Indian nationals can apply for UK visa to the United Kingdom if they want UK visitor visa or UK tourist visa for visiting the UK for leisure (for example on holiday or to see your family and friends), or if they want UK business visa for business, to take part in sports and other creative events, or for another reason (for example to receive private medical treatment).
The new Standard UK Visitor visa has replaced the following old visas:
- Family Visitor visa
- General Visitor visa
- Child Visitor visa
- Business Visitor visa
- Sports Visitor visa
- Entertainer Visitor visa
- Prospective Entrepreneur visa
- Private Medical Treatment Visitor visa
- Approved Destination Status (ADS) visa
If you wish visit the UK on business, you can apply for a Standard Visitor visa for the following activities:
- You are coming to the UK for a conference, meeting or training programme
- you want to participate in sports or sports-related events
- you are coming to the UK to perform as an artist, entertainer or musician
- you are doing research or accompanying students on a study abroad programme as an academic
- you are coming to the UK to take a clinical attachment or observer post as a doctor or dentist
- you want to sit the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)or take the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test
- you want to get funding to operate, start or take over a business in the UK
What you can and cannot do whilst in the United Kingdom-
- participate in any of the business-related activities which are mentioned in the Visitor Rules
- take part in an exchange programme or educational visit (if you are under the age of 18)
- convert your civil partnership into a marriage
- pass through the UK airport on your way to another country
- do paid or unpaid work
- frequently visit and live in the UK for long periods of time
- get public funds
- give notice of marriage or civil partnership, or marry or register a civil partnership
Processing time, duration, fees and eligibility for a UK Visa
Approximate time taken for a visa to be processed:
You can apply for a UK Visa 3 months before you travel at earliest. You should receive a decision on your visa within 3 weeks from the date of applying.
How long you can stay in the UK:
You can usually stay in the United Kingdom for up to 6 months on a Standard Visitor Visa.
You will be permitted to stay for longer if:
- you are coming to the United Kingdom for private medical treatment – up to 11 months (you will be charged a £186 fee)
- you are an academic on sabbatical and coming to the United Kingdom for research – you, your spouse or civil partner may be able to stay for up to 12 months (you will be charged a £186 fee)
- If you are staying in the United Kingdom as an academic or to receive private medical treatment for longer than 6 months, you must apply for a biometric residence permit.
If you need to visit the UK regularly:
You can apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa that lasts 2, 5 or 10 years, if you need to visit the UK regularly over a longer period. On each visit, you are permitted to stay for a maximum period of 6 months.
If you are under the age of 18 years when you apply, your long-term Standard Visitor visa will only be valid for up to 6 months after you turn 18.
UK Visa fees
Following is the UK visa fees structure :
A Standard Visitor visa costs £93.
The application fee for a long-term Standard Visitor visa depends on its validity:
A visa of validity 2 years costs £350.
A visa of validity 5 years costs £636.
A visa of validity 10 years costs £798.
UK Visa requirements
Following are the UK visa requirements :
You must always be able to show that:
- You have plans to leave the United Kingdom at the end of your visit.
- You are able to support yourself and any dependents for the duration of your trip in the United Kingdom.
- You are able to pay for your return or onward journey and any other costs relating to your visit from the UK.
- you have proof of any business or other activities you want to do in the United Kingdom, as allowed by the Visitor Rules described by the government of the United Kingdom.
In the case that you are applying for a long-term Standard Visitor visa, you must prove that:
- you will only ever need to come to the UK to visit, for example to go on holiday, attend a meeting or see family members.
- you have a plan to leave the UK at the end of each visit.
You may be given a visa for a shorter period than requested if you do not follow the above guidelines. You will not get a refund of the application fee in case you get a shorter visa or your application is refused by the authorities.
Please note that your visa may be cancelled and you may get a long-term ban on visiting the United Kingdom if your travel history shows that you are repeatedly living in the UK for extended periods.
Documents required for UK Visa
Following are the documents required for
- Valid travel document (national passport or other document that allows the holder to travel internationally to the UK)
- Financial documents showing that you have sufficient funds available to support your travel and needs in the UK. These must show that you have access to adequate funds, such as:
- bank statements from the last 6 months
- building society book
- proof of earnings such as a letter from employer confirming employment details (start date of employment, salary, role, company contact details etc)
- In the event that a third party (who is either in the UK or who will be legally in the UK at the time of your visit) is providing financial support to you (such as a business, a friend or a relative), documents to show they have sufficient resources to support you in addition to themselves and any dependant family should be provided.
- Confirmation of legal residence in India, if you are not a national of the country in which you are applying or your right to reside there is not included in your passport.
- Details of employment or studies where you have stated in your application that you are either employed or in full-time studies. This could include:
- a letter from your employer on the company letter head, detailing your role, length of employment, and salary
- a letter from your education provider, on headed paper, confirming your leave of absence and enrolment in the institution
- If self-employed: business registration documents confirming the business owner’s name and the date the business started trading.
- Business activities – if you are coming to the UK in order to undertake activities relating to your occupation/employment in India, you should submit documents which show what you will be doing in the UK. This can include any letters from inviting organisations. For example:
- any business activities can be outlined in a letter from your employer, stating the reason for your visit, who you will be meeting and details of your expenses
- for professional or amateur performance and entertainment visitors, a letter stating when and where you will be performing
- Under 18s – we strongly recommend you submit the following information otherwise it may delay consideration of your application.
- a Birth Certificate or adoption papers establishing the relationship between you and your parents/ guardian
- If travelling unaccompanied or with someone other than your parent(s) you should provide:
- a letter signed by your parents outlining details of the person accompanying you, and details of expenses and accommodation arranged in the UK
- a copy of the biographical page of your parent or guardian’s passport, which shows their signature and passport number. If they do not possess a passport, then another official document which bears their signature must be provided.
The following list provides you details about the types of documents that are not required to consider your application.
- if you are applying as a family or a group, you do not need to provide multiple copies of the same documents.
- bank statements or letters which are older than 1 year old
- driving licence
- photograph (other than a passport photograph)
- notarial certificates
- business cards
- hotel bookings
- flight bookings
- photocopies of bank cards
- credit card statements
- certificates relating to leisure activities
- evidence of car ownership
- travel insurance
- sponsor’s utility bills
- sponsor’s council tax bills
- educational certificates (unless specifically listed
Note: No photocopies will be allowed and all documents must be originals. If you submit these documents, you are not guaranteed that your application will be successful. In case you have a document that is not in English or Welsh, it must be submitted along with a full translation that can be independently verified by the Home Office. Each translated document must contain:
- confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original from the translator
- all the details in the document
- the date of the translation
- the translator’s full name and signature
- the translator’s contact details
Precautions to be taken
At border control-
Your passport or identity card will be checked when you arrive at a UK port or airport to make sure that you are allowed to come into the country. It must be valid for the whole length of your stay.
- remove your passport from a holder or wallet if you use one, and keep it ready
- in case you are wearing sunglasses, please remove them
- move through passport control together if you are part of a family
Arriving by bus or coach-
When you arrive at border control, you will have to leave the bus.
Make sure you:
- readily get off the bus when you arrive
- have your travel documents ready
- have read the information for school parties and groups coming to the UK by buses.
If you are from a non-EEA (European Economic Area) country-
Before you arrive at border control, your carrier will give you a landing card which you must fill in. Your passport, landing card (and visa if you have one) will then be checked by the immigration officers. You will usually be asked what your reason to visit the UK is.
Keep documents that show the reason for your visit (for example your travel itinerary, work permit or university letter ) in your hand luggage, so you can easily show it.
If you are travelling with a UK biometric visa-
You will have a biometric visa if your fingerprints were taken when you applied.
Your fingerprints will be checked at border control. These will be verified against the ones stored on your visa document.
If you are refused entry-
You will be told in writing:
- why they have refused you entry into the UK
- if you can appeal against the decision
- when you will have to exit ] the UK
You will usually have to leave the UK immediately, in case this occurs. In case you are allowed into the UK temporarily (usually for up to a week), the authorities will take your passport and you will have to report to immigration officers at set times.
You must co-operate if you are stopped and asked about your baggage.
If your baggage is checked-
It is customary for baggage to be checked in front of you. Customs officers keep a record of:
- all baggage they open and check
- all damaged goods or baggage during a check
If your things are damaged-
The Customs Office may offer you compensation if your baggage or belongings are damaged during a customs check.
You must declare the following items to customs:
- anything over your duty-free allowance
- restricted or banned goods in the UK, such as meat and dairy products from most non-EU countries
- goods that you plan to sell for more than €10,000 (or its equivalent) in cash, if you’re coming from outside the EU
How to apply for UK Visa
Following are the steps involved to apply for UK visa :
Step 1: Visit the link https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa/apply and click on the link that says ‘Apply Now’. You will be redirected to a page where you can choose which language you would like to proceed in.
Step 2: After selecting your language, please click on ‘next’. You will then be asked to enter the country in which you are making your application. You will then be presented with a list of Visa Application centres where you must be able to attend an appointment at. These are:
- Bangalore – Whitefield Premium VAC
- Gurgaon Premium Lounge
- Mumbai (North)
- Mumbai (South)
- New Delhi
Step 3: You can then start your application. You will be asked to enter an email address and password so you can save your answers. A unique link will then be emailed to you, which allows you to log back in to your application at a later point, if needed.
Step 4: Then fill in the following details in your application:
- Your given names
- Your family name
- State whether you have you ever been known by another name and enter it, if applicable.
- Home address
- Postal code (if applicable)
- Telephone number
- State how long have you lived at this address (days, weeks, months or years)and the ownership status of your home
- Relationship Status
- Country of nationality
- Date of birth (DD MM YYYY)
- Country of birth
- Place of birth
- Passport number or travel document reference number
- Place of issue
- Issue date
- Expiry date
- State whether you have another passport or travel document such as a passport issued by another country or an older passport which has expired but which contains more information about your travel history.
- State whether you have a national Identity card and enter the number
- State your employment status
- If employed, enter Employer’s name, Employer’s address, Town/City, Province/State, Postal code, Employer’s telephone number and Date you started working for this employer.
- Your job title
- State how much do you earn each month, after tax deductions
- Describe your job in India within 250 characters
- State whether you have another income or any savings and describe them.
- State how much money you are planning to spend on your visit to the UK (Estimate the amount and include flights, accommodation and everyday expenses).
- State what is the total amount of money you spend each month
- State whether anyone be paying towards the cost of your visit. Give their details such as how much money they will be paying towards your visit and why they are helping to pay for your visit.
- Date you will arrive in the UK
- Date you will leave the UK
- Choose your spoken language preference to correspond with the authorities
- State the main reason for your visit to the UK
- Give a list of details such as company details or your travel itinerary
- State whether anyone will rely on you for financial support (Include both those travelling with you and those who are not).
- Give details about 2 of your parents such as names, date of birth, nationality, address etc.
- State whether you have any family in the UK and give their details
- State whether you will be travelling to the UK as part of an organised group or with another person
- Give details about your accommodation in the UK
- Give your international travel History and any criminal records
Step 5: You will then be allowed to review your application and select the documents you will be submitting. You can then choose the length of Visa you require and sign the declaration form. You can then choose which payment method you require and pay using a credit or debit card.
Step 6: You can then download and print a copy of your visa application. Then, you must make an appointment with the Visa Application Centre and visit the centre with all your required documents. Your fingerprints and photograph will be taken by a biometric process for security purposes.
UK visa application status
UK visa status can be tracked. You will receive an email update when a decision has been made regarding your visa. In case you would like more detailed tracking information, you can also choose to get updates by SMS sent directly to your phone.
After a visa application decision has been made, you can collect your documents from the visa application centre, but no third party collections will be allowed. While collecting your documents in person, ensure to bring the receipt issued by the visa application centre and a form of Government identification.