Every year, the United Kingdom government runs a lottery program that allows immigrants from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United Kingdom to apply for a Visa. The number of visas available for this program is usually limited.
Everyone has one or two reasons for wanting to visit the United Kingdom asides from immigrating permanently. Some will love to visit family in the country while some will come to work or study. For whichever reason you are coming to the United Kingdom, there is a Visa for you.
Different visas are depending on;
- Where you as the applicant come from
- How long do you plan to stay in the UK
- Your circumstances and skills
Before you begin your visa application, you must check if you need a Visa and what type is suitable for you. In some cases, visas are not needed by certain individuals to visit the United Kingdom.
When is a Visa not needed?
You do not need to apply for a United Kingdom Visa if you are an Irish citizen. Irish citizens include those from the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.
Citizens from this country need not apply for a UK visa. Instead of applying for a visa, you will be required to apply for the free EU settlement scheme. This is usually less stressful than applying for a visa.
How to apply for a UK Visa.
This process is usually very easy but first, there is something you have to do. Before applying for a visa, you have to determine what kind of visa suits you best.
To make this less stressful, I have compiled the various types of visas and instances where they are necessary. So, let’s see the various visa types and who should get them.
Standard Visitor Visa
If you plan to visit the United Kingdom for a stay of up to 6 months, then you should apply for a standard visitor visa. For instance, you should get a standard visitor visa if;
- You are going for a holiday to visit family and friends
- You are going for a short business trip or meeting
- You are going for a short course of study
Marriage Visitor Visa
If you intend to visit the UK to get married or register a civil partnership, then you should apply for a marriage visitor visa. Kindly be aware that you won’t be allowed to take a job in the United Kingdom if you have a visitor visa.
Short-Term Study Visa
This kind of visa is recommended for individuals who want to come to the United Kingdom to study an English language course that is over 6 months, but not over 11 months. You must apply for this visa if the duration of your proposed course of study is more than 6 months.
A student visa is usually for a longer course. To apply for a student visa, you must be sponsored by a licensed college or university in the UK and have a confirmed place of stay.
Another advantage of a student visa is that you can take some work with it unlike the visitor visa and short-term study visa, which doesn’t allow you to take any work at all.
Child Student Visa
The child Student Visa is for those who are between the ages of 4 to 17. If the individual is above 18 years, he/she is no longer eligible to take up a child Student visa but can go for a student visa.
If the child is 16 or over, but not up to 18 years, he or she can do some work on this visa. This is quite similar to a student visa only that the age limits are different.
If you plan to visit the UK for purposes not relating to the study, family visits, or tours, you can as well apply for a work visa if you want to work in the United Kingdom.
With a work visa, you can work in the United Kingdom on a short or long-term basis. However, there are different types of work visas depending on several factors. They include;
- Your skills and qualifications
- Your job offer and sponsorship
- Your choice to bring your family with you or not
If you are a spouse, partner, or family of someone who has British citizenship or settlement in the United Kingdom, then you can apply for a family visa to join them there.
However, before your visa application can be approved, your family over there will have to show that they can support you financially. It is only after this that your application will be granted. Please note that you may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain after a set amount of time living in the UK.
Prepare your application.
In older times, visa applications were done in physical offices known as embassies. Now, you can apply for most visas online though you will still need to visit a consulate to complete the application.
Pay your Fees.
For every visa type, there are fees attached to it. So, you will be required to pay a non-refundable fee. However, this does not guarantee that your application will be approved later on.
Prove your Identity.
When you apply, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide documents to show your eligibility.
How you do this depends on where you’re from and what type of passport you have.
- go to an appointment at a visa application center
- use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ smartphone app
You’ll find out if you need to go to an appointment or use the smartphone app when you start your application.
If you want to get a faster decision on your visa application, you might need to pay for it. This however depends on;
- The type of visa you’re applying for
- How you apply, and;
- Where you apply from.