United Kingdom, the birthplace of the Shakespeare and The Beatles is a majestic place to live, work and explore. A globally influential centre of culture and finance, UK is also the site of neolithic Stonehenge, Bath’s Roman spa and centuries-old veteran universities at Cambridge and Oxford. Anyone planning to pay a short visit to the idyllic nation of United Kingdom to study, seek business opportunities, explore the historic locales or get a medical treatment must apply for a UK visitor visa.
There are certain basic requirements that must be fulfilled by individuals in order to be considered for a UK Visitor visa:-
- You shall leave the geographical boundaries of the UK at the end of your visit.
- You have enough funds to support your stay in the nation without having to work or seek help from the public funds.
- You will be able to pay for your return or journey onwards and any other costs associated with your visit.
- You shall conduct business activities in the nation that are only allowed by the Visitor Rules
All visitors to the United Kingdom, whether for social, business or study related reasons, can only stay in the nation for a period of six months. However, if you have been granted a visitor permit for less than six months, then you can file an application for extension for up to six months in total. Individuals from certain nationalities have the liberty of applying for different visa types to extend their trip in the UK.
There are many other situations, wherein individuals may be able to stay for longer. These may be cases if:-
- You shall leave the geographical boundaries of the UK at the end of your visit. you have applied (and paid an extra fee) for a long-term visit visa and prove that you need to pay a visit the nation on a regular basis over a longer period of time
- you are coming to the nation for a private medical treatment – up to a period of 11 months
- you are an academic on sabbatical and visiting the nation for research work – you, your civil partner or spouse may also be able to stay in the UK for up to a period of 12 months.
Long Term UK Visitor Visa If you are applying for a long-term UK visitor visa, then you must prove that:-
- you have an ongoing and frequent need to visit the UK,
- the reason behind your consistent visit to the UK is unlikely to change while your visitor visa stands valid
- you plan to leave the nation at the end of each visit.
In order to make an application for a UK Visitor Visa, you will need:-
- a duly completed VAF1- Non-settlement application form
- two recent passport sized photocopies, 45 mm x 35 mm in size with a white background
- pay the visa fee ( generally non-refundable in nature). The fee is usually required to be paid in the local currency of the country where the application shall be filed.
An individual can apply for a UK visitor visa up to three months prior to the intended date of travel. A decision on the visa application, in general, is given within three weeks. However, some visas may take longer than usual to process. These situations may arise in case the application is incomplete, the supporting documents submitted are incomplete or irrelevant, or the information furnished is false. Let WWICS Global Law Offices, a leading immigration consultant, serve you and be your facilitator to immigrate to the UK. Pay a visit to our relevant links for extensive information about visitor visas and immigration to UK, in general.
Our Most Frequently Asked Questions!!
- Q1. Who can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa?
You can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if:
- you want to set up or run a business in the UK
- you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
- you meet the other eligibility requirements
- Q2. What are the eligibility criteria for applying for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa?
The eligibility to apply to an entrepreneur visa to the UK is based on a point assessment system. You have to show the availability of at least £200,000 as funds that are
- held in one or more regulated financial institutions
- free to spend (‘disposable’) on business in the UK
Apart from the funds, you must also:
- meet the English language requirement
- be able to support yourself during your stay (maintenance)
- score at least 75 points on the assessment
- be at least 16 years old
- Q3. What if I lack the funds that are required to apply for an entrepreneur visa?
In case one person cannot show for the amount of funds that are required for applying for an entrepreneur visa, they can form an ‘entrepreneurial team’ with one other Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicant and share the same investment funds. You and your team member must meet all the application requirements and:
- not use the same funds on another application with a different entrepreneurial team
- provide all the documents needed for evidence of the funds with your own applications
- Q10. Can I switch to a Tier 1 (entrepreneur) visa if I already have a different category visa?
You can apply to switch to the Tier 1 (entrepreneur) visa if you meet the eligibility requirements for it and are already in the UK un
der one of the following categories:
- Tier 1 (General)
- Tier 1 (Investor)
- Tier 1 (Graduate entrepreneur)
- business person
- Highly Skilled Migrant Program
- work permit holder
- self-employed lawyer
- writer, composer or artist
- Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme
- Tier 2
- prospective entrepreneu
- Q4. How much does the application for a Tier 1 visa cost?
The amount you have to pay for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa depends on a number of factors, like where you are and how you apply.
Who you apply for Applying online or by post Applying in person outside UK Self £1,180 £944 Self (residents of Turkey or Macedonia) £1,125 £889 Dependents £1,180 for each person £944 for each person
- Q5. How long does a Tier 1 visa allow one to stay in the UK?
With a Tier 1 visa you can live and work in the UK for a maximum of 3 years and 4 months. As the end of this period approaches, you can apply to extend the visa for another 2 years. If you switch from another visa category, you can get an extension for 3 years. Once you have completed 5 years of living in the UK, you can also apply for settlement.
- Q6. What documents are needed to be submitted with a Tier 1 visa application?
When applying for a Tier 1 visa, the documents that you will need to provide are:
- a current passport or other valid travel identification with a page that’s blank on both sides for your visa
- a passport size color photograph
- evidence of the investment funds available to you
- a business plan
- evidence that you can support yourself during your stay
- proof that you meet the English language requirement
- your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test
- a criminal record certificate from any country you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years
You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh.
- Q7. What evidences of funds are required to be submitted with a visa application?
The following evidences are considered sufficient proof of the availability of the required funds when applying for a Tier 1 visa
- an official letter from each financial institution holding the funds
- for money held in the UK, a recent personal bank or building society statement from the financial institution holding the funds would suffice
- for money that has been provided by a venture capital firm, a recent letter from an accountant confirming the amount of money made available
- for money provided by a UK government department, a recent letter from an accountant or authorized official confirming the amount of money made available
In case of funding from a third party other than a UK entrepreneurial see funding company or if you have had the money for less than 90 days before your application, the following need to be submitted:
- confirmation the money has been made available for you to invest in a UK business
- a letter from a legal representative validating the signatures on the declaration
As evidence that you can support yourself during your stay (maintenance), you must prove that you have enough personal savings for the purpose. Depending on where you apply from, the requirements are:
- outside the UK – £3,310
- in the UK –£945
Your personal savings must have been in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply.
- Q8. Who can apply for a Tier 1 visa extension?
As the end of your Tier 1 visa period approaches, you can apply to extend your visa, provided that your current visa has not yet expired. For this, you must: –
- meet the eligibility requirements
- be registered as a director or as self-employed no more than 6 months after the date you were given permission to stay in the UK under a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa
- can prove you’ve been self-employed or working as a director of a business 3 months before you apply
- created at least 2 full time jobs that have existed for at least 12 months
You must be in the UK to extend your visa and should include any dependents who are on your current visa on your application (including children who turned 18 during your stay.
- Q9. How long does it take to process an application for extension of visa?
Generally, a decision on an extension application is made within 8 weeks. But can take longer in case an application is complex. Eg.
- if your supporting documents need to be verified
- if you need to attend an interview
- because of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction)
In the period between application for extension and receiving the decision on the application, an applicant may live in the UK, provided that they applied before the expiry of the last visa.