 days, for example a dance course
  • Study, do a placement or take an exam – this cannot be the main purpose of the visit and is limited to a maximum of 30 days
  • Visiting as an academic, senior doctor or dentist
  • For medical reasons

You are not allowed to do the following under a visitor visa:

  • Undertake paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
  • Claim benefits or access public funds
  • Reside in the UK for long periods using frequent and/or successive visits
  • Get married or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership (instead, apply for the  Marriage Visitor Visa )

It may be that the visitor visa is not appropriate and alternative immigration options will need to be considered. For example, the permitted paid engagement visa may apply if a UK company is paying you to come to the UK as an expert in your profession.

Visitors should also prepare to travel with supporting documents as they may be asked to present proof of eligibility by UK border officials.

UK visitor visa requirements

The visitor visa is limited in its eligibility. Your stay must generally be for no longer than 6 months and you have to leave the UK by the expiry date.

Your reason for travel will also be critical to your eligibility and it will be important that you understand what is allowed under the UK visitor visa to ensure you do not breach these conditions for the duration of your stay in the UK.

Applying for the UK visitor visa

Applicants must ensure they comply with the regulations and evidence their eligibility through the visa application process.

To apply for the UK visitor visa, you will need to be outside the UK. You complete the online application form and provide supporting documents to evidence your status as a genuine visitor. You will be required to attend an appointment at a visa appointment centre in your country of residence, where you will be interviewed about your application and your biometric information will be taken.

As part of your visa application you will need to prove to the caseworker that you will not be staying for more than 6 months and that you have enough money to maintain yourself (and any dependants travelling with you) during your time in the UK and to fund your return travel.

Supporting documents

Your circumstances will dictate the exact documents to provide with your application to support your case. As a minimum, you will need to verify your identity with your current passport or other valid travel identification, valid for the whole of your stay in the UK and with a blank page for the visa.

Additional supporting documents should also be provided to prove:

  • Planned travel dates and itinerary including accommodation details
  • Personal information such as home address and parents’ names
  • Travel history (past 10 years)
  • Work information such as your employer’s name and address
  • Contact information of the people you will visit
  • You have a genuine relationship with the person you are visiting
  • Details of any convictions
  • Intention to leave the UK on visa expiry. Evidence could include proof of a job or studies in your home country, or family living in your home country.
  • Sufficient funds to support you and your dependants in the UK for the duration of your visit. This could be funded by you of the person you are visiting in the UK. You will not be allowed to access public funds. Proof should include recent bank statements and payslips. An estimate of the total cost of the trip should be provided, as well as details of your income.

Any documents not in English or Welsh must be provided as certified translations.

After completing the form, you will need to attend a visa application centre overseas to have your fingerprints and photograph taken.

Visitor visa processing times

Under normal Home Office processing standards , visitor visa applications from overseas usually takes around 3 weeks. However, ongoing delays in processing services mean visit visa applications are currently taking 6 weeks, and in some cases longer.

You can apply up to three months before your intended date of travel. Fast tracked processing within 5 working days is available in some visa application centres for a premium fee.

How much does a visitor visa cost?

Currently, the UK visitor visa costs £100 for the standard 6 month stay. If you are travelling for medical reasons, the cost is £200 for six months, or £200 for academic visitors .

Longer-term visit visas cost £376 for the 2-year visit visa, £670 for the 5-year visit visa or £837 for the 10-year visit visa.

Can you stay in the UK for longer than six months? 

Generally speaking, all Standard UK visitor visas are short-term visas with a six-month maximum stay cap. Immigration regulations also prevent you from getting around this restriction by utilising a guest visa or making many, frequent, or consecutive trips, although you are free to enter and exit the UK whenever you like while your visa is still in effect.

However, citizens of China, Pakistan, India, and other non-EEA nations can apply for a long-term visit visa in order to go to the UK. These are chargeable extras that can be reserved for terms of two, five, or 10 years.

Be aware that you are still limited to a single visit lasting no longer than six months with these visas. You may, however, enter and exit the UK more than once throughout the permitted time. If you know you’ll need to visit the UK repeatedly over the course of a set amount of time, applying for a long-term visitor visa in the UK is a terrific option.

Academic visits from outside the EEA and people seeking private medical care in the UK do have another option for a longer stay. The Biometric Residence Permit is what it is called (BRP). You will need to provide biometric data about yourself, including your fingerprints, a photo, your immigration status, and more, but doing so will extend your stay in the UK over six months. This procedure, called biometric enrolment, still necessitates the presentation of proof of adequate financial support for your stay.

Visitor visa application refused?

If your UK visitor visa application. has been refused, your options could include reapplying and making a new application; submitting an appeal, where the grounds are on human rights; applying for a Judicial Review of the decision.

Your options will depend on your specific circumstances. Take professional advice to decide what you should do next.

Need assistance?

Travellers to the UK should note that even with a valid visitor visa in place, you may still be questioned at the UK border by immigration officials, to verify that you are a genuine visitor and will comply with the visitor visa rules. Where officials are concerned that you may stay longer than your visa date, or if your activities are prohibited under the visitor rules, you may be denied entry.

As a team of immigration lawyers and former Home Office employees, we have an established reputation for advising on the most appropriate immigration route for your needs, and supporting you with effective and efficient processing of your visa application. We also understand the stresses involved with making a visa application, and take great pride in playing a supportive role to ease the pressure.  Contact us  for advice.

Visitor visa FAQs

How much funds are required for uk visitor visa.

You will need to show you have sufficient funds to cover the cost of tickets, travelling, living and accommodation expenses while you are in the UK.

What documents do I need for UK visitor visa?

Your visitor visa application will need to include your current passport or other valid travel identification, as well as other documents that prove you meet the visa requirements, such as your intention to leave the UK and that your planned activities come within the visitor visa permissible activities.

Last updated: 2 October 2022

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Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator , and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

  • Anne Morris UK Visa Supporting Documents Checklist 2024
  • Anne Morris Overcoming a UK Visa Refusal: Tips & Steps
  • Anne Morris MAC Publishes Report into UK Graduate Route
  • Anne Morris UK Visa Guide: Requirements & Process 2024

About DavidsonMorris

As employer solutions lawyers, DavidsonMorris offers a complete and cost-effective capability to meet employers’ needs across UK immigration and employment law, HR and global mobility .

Led by Anne Morris, one of the UK’s preeminent immigration lawyers, and with rankings in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners , we’re a multi-disciplinary team helping organisations to meet their people objectives, while reducing legal risk and nurturing workforce relations.

Legal Disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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The United Kingdom is amongst the most frequently visited destinations for travellers in the world. What adds to UK’s allure is its proximity with the Schengen region that opens up seamless tourism opportunities for travellers if they combine their UK travel with a visit to continental Europe, to behold its many brilliant landscapes and landmarks. In order to make your UK visa application process hassle-free and convenient, UK Visas and Immigration and VFS Global offer you an exclusive array of value-added services.

This is in addition to the Premium Lounge facility and the On Demand Mobile Visa services available at the UK visa application centres.

Choose from any of these time-saving services:

Keep Your Passport When Applying

If you need to apply for multiple visas, such as a UK / Schengen combination, or wish to make a short trip while waiting for your UK visa to be processed,

you will find the ‘Keep My Passport When Applying’ service at the UK Visa Application Centre very helpful. After enrolling your biometrics and submitting your visa application at the UK visa application centre, if you have opted for this service, your passport is handed back to you.

This is extremely useful if you want to carry on with another country’s visa application formalities, as this service allows you to keep your passport with you.

You can keep your passport with you until the UK embassy makes a decision regarding your visa, one way or the other.

Once the decision is made, you will be called once again to complete the procedures as required by the embassy.

The visa application centres of UK and Schengen countries are often conveniently located next to each other at the VFS Global centres. This facility enables applicants to finish the visa formalities of multiple countries along with that of UK in a single day.

Super Priority and Priority Visas

Need a visa at short notice? The Super Priority and Priority Visa services are options for those who need to travel urgently.

For Priority Visa applicants, the process takes 3–5 days, while for Super Priority Visa applicants, this speeds up to a single business day. Super Priority Visa Service is available at VFS Global’s UK visa application centres in New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Do note that the eligibility for application for either of these services may vary.

Getting an online immigration status (eVisa)

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland , See advice for Scotland , See advice for Wales

You should check if you can get online evidence of your immigration status - also called an ‘eVisa’. 

Most physical immigration documents are being replaced by eVisas. This includes:

biometric residence permits (BRPs)

biometric residence cards (BRCs)

stamps in passports

'vignette' stickers in passports

Getting an eVisa is free and won’t change your permission to live in the UK.

You’ll need to create a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account before the end of 2024 to access your eVisa.

If your biometric residence permit expires on 31 December 2024

Most biometric residence permits (BRPs) have an expiry date of 31 December 2024 - because eVisas are replacing BRPs. This doesn’t mean your visa ends on this date.

The Home Office will ask you to create an account for your eVisa before your BRP expires. 

If you’re not sure when your visa ends, you can check the letter you got from the Home Office when they approved your application.

If you still can't find when your visa ends, talk to an adviser .

Video from the Home Office - what is an eVisa?

When you'll get an online immigration status

When you'll get an eVisa depends on your situation.

If you're applying for a visa or indefinite leave

The Home Office will ask you to create a UKVI account for your eVisa if you’re applying for:

a visa - unless you're visiting the UK for less than 6 months

indefinite leave to remain

You might need to create your online account during or after the application process. It depends what kind of visa you’re applying for.

If your application for a visa or indefinite leave is approved, you’ll get a temporary biometric residence permit (BRP) as well as an eVisa. The BRP will expire at the end of 2024. This doesn’t mean your visa ends on this date. 

Later in 2024, the Home Office will stop issuing temporary BRPs and you’ll only get an eVisa.

If you already have a visa or indefinite leave

The Home Office will contact you during 2024 to ask you to create a UKVI account for your eVisa if you have:

a visa - unless you’re visiting the UK for less than 6 months

indefinite leave to remain (ILR)

Make sure the Home Office has your correct email and postal address so they can reach you. To update your contact details, you can fill in a change of circumstances form on GOV.UK .

If the Home Office can’t contact you, you can still create a UKVI account later in 2024.

If your visa ends in 2024

You’ll get an eVisa if you apply to extend your visa or get indefinite leave.

If you have ILR and you don’t have a BRP

If your have an ILR stamp in your passport, you’ll need to get an eVisa before your passport expires.

You can apply for a free BRP. This will make it easier for you to set up a UKVI account when the Home Office contact you. You can apply for a BRP on GOV.UK .

If you have pre-settled or settled status

If you get pre-settled or settled status through the EU Settlement scheme, you’ll get an eVisa.

If you’re not an EU Citizen, you’ll get a physical immigration document - but these will also be replaced by eVisas.

You can check how to view and prove your pre-settled or settled status .

If you already have an online account

You don’t need to create a UKVI account if you already have one. You might already have one if you’ve applied for:

pre-settled or settled status from the EU Settlement Scheme

a student visa

a British National (Overseas) visa - and you’re from Hong Kong

If you can’t access your account 

You can get help to recover it. You’ll need to have access to the phone number and email address used to create your account. Check how to recover your UKVI account on GOV.UK .

Creating an online account

You’ll need to create a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account to get an online immigration status. 

You’ll be able to use your UKVI account to:

view and prove your online status

check what rights you have in the UK

update your personal details - like your contact information

How to create a UKVI account

The Home Office will send you a link to create your online account. You’ll also need to download an app called ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ to verify your ID. 

To create your account, you’ll need:

access to an email address

an identity document - for example, your passport or current BRP

your current BRP number - if you already have a visa

your application number - if you’re applying for a new visa 

a smart phone to download the ID verification app

You can check how to download the UK Immigration: ID Check app on GOV.UK .

If you’ve already proved your identity at a Visa Application Centre or Service Support Centre, you still need to create a UKVI account.

If you need help creating an account

You can ask someone you trust - like a friend or family member.

If you can’t manage your own account, you can add someone to your account who can do it for you - known as a ‘proxy’. For example, you might need a proxy if you’re a child or you have a disability that means you can’t do it yourself.

If you still need help creating a UKVI account, talk to an adviser .

If you need help using a computer or mobile device

You can get help from the Home Office’s assisted digital service if you either:

aren’t confident using a mobile device or computer

don’t have access to a mobile device or computer

don’t have internet access

The service is provided by We Are Group.

They can help you over the phone. You might be able to visit someone or they might be able to visit you at home - this will depend on where you live.  Find out more about how to get help from We Are Group  on GOV.UK.

We Are Group

Tel: 0333 344 5675 (Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm)

Text: 07537 416 944 - text the word VISA

Textphone (using Next Generation Text): 18001 0333 344 5675

Email: [email protected]

Your call is likely to be free of charge if you have a phone deal that includes free calls to landlines - find out more about calling 030 numbers .

If you don't have internet access

You can use the internet free of charge at:

your local council -  find your local council on GOV.UK

your local library -  find your local library on GOV.UK

Proving your rights in the UK

You can give a share code to someone who needs to check your immigration status - like your employer.

You can still use your expired BRP to get a share code until the end of 2025 - as long as your visa is still valid.

You can get a share code on GOV.UK .

This code is only valid for 90 days - if it isn’t used within the 90 days you’ll need to get a new one.

Proving your right to enter the UK

You still need to show your physical immigration documents when you travel - for example, your BRP or stamp in your passport.

Before the end of 2024, you’ll be able to use your eVisa to enter the UK instead of your physical document. 

You can check the rules for entering the UK on GOV.UK .

Updating your UKVI account

Make sure you keep your account up to date.

If you don't keep your account details up to date, you might not be allowed to enter the UK.

You’ll need to update your UKVI account if:

you renew or replace the identity document you used to apply - for example, if your passport expires

you change your name - for example, if you get married 

you change your address, phone number or email address - your contact details need to be up to date so you can view or share your status

you want to change your identity document or add another one

You can add or change your identity document using your UKVI account. You might be asked to send your passport or national identity card to the Home Office.

It will be a number of weeks before you can log in with your new identity document details - make sure you keep the details of your old one until then. 

When you add a new identity document to your account, you’ll need to sign in using that identity document in the future.

Don’t worry if you can’t see your old identity document on your account. It’s still there, but the system might only show the most recent one you’ve added.

You can update your details in your UKVI account on GOV.UK .

If you don’t get confirmation after you've updated your account, or you’ve been waiting longer than 4 weeks, contact the UK Visas and Immigration contact centre .

If you have problems with your eVisa

If you create a UKVI account before the Home Office contacts you, you won’t be able to see your eVisa in your account.

If you need help sharing your status, updating your details or correcting an error, contact the UK Visas and Immigration contact centre .

UK Visas and Immigration contact centre

Telephone: +44 (0)300 790 6268 - select option 3

Telephone: +44 (0)203 875 4669, if you are unable to dial 0300 numbers

Monday to Friday, 8am to 8.30pm

Saturday and Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm

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What are the new EU travel rules and how will they impact Brits?

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A staggering number of British holidaymakers are unaware of changes happening this year to the way we travel to EU countries.

Nearly two thirds said they of people questioned said they didn’t know about the introduction of fingerprints and facial scans when crossing borders.

The Entry/Exit Scheme (EES) will come in tandem with us needing to buy a visa waiver to visit EU and Schengen countries.

Here, we break down what the new border control system is and what to expect when going on holiday in Europe.

What is EES and how is it different to ETIAS?

EES is an automated system to register travellers from non-EU countries every time they cross a border into or out of the EU. 

The system will register the person’s name, the type of travelling document they’re using, biometric data (fingerprints and captured facial images), and the date and place of entry and exit. 

British passport and airline boarding pass

Once the data has been captured, it’s expected to remain in the system for three years. After this time has passed, it will be erased from the system.

Travellers won’t need to re-register this data if they travel to multiple Schengen Zone countries within the three-year period.

The EU says on its website that ‘the main advantage of the EES is saving time,’ because it replaces passport stamping and ‘automates border control procedures’ to make travelling more efficient.

It remains to be seen how the system will impact travel, but in the poll by Co-op insurance, 46% of British travellers said they felt put off by the process of storing this type of data for three years.

The EES scheme is different to the European Travel Information and Authorisation Scheme (ETIAS), which will run alongside the former and require British travellers to apply for a visa waiver to visit most EU countries.

The expected fee of the visa waiver is €7 (£6) to visit any country in the Schengen Area .

Will UK citizens need to use EES?

Yes. As a result of the UK voting to leave the European Union, Brits will have to follow the same rules as other countries outside of the EU.

You will have to scan your passport at an automated self-service kiosk before crossing the border.

This process will sadly replace the manual stamping of passports for visitors to countries in the EU and Schengen Area, who are not themselves nationals of EU or Schengen countries. 

EES will apply when entering the 25 EU countries and four non-EU countries below:

The countries where EES will apply

  • Czech Republic
  • Liechtenstein
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland

EES will also operate at the Port of Dover, Eurostar and Eurotunnel terminals.

Schengen rules restrict visitors who are not nationals of EU or Schengen countries to short stays of 90 days within a 180-day period. EES will make sure people follow this rule and will record those who overstay while EES data will be used to record refusals of entry.

What date will the new EES and ETIAS rules start?

The exact date for both changes is still to be confirmed.

The introduction of EES has already been delayed several times; it was originally meant to be implemented in 2022, and was then scheduled for May 2023 before it was pushed back to the end of last year.

It’s now slated to come into effect from October 2024 after France requested that it be pushed back until after the Olympics and Paralympics in Paris this summer. 

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how to get travel visa to uk

Want to travel to Europe but are not able to get a Schengen visa? Here’s how you can apply

Europe visa delays: getting schengen visa is a problem, customers vent anger on vfs global.

Europe visa, how to apply for Europe visa, Europe visa news, Europe visa delay, Europe countries, Europe travel guide

Dreaming of exploring the charming streets of Paris, the historic landmarks of Rome, or the picturesque landscapes of Croatia or Switzerland? The allure of Europe’s diverse cultures, rich history, and breathtaking scenery beckons travelers from around the globe. However, for many, the dream of visiting Europe is often dampened by the daunting task of obtaining a Schengen visa.

As the trend of post-Covid “revenge travel ” gains momentum, with travelers eagerly planning international trips, securing a Schengen visa for European destinations has become increasingly challenging, particularly for certain countries.

how to get travel visa to uk

Croatia, having recently joined the Schengen agreement and emerging as a sought-after destination, exemplifies the growing demand for visas. However, VFS Global, a prominent visa service provider in India , finds itself under scrutiny due to customer dissatisfaction over delays in processing.

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Travel agents report instances of applicants resorting to deceit about their intended destinations or navigating through Scandinavian countries to secure appointment slots. However, this tactic is not without risks, as attempting to apply for a visa in a geographically distant country may raise suspicions and lead to rejection.

Despite VFS Global’s clarification that appointment availability and processing timelines are governed by client governments, frustrations persist among travelers and consultants alike. Cyrus Sethna, a visa and immigration consultant, highlights the scarcity of available appointments and the prolonged processing period, citing instances where securing a slot was akin to a miracle.

The situation varies across Schengen countries, with Greece experiencing sporadic visa processing delays and Italy facing a complete lack of appointment slots during the previous summer. Spain, while relatively consistent in visa issuance, currently faces a shortage of available appointments.

The uncertainty and inconvenience surrounding visa applications are prompting travelers to explore alternative destinations in Asia or Africa, where visa requirements are more relaxed. However, the shift away from European travel reflects a broader trend of mounting frustration with visa processes unable to keep pace with increasing travel demands.

The challenges encountered in securing Schengen visas underscore the need for proactive planning and flexibility in travel arrangements. As travelers navigate the evolving landscape of international travel, the importance of adapting to changing visa regulations and exploring diverse destinations becomes increasingly evident.

What is a Schengen visa?

The Schengen visa, a document issued by European countries that are part of the Schengen Area, allows travelers to visit multiple countries within the area with a single visa. While the visa streamlines travel logistics , the application process can be complex and intimidating. But fear not, as there are strategies to navigate the process smoothly and increase your chances of success.

Understand the Requirements: Before diving into the application process, familiarize yourself with the specific requirements of the country you plan to visit. Each Schengen country may have slightly different criteria for visa approval, so it’s essential to research and comply with their guidelines diligently.

Plan Your Itinerary: A well-defined travel itinerary is crucial for your visa application. Outline your intended dates of travel, accommodation details, and a comprehensive list of countries you plan to visit. A coherent itinerary demonstrates your purpose of travel and helps visa authorities assess the legitimacy of your application.

Financial Documentation: One of the key factors in the visa approval process is demonstrating your financial stability. Provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover your travel expenses, including accommodation, transportation, and daily expenses. Bank statements, income certificates, and sponsorship letters, if applicable, can strengthen your case.

Proof of Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is not only a wise investment for your trip but also a mandatory requirement for Schengen visa applications. Ensure your insurance policy meets the minimum coverage stipulated by the Schengen countries, including medical emergencies and repatriation.

Submit Complete and Accurate Documents: Incomplete or inaccurate documentation can lead to delays or rejection of your visa application. Double-check all forms, declarations, and supporting documents to ensure they are filled out correctly and meet the prescribed criteria.

Schedule a Visa Appointment: Most Schengen countries require applicants to schedule an appointment at the respective consulate or embassy for visa submission. Plan ahead and book your appointment well in advance to avoid last-minute rush and availability issues.

Attend the Visa Interview: Some countries may require applicants to attend a visa interview as part of the application process. Be prepared to answer questions regarding your travel plans, financial situation, and intentions for visiting Europe. Maintain honesty and clarity in your responses to build credibility with the visa officer.

Seek Professional Assistance if Needed: If you find the visa application process overwhelming or encounter difficulties, consider seeking assistance from reputable visa consultants or travel agencies. Experienced professionals can guide you through the process, offer valuable insights, and increase your chances of a successful outcome.

While obtaining a Schengen visa may seem like a daunting task, thorough preparation, attention to detail, and adherence to guidelines can significantly enhance your prospects of obtaining approval. With careful planning and perseverance, you can soon embark on your European adventure and create unforgettable memories across the continent’s enchanting destinations.

Get live Share Market updates, Stock Market Quotes , and the latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download the Financial Express App for the latest finance news.

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Money blog: 'Extremely worrying' mortgage trend revealed in new report; a third of people make this mistake when booking their holiday - and how to avoid it

A third of travellers are making the same mistake when going on holiday, figures show. Read about this and all the latest consumer and personal finance news in the Money blog - and leave a comment or your money problem in the box below.

Thursday 16 May 2024 20:00, UK

  • 'Extremely worrying' mortgage trend revealed by new government data
  • Almost a third of travellers make this insurance mistake - here's what you need to know
  • How much the price of packed lunches has soared - and the cheapest supermarkets to buy a healthy one
  • Major firms release financial updates
  • UK economy in safe hands 'whoever wins' election, top bank chief tells Sky News

Essential reads

  • How much do buskers actually make - and what's it like?
  • The best bank accounts for your kids
  • Basically...  What is PIP - and what could government changes mean?
  • How to make sure your car passes its MOT
  • Cheap Eats:  Michelin-star chef reveals his top steals in London - including an unbeatable sub sandwich
  • Money Problem: My workplace wants to pay us by the minute - what can I do?
  • Best of the Money blog - an archive

Ask a question or make a comment

Landlords selling properties "represent the single biggest threat to renters", according to the UK's landlord association.

Government data shows 5,790 households were threatened with homelessness between October to December last year due to receiving a notice to end an assured shorthold tenancy (this ends a person's tenancy).

And the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has said 45% have been left needing help because their landlord planned to sell the property in the second half of 2023.

Separately, data from Rightmove found that 50,000 rental properties were needed to bring the supply of rental homes back to pre-pandemic levels.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said the only answer was to "ensure responsible landlords have the confidence to stay in the market and sustain tenancies".

He said it was "vital" the Renters Reform Bill, which is currently being debated in the House of Lords, "worked for landlords as well as tenants".

"Landlords selling up is the single biggest challenge renters face," Mr Beadle said.

Around 16% of high net worth shoppers have cut spending on luxury goods, research shows - with Burberry among the companies seemingly taking a hit.

Data from wealth management firm Saltus , which surveyed 2,000 Britons who had assets of more than £250,000, found 16.29% of respondents had cut down on their personal spending in response to the current high interest rate environment and/or the impact of the rising cost of living.

And 15.78%, said they had cut down on luxury items and designer clothes. 

Meanwhile, just 9.42% of respondents said the current environment had not impacted their lifestyle.

The figures follow data this week from designer store Burberry - which reported a 34% drop in annual operating profit.

Mike Stimpson, partner at Saltus, said high net worth individuals were having to "prioritise spending on essential costs including mortgages and supporting their families". 

"While this reduction is not limited entirely to personal spending on luxury items, it is inevitable that brands like Burberry feel the impact, although different businesses will clearly respond differently to these pressures," he said.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is hiring 2,500 "external agents" to crackdown on "benefit cheats".

The extra staff will check millions of Universal Credit claims for accuracy as part of the government's new fraud plan.

Combined with the DWP's own internal agents tackling fraud, this will take the headcount to nearly 6,000 people.

In addition to this, the DWP is introducing a new civil penalty to punish fraudsters, and investing £70m into advanced data analytics to catch those who "exploit the natural compassion and generosity of the British people".

Work and pensions secretary Mel Stride, said: "We are scaling up the fight against those stealing from the taxpayer, building on our success in stopping £18bn going into the wrong hands in 2022-23.

"With new legal powers, better data and thousands of additional staff, our comprehensive plan ensures we have the necessary tools to tackle the scourge of benefit fraud."

With the new 15 hours a week free childcare funding coming into effect this week for children aged between 9-23 months, research shows grandparents still play a key role in helping with costs.

In April, all two-year-olds from eligible working families became entitled to 15 hours free childcare each week. 

And as of this week, eligible working parents of children aged between 9-23 months are also able to apply to claim the same from September.

The government plans to increase this to 30 hours a week from September 2025.

However, grandparents still play a key role and therefore are still likely to be called upon for help from parents, according to data from the finance firm SunLife .

Data shows that half of the UK's 14 million grandparents provide childcare for their grandchildren during the working week and this rises to 55% of those with grandchildren under the age of one.

On average, the UK's grandparents spend between 22-24 hours a week providing free childcare for grandchildren under three-years-old.

So how much are grandparents saving their families and what if they were paid?

Research suggests grandparents are saving parents around £250 a week in childcare costs on average - this means that collectively, grandparents are saving their families £96bn in equivalent childcare costs every year. 

SunLife's grandparent salary calculator, which uses the average pay for the many roles grandparents are taking to calculate what their "grandparent salary" would be, has also found that if grandparents were paid for the 22 hours a week they would receive an annual salary of £13,188.

Victoria Heath, chief marketing officer at SunLife, said it was   "no wonder" one in five grandparents felt their children would struggle financially without their help.

She said research showed that 13% of grandparents felt they were relied on too much for childcare, and 14% loved doing it but felt it was too much at their age.

"Having said that, most (59%) grandparents who do provide childcare say they love helping out, so it is likely they will still play a key role, because whether they are still 'needed' or not, they are certainly still wanted, and most are more than happy to do it," Ms Heath added.

How can you apply for the 15 hours free childcare?

To apply for the funding you'll need the following: 

  • National Insurance number;
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), if you're self-employed;
  • the UK birth certificate reference number of any children you're applying for;
  • the date you started or are due to start work.

Then, you'll need to go onto the website and start an application.

It usually takes 20 minutes to apply and once your application has been approved, you'll get a code for free childcare to give to your childcare provider.

Mortgage possession actions have continued to rise and are currently above the previous year's levels, according to data from the Ministry of Justice .

The latest data shows mortgage claims, orders, warrants and repossessions have continued their gradual upward trend and claims are at their highest since 2019.

When compared to the same quarter in 2023, mortgage possession claims increased from 4,035 to 5,182 - this is a rise of 28%.

Meanwhile, mortgage orders increased from 2,532 to 3,019, warrants from 2,636 to 2,881 and repossessions by county court bailiffs from 729 to 759.

Landlord possession claims also increased from 23,389 to 24,874 when compared to the same quarter last year.

Craig Fish, director at Lodestone mortgages and protection, told Newspage things "need to change and quickly before it's too late".

"Though this data makes hard reading and is extremely worrying, it's not unexpected due to the significantly higher interest rate environment in which borrowers now find themselves," he said.

And Ben Perks, managing director at Orchard Financial Advisers, said he was "concerned these figures will continue to rise". 

He told Newspage: "The Bank of England seems totally oblivious to the plight of the average mortgage borrower, but hopefully this data will kick their hesitancy to drop the base rate firmly into touch. The time to act is now."

Tesco has recalled its sandwich pickle over fears it may contain glass.

The supermarket has pulled its 295g jars of Tesco Sandwich Pickle with the batch code 3254 and best before date of 11 September 2025 due to the concerns of glass traces.

The Food Standards Agency has said on its website: "This product may contain pieces of glass which makes it unsafe to eat."

Last year, the supermarket chain had to recall pastry products, including sausage rolls and steak and ale pies, over fears they contained pieces of metal and plastic.

A Tesco spokesperson told Sky News: "We've been made aware that a specific date/batch code of Tesco Sandwich Pickle may contain small pieces of glass. Therefore, this product could pose a safety risk if consumed.

"Please do not consume this product and instead return any affected product to store where a full refund will be given. No receipt is required.

"Tesco apologises to our customers for any inconvenience caused."

By Ed Clowes, news reporter

The FTSE 100 has remained stable out of the gate this morning after hitting a record high on Wednesday as better-than-expected inflation data in the US raised hopes of an interest rate cut in September.

It's been a busy start to the day with financial updates from BT Group, Premier Foods, Sage Group, and easyJet.

We'll start with easyJet, after the airline announced that its chief executive officer, Johan Lundgren, would step down in January 2025.

Mr Lundgren, who has served as CEO since 2017, will be replaced by the carrier's finance boss Kenton Jarvis.

In a financial update on its performance throughout the first half of the year, easyJet reported slightly higher revenues than anticipated, while cutting its losses compared to the same period last year.

The airline's share price fell by 6% in early trading this morning.

Elsewhere, telecoms giant BT said it had completed a £3bn cost-cutting programme ahead of schedule, and announced a further £3bn in planned savings by 2029.

The company told Sky News that the planned reductions in spending would not lead to more job losses, after BT announced last year that it would eliminate 55,000 roles.

Incoming boss Allison Kirkby said she wanted the business to prioritise the UK, with some analysts expecting BT to look at the futures of its Italian, Irish, and American divisions.

And last but not least, one of Europe's largest sellers of Rolex watches has said that sales in the UK are still down because some tourists don't want to buy here "due to the lack of VAT free shopping".

Nice for some.

The price of a healthy packed lunch has soared by around 45%, according to new research.

A lunch of wholemeal bread and fruit is more expensive for parents to put together than less nutritious versions with chocolate spread and crisps, The Food Foundation charity has found.

Unhealthy lunches for the research were made up of white bread with chocolate spread instead of wholemeal with cheese, flavoured yoghurt rather than a plain, unsweetened version and snacks such as crisps as opposed to the four portions of fruit and vegetables incorporated into the healthy lunch.

And when it came to the cheapest supermarket to buy a healthy packed lunch, Tesco topped the list with a weekly cost of £8.56 as of this month.

Morrisons was the most expensive retailer, with the price of a healthy packed lunch per week coming in at £11.72, although this was down slightly from £11.80 in October.

The equivalent cost at Sainsbury's was £10.47, Aldi was £10.08 and Asda was £9.18.

Research also showed the largest price rise in recent months was at Sainsbury's, where customers have to spend 9% more than they did at the start of the academic year in September (£9.61) for the same packed lunch.

Shona Goudie, policy and advocacy manager at The Food Foundation, said, the government's stringent eligibility criteria to qualify for free school meals was "leaving hundreds of thousands of children" who are living in poverty "at risk of malnutrition".

"No one should be priced out of being able to provide healthy food for their children and retailers need to do more to support families to afford the food they need," she said.

By Bhvishya Patel , Money team

We spoke to three buskers to find out what it's like performing on the street in the UK.

Amir, 29, came to UK from Pakistan with passion for music

Amir Hashmi moved to the UK in 2022 to study, said he began busking in central London 10 months ago because "music was his passion".

"In Pakistan there are many problems so I decided to leave and move to London. I feel I can do better in London than my country," he said.

He said busking was now his primary income but at times he did jobs at warehouses to get by.

"I never started this for money, I started because it is my passion but now this is my main job as well," he said.

Amir, who often performs in the capital's Piccadilly Circus or along Oxford Street, said often he returned home with just £10-15 in his pocket after a day's busking.

He said: "Many times I sleep without food and sometimes I sleep on the floor of the road when I have no shelter.

"I don't have my own place to live but I have friends who often let me stay with them. They don't charge me any rent - they look after me.

"Sometimes I do private shows for income but it's very hard because the cost of living is increasing. If I go somewhere then most of the time I prefer to walk. I walk with my speakers and carry my gear."

Despite his financial struggles, Amir said he wanted to continue performing on the street as his "goal was to make people happy".

He said: "With busking, there is no stage and you can just start performing. Whenever I am performing, I connect with the people who have come to listen. If I feel people are not enjoying it, I change the song and try and make them happy."

Earlier this year, Amir recorded a song with Neha Nazneen Shakil, a Malayalam actress from India, who approached the singer three months ago in Oxford Street.

"I wrote that song 12 years ago and after all these years my song has been recorded now in London," he added.

Jade, 24, quit retail to busk

Jade Thornton, from Amersham, started busking in 2017 with a friend after leaving college at the age of 17 and quickly realised it was something she enjoyed doing and could make a living from.

She began doing it full-time at the end of 2018 but when the pandemic hit she described becoming "unemployed overnight" and having to take up retail jobs to support herself.

"I chose not to go to university - I just thought it wasn't for me so I went straight into some part-time retail jobs," she said.

"I take my cap off to anyone who does retail - it is one of the most gruelling jobs. People who do retail don't get nearly as much respect as they deserve. 

"Some of the customers I was facing were not that kind and I thought this is making me miserable, so I just thought 'if I don't leave now then when?'"

As the global economy slowly began to recover, she decided to leave retail and pursue music full-time in 2022.

"It is hard to switch off - I do busking but I am constantly messaging clients, writing set lists and learning songs," she said.

When it came to finances, Jade said there was no average to how much she could earn but it could fluctuate from £15-100 day-to-day depending on a number of factors.

"It relies on the time of month, whether the sun is out, if people have been paid, if Christmas is on the way or if Christmas has just passed," she explained.

The musician said she did struggle initially when she began busking but her parents were always supportive.

She said: "You obviously get a few questions from people asking 'are you sure you want to quit your job and sing on the street?'

"I lived at home for a long time and I'm grateful my parents could support me in that way because I know not everyone has that opportunity."

While performing outdoors is now Jade's full-time job, she said some months were more difficult to make money than others.

"If I'm being brutally honest in months like January and February it would be super difficult. This year I had enough gigs in December to cover me for January," she said.

"Last year from June-July and December I did not have to go busking because I got so many gigs through busking. I'm part of a lot of online agencies and I also do lots of pub gigs, weddings, birthdays and other events."

Jade noted though that the cost of living crisis had made things harder.

She said: "A few pub gigs I've had have been cancelled because they've had to rethink their strategies but if somebody cancels then I can just go out busking. There has been a slight dent when it comes to finances but that's from COVID as well - with COVID I was unemployed overnight."

The young musician went on to say she was "very grateful" when somebody did tip her and even small gestures like sitting, listening or just a smile were "currencies in themselves".

"It's escapism for me as a singer and then it's escapism for the audience as well," she added.

"Children also have such a great time listening to buskers and some may not have an opportunity for many reasons to go and see live music so if they can come across it in the street and that can spark something that's a wonderful thing to think I'm a little part of that."

Charlotte, 34, long-time busker

Charlotte Campbell, 34, who usually busks along the Southbank or in the London Underground, said she started busking during the 2012 London Olympics and while "busking used to be enough", more recently she has had to take on more gigs in the evening.

"A typical day is usually busking until around 6pm and then a gig in the evening - 8pm onwards," she said.

"I could still probably make a living from busking but I've taken on more paid gigs since the pandemic because everything became so uncertain. I think that uncertainty has just carried through now - that seems to be the way of life now."

The musician said tips for her CDs, which she puts on display during her performances, ranged between £5-10 and in the current cashless climate a card reader was "essential".

She said she pre-sets her card reader to £3 when playing on the Southbank and £2 when busking inside the London Underground "because people are rushing".

While she described her earnings as a "trade secret", she said the busker income had "definitely gone down" but this was due to a few factors - the pandemic, people carrying less cash and the cost of living crisis.

"Also, a lots of pitches have closed which means there are a lot more buskers trying to compete for one spot so all of those things have impacted my living as a busker," she said.

"I would say even though my income is primarily from busking I have had to subsidise it with more paid gigs than before. I just haven't felt as secure in my living from busking in the last couple of years.

"Most of the gigs I have are booked by people who have seen me busking so indirectly busking is my entire career- if I don't busk I wouldn't get the gigs I play in the evening. So directly and indirectly busking is my entire income."

In spite of uncertainty, she said it was freeing to be able to go out and perform for people in an intimate way.

"You are not up on a stage and there is no separation between you and them.  It's a really great connection you can make - I want to be able to hold onto that," she added.

Every Thursday  Savings Champion founder Anna Bowes  gives us an insight into the savings market and how to make the most of your money. Today she's focusing on children's accounts...

While the rates on adult savings accounts have risen and fallen over the course of 2024, the top rates on accounts for children have remained stable - but are pretty competitive once again, as other account rates have started to fall. 

And there are plenty of different types of savings accounts to choose from, from the tax free Junior ISA, to children's regular savings accounts, fixed term bonds and easy access accounts.

Those who are able to start saving for their children early, could significantly improve their financial health in the future – especially when taking compounding interest into consideration.

If you were to save £50 a month from birth, you could give them a gift of more than £17,250 at age 18, assuming a tax-free interest rate of 4.95% - which is currently the top Junior ISA rate available.

If you, your friends and family were able to gift a total of £9,000 a year to a child (the current Junior ISA allowance), at the same rate, you could give them almost £265,000 when they reach 18. 

Now that's a gift worth having!

Children have their own personal allowance, so for the majority there will be no tax to pay on their savings interest. 

However, parents should be aware that there may be a tax liability to themselves on the interest earned on any money they gift to their children, until they reach the age of 18. 

If the gross interest earned is less than £100 for each parent's gift, it will be treated as the child’s under a 'de minimis' rule. 

This means that provided the interest earned does not make the child a taxpayer, they will be able to offset this against their personal tax allowance, so it will often be free of tax. 

But if the interest is more than £100 for each parent's gift, then it will be treated as that parent’s interest for tax purposes and therefore they may need to pay tax at their marginal rate - if it takes them above their Personal Allowance and/or Personal Savings Allowance.

Gifts from any other family members or friends will not be viewed in the same way. Instead, any interest earned will be treated as belonging to the child themselves and therefore can be earned tax free if they are non-taxpayers.

The exception to this rule is on funds deposited into a JISA, Child Trust Fund or NS&I Premium Bonds.  The returns from these are tax free for all.

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how to get travel visa to uk



How to get a uk tourist visa from the uae: a complete guide.

how to get travel visa to uk

Dreaming of strolling through London’s lively streets, exploring the mystical Scottish Highlands, or discovering Bath’s historical treasures? In every nook of Great Britain lies an invitation to embark on a voyage woven from historic marvels and scenic splendors – truly an epic saga awaiting those who dare to venture. However, before you can immerse yourself in the charm of British hospitality, you must navigate the intricacies of obtaining a tourist visa, especially when applying from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). No stress needed – this friendly roadmap will guide you through obtaining a visa while providing clever strategies for improving your odds at every turn.

Understanding the UK Tourist Visa

Let’s start with the basics. Eager for an English countryside getaway or tea time in London? Grab yourself a Standard Visitor (or better-known-as-UK-Tourist) Visa! Perfectly suited whether you’re touring hotspots solo or planning heartfelt reunions. Valid for up to 6 months, and 2 , 5 and 10 years , this visa allows you to experience the vibrant culture, historic landmarks, and scenic landscapes that the UK has to offer.

Step 1: Assessing Your Eligibility

Before diving into the application process, it’s crucial to evaluate your eligibility. To qualify for a UK tourist visa, you must demonstrate a genuine intention to visit the UK for tourism purposes and prove that you will return to your home country at the end of your stay. You also need to prove that you’re not just visiting on a whim – have enough money for your stay and solid reasons like work, owning property, or family ties keeping you connected to the UAE.

Step 2: Gathering Required Documents

  • With eligibility confirmed, it’s time to gather the necessary documents for your visa application. These typically include:
  • A valid passport with at least six months’ validity remaining
  • Recent passport-sized photographs meeting UK visa photo requirements
  • Proof of travel arrangements, such as flight tickets or itinerary
  • Evidence of accommodation arrangements, such as hotel bookings or a letter of invitation from a host
  • Bank statements or other financial documents demonstrating your ability to support yourself during your stay
  • A detailed itinerary outlining your planned activities in the UK
  • Proof of ties to the UAE, such as employment letter, property documents, or family ties

Step 3: Completing the Online Application

Once you have gathered all required documents, proceed to complete the online visa application form on the UK government’s official visa website. Tell the truth about everything from who you are to where you’re going and how financially ready you are for it. Let’s not rush this; glance over your answers one more time to ensure they’re precise and fully covered.

Upon completing the application form, you will be required to pay the visa fee. The cost of the visa varies depending on the duration of your stay and other factors. Refer to the UK government’s official visa website for the latest fee schedule and payment instructions. Ensure that you make the payment using a valid payment method accepted by the UK visa application center.

Step 5: Scheduling Your Biometrics Appointment

After paying the visa fee, you will need to schedule an appointment to provide your biometric information at a designated visa application center. You can schedule your appointment online through the visa application center’s website or by contacting reputed Travel Agency in Dubai who are well expert in United Kingdom visa consultation service.

Step 6: Attending Your Appointment

On the day of your biometrics appointment, arrive at the visa application center on time with all required documents, including your passport and appointment confirmation. During your appointment, you will have your fingerprints scanned and your photograph taken. You may also be required to undergo a short interview with a visa officer to confirm the details of your application.

Step 7: Waiting for a Decision

Following your biometrics appointment, your visa application will be processed by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Since application wait times swing based on the number we get and different stuff happening, make sure you factor that into your travel plans. You can track the status of your application online using the reference number provided to you during the application process.

Step 8: Receiving Your Visa

Once a decision has been made on your visa application, you will be notified via email or SMS. If your application is approved, you will receive your passport with the visa vignette (sticker) affixed to one of the pages. Check the details of the visa carefully to ensure that they are correct and match the information provided in your application. If you have any concerns or notice any errors, contact UKVI immediately for assistance.

Helpful Tips for a Smooth Application Process

  • Now that you’re familiar with the UK tourist visa process, here are some additional tips to help you navigate the application process smoothly
  • Start the visa application process well in advance of your planned travel dates to allow for any delays or unexpected issues that may arise.
  • Provide truthful and accurate information in your visa application to avoid complications or delays in processing.
  • Keep all required documents organized and readily accessible throughout the application process to expedite the process and minimize stress.
  • Read and follow the instructions provided by UKVI and the visa application center carefully to ensure that you meet all requirements and provide the necessary documentation.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about the visa application process, consider seeking advice from a qualified immigration consultant or solicitor who can provide guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

Getting approval for UK tourist visa from the UAE may seem like a daunting task, but with careful planning, thorough preparation, and adherence to the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can navigate the process with confidence. Remember to assess your eligibility, gather all required documents, complete the online application accurately, attend your biometrics appointment, and wait patiently for a decision. Secure that UK tourist visa because it’s your golden ticket to discovering what makes the United Kingdom truly magical. Off you go on an adventure!

how to get travel visa to uk

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how to get travel visa to uk

Visas and immigration

Apply to visit, work, study, settle or seek asylum in the UK

What you need to do

Check if you need a UK visa, how to apply, sign in, manage your application, biometric residence permits (BRPs), share codes

Visit the UK

Visit for tourism, business or a short stay (up to 6 months), airport transit visas

Work in the UK

Skilled Worker visa, Graduate visa, other work visas, right to work

Study in the UK

Student visas for courses, degrees and independent schools

Family in the UK

Partner, spouse, dependant and family member visas and permits

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens

Settled and pre-settled status, EU Settlement Scheme family permit, Frontier Worker permit

Ukrainians and their families

Find the right visa, Ukraine Family Scheme visa, Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme visa, Homes for Ukraine

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BNO visa, right of abode, UK Ancestry visa

Live permanently in the UK

Ways to settle in the UK, indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and routes to British citizenship

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