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UK Visa for Indians - A Complete Guide

Team AckoDec 29, 2022

Within the borders of the United Kingdom lies a perfect amalgamation of gorgeous nature, unique food, and rich culture. London, the capital city of the UK, is known worldwide as a fashion hub and a travel destination one should visit at least once in a lifetime. Moreover, there are renowned universities in the UK that attract students from across the globe for higher education. 

In case you are planning a visit to the United Kingdom for travel, work, study, or any other reason, you must apply for a UK Visa from India. There are different categories of visas you can apply for based on the reason why you want to visit the UK. 

Keeping that in mind, you can go through this article to understand the various types of UK visas available, their corresponding fees, the duration of stay permitted under each Visa type and the steps to apply for one.

UK Visa for Indians

Contents

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What is a UK Visa?

A UK visa is a legitimate permit, given to a person who wants to enter a geographical region under the United Kingdom; from another country. The authorities at the British Consulates or Embassies look over the issuance of this permit to a foreigner. There are different types of visas granted for the purpose of travelling, living, or transiting through airports in the UK.  

Who Needs a UK Visa?

Every Indian citizen who wants to visit the United Kingdom must apply for a UK visa. It is important to remember that a visa applicant should be older than the age of 18 years. In case one is younger than the age of 18 years, they can request a minor visa. 

Who Doesn’t Need a UK Visa?

In certain conditions, a person doesn’t need a UK visa to enter the United Kingdom. The following are those conditions when you won’t need a visa for a UK trip.

  • If you are travelling to the United Kingdom for a government’s official or diplomatic business.

  • If you are a citizen of one of the European Union countries or live in Switzerland or the European Economic Area, also called the EEA.

  • If you are a citizen of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Oman, or Qatar, you can apply for an e-visa waiver. 

How to Apply for a UK Visa from India?

To apply for a UK Visa from India, you must follow the below steps:

  1. Choose the correct type of Visa: Your purpose of travel to the UK determines the kind of Visa you need.

  2. Complete the online application form: The form will ask for details such as your name, nationality, country of residence, marital status, passport number, why you wish to enter the country and other information relevant to the application process. You should enter all the information carefully; any mismatches can lead to your application being rejected.

  3. Collect the required documents for the Visa you are applying for: You will be asked to produce documents such as photographs, your passport, proof of accommodation, travel itinerary, Uk Visa invitation letter and so on.

  4. Schedule an appointment for the UK Visa: Make an appointment online and print the details confirming the same. You will need this to enter the UK Visa Application Centre and the list of the required documents.

  5. Attend the UK Visa Interview: At the UK visa application centre, you will be asked to provide your biometric information, you will be asked for your photographs, and your fingerprints will be scanned. Every visa applicant must attend the visa application centre, including children. Minors have to be accompanied by an adult. 

Different Types of UK Visas from India 

Before applying for a UK Visa, you need to know what kind of Visa you must apply for. The UK has different categories of Visas for Work, Study, Visit or Join Your Family who are already living there. Here are the major UK visa types you can choose from.

Tourist and Visiting Visas

The UK is a popular tourist destination. If you are visiting the UK for tourism or short stays, you must apply for one of the below Visas. 

  • UK Visitor Visa

  • Short-term Study Visa

  • Permitted Paid Engagement Visa

  • Parent of a Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa

  • Marriage Visitor Visa

These Visas are generally issued with a maximum validity of 6 months. For detailed information on Visiting Visas, click here

Student Visas

These Visas are issued to those who want to study in the UK.

  • Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa

  • Tier 4 (General) Student Visa

  • Short Term Study Visa

For more information on student visas, click here.

Work & Business Visas

  • Highly qualified foreigners

  • Global Talent Visa

  • Skilled foreign workers with a job offer in a shortage area

    • Tier 2 (General) Visa

    • Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Visa

    • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Visa

    • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa

  • Youth mobility and temporary foreign workers

    • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa

    • Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) Visa

  • Business Visas

  • Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

  • Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

  • Tier 1 Investor Visa

For more information on the various work visas, click here.

Family Visas

Family visas are issued to those who intend to visit family members in the UK. These visas are for those who want to join their family members and stay on for more than six months as a dependent.

  • UK Spouse visa

  • UK Parent visa

  • UK Child visa

For more information on Family Visas, click here.

Transit Visas

A transit visa is for foreigners using the United kingdom as a transit country to reach their destination. If you travel regularly and have sufficient proof, you can also apply for a long-term transit Visa which can be issued with a validity running from 1 to 10 years.

  • Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV)

  • Visitor in Transit Visa

For more detailed information, click here.

Validity of Different Types of UK Visa for Indians

Visa Type Validity
Standard Visitor Visa 6 months
Standard Visitor Visa (Medical Reasons) 11 months
Standard Visitor Visa (Education) 12 months
Long Term 2-year Standard Visitor Visa 6 months on every visit
Long Term 5-year Standard Visitor Visa 6 months on every visit
Long Term 10-year Standard Visitor Visa 6 months on every visit

Documents Required for UK Visa

Here is a list of the required documents based on the type of application for the UK visa for Indians you want to submit. 

Documents Needed for a UK Standard Visitor Visa

  • Currently valid passport

  • Previously issued passports (if available)

  • Financial documents (such as your bank statement, employment letter, etc.)

  • Financial documents of the sponsor (if applicable)

  • Applicant’s academic or employment details (as applicable)

  • Documents related to the registered business (for a self-employed applicant)

  • A letter and documents from a business owner in the UK supporting the need for a business trip

  • Proof of residential address in India (for a non-Indian applicant living in India)

Documents Needed for a UK Transit Visitor Visa

  • Currently valid passport 

  • Confirmed travel booking

  • Document evidence of the final destination country

  • Visa/Green Card/Residence Permit for the final destination country

Documents Needed for a UK Study Visa

  • Currently valid passport

  • Documents supporting the applicant’s history of education

  • Document evidence of accommodation in the United Kingdom

  • Document evidence of financial stability

  • English language proficiency certificate

  • Report of the tuberculosis test

  • Document evidence of the sponsor’s financial status and occupation (if applicable)

  • Legal guardian’s or parent's consent letter (for a minor applicant)

Documents Needed for a UK Work Visa

  • Currently valid passport

  • Previously issued passports (if available)

  • Applicant’s sponsorship certificate credential 

  • Report of the applicant’s tuberculosis test

  • English language proficiency certificate

  • Financial stability proof

  • Criminal conviction report (if applicable)

Documents Needed for a UK Family Visa

  • Currently valid passport

  • Previously issued passports (if available)

  • Details of any immigration application submitted previously 

  • Financial stability proof

  • English language proficiency proof

  • Evidence of having an accommodation in the United Kingdom

UK Visa For Indians Photo Requirements

As per the visa issuing authorities, you need to submit your photographs that fulfil the following requirements.

  • Photos must be recently taken

  • The dimensions of each photograph must be 35mm x 45mm

  • The background in the photograph must be clear light grey or basic cream

  • The person in the photograph must be directly looking at the camera lens

  • The person in the photograph should wear glasses only when necessary due to a medical condition

  • The facial expression of the person must be neutral

  • A headgear is not allowed unless required for religious purposes

  • The photo must be free from the red-eye effect

UK Visa Fees from India

The application fees for the types of Visas are mentioned below.

Standard Visitor Visa

(The tables below specify the different application fees as per the respective duration of travel, along with their types)

Visa Type Application Fee (in INR)
Short-term (up to 6 months, single or multiple entry) 9,631
Longer-term (valid for up to 2 years) 36,212
Longer-term (valid for up to 5 years) 64,526
Longer-term (valid for up to 10 years) 80,609
Visiting academic - more than six months up to 12 months 19,261
Marriage visitor visa 9,631
Permitted paid engagement visa 9,631
Private medical treatment – more than six months up to 11 months 19,261
Visit the UK in a Chinese tour group (the UK only) 9,631

Short Term Study Visa

Visa Type Application Fee (in INR)
Short-term student studying English language for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months 19261

Transit Visas

Visa Type Application Fee (in INR)
Direct Airside Transit (DATV) 3371
Visitor in Transit visa 6164
Visit purpose of joining a ship or aircraft as a member of the crew of that ship or aircraft (fee applies able to the Isle of Man) 6164

Parents of Children at School

Visa Type Application Fee (in INR)
Parent of a Student child visa (up to 12 months) (Tier 4 Isle of Man) 51139

UK Visa Fee Exemptions

Here are the circumstances when the UK visa fees may be exempted for an applicant. 

  • In case paying the UK visa fee can negatively impact the well-being of an applicant’s child due to their low income.

  • In case an applicant doesn’t own a place of residence and can’t afford one.

  • In case an applicant has a place of residence but can’t pay for essential expenses like food. 

UK Visa Processing Time in India

The processing time involved in getting a UK visa from India depends on multiple factors. First of all, it will highly depend on which type of visa you apply for. Some categories of visas take less time to process. 

Apart from the visa category, the workload on the authorities at the embassy will also be a significant factor in deciding the processing time. Moreover, there may be a delay in the process if additional documents are required to issue your visa. 

On average, embassies take about 3 weeks to complete verifications and issue a visa. However, there are chances of delays on a case-to-case basis. For instance, the processing time for a family visa may be around 12 weeks. In case you want your visa faster, you can choose the priority service option by paying extra charges.

Why Does a Visa Application Get Denied?

You must pay careful attention to every detail to ensure you do not make mistakes. Some of the most common reasons for applications getting denied are:

  • Applying for the wrong type of Visa

  • Missing documents

  • Fraudulent documents

  • Failure to provide sufficient proof that you have the financial means to support your stay in the UK.

  • Criminal History

Can I Appeal Against Visa Denial? 

If your application gets denied, you will be notified as to why your application was rejected. If you feel that the reason was not justified, you can appeal it. Follow these steps to appeal a  denial:

  • Fill in Form IAFT-2

  • Submit it to the UK Immigration and Asylum Chambers.

  • They will forward the documents to the relevant authorities.

  • Once a decision has been made, the applicant will not be notified in writing.

What Should a UK Visa Holder Know?

Even after successfully obtaining a United Kingdom visa, you may have to comply with the checking and examination process at Immigration Control at UK borders. Such checks are done to detect any violations associated with your visa conditions. To be a responsible UK visa holder, you must remember the following.

  • Your visa will notify the authorities about who can enter and live permanently or temporarily in the UK.

  • Your visa will notify the authorities who cannot enter the UK borders 

  • Your visa will notify the authorities who need to exit the UK borders in case of expired validity. 

  • There may be restrictions on working in the UK, studying, etc. You need to check all the restrictions based on your visa category while applying for the same.

Countries You can Travel with United Kingdom Visa

There are about 36 countries and several territories you can visit as an Indian holding a UK visa. Some of the major destinations include the following. 

  • United Arab Emirates

  • Egypt

  • Morocco

  • Philippines

  • Singapore

  • Mexico

  • Costa Rica

  • Panama

  • British Territory of Anguilla

  • Bahamas

  • British Territory of Bermuda

  • British Territory of Cayman Islands

  • Curacao

  • Dominican Republic

  • Peru

  • Albania

  • Armenia

  • Georgia

  • Ireland

  • Montenegro

  • Serbia

  • Turkey

  • Jordan

  • Oman

  • Qatar

  • Saudi Arabia

UK Visa and Travel Insurance

Having a Travel Insurance plan is a mandatory requirement for a UK visa applicant. Moreover, it is always better to cover your finances with an insurance plan while travelling abroad. Keeping that in mind, ACKO offers comprehensive Travel Insurance for Indians travelling to the UK. 

Important Points to Note

  • India is not on the visa-exempt list with regards to travelling to the UK. Every Indian citizen must apply for a relevant visa to enter the UK. 

  • Applicants under the age of 18 must apply for a Minor Visa.

  • You have to purchase travel insurance when travelling to the UK. It is mandatory.

  • Indians must apply for the relevant UK visa within three months of their intended departure from India. This applies to all visa types.

  • In the case of Student and Child Student Visas, the earliest you can apply is six months before the date the course starts.

Wrapping It Up

Applying for a UK visa for Indian citizens can seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to. You need to follow the guidelines down to the letter, and you should not face any issues during the entire process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Common FAQs About UK Visa

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What Are the Most Common Questions You Get Asked During the Visa Interview?

Most of the questions during the interview revolve around your purpose and duration of stay, your source of funds, and a few others. They could also ask you questions about the UK and other questions relevant to the type of Visa you are applying for.

What Do I Have to Show to Prove My Source of Funds?

It is advisable to submit a single bank statement for the past six months. The statement should contain the bank's seal to prove its authenticity.

Do I Have to Undergo Medical Tests Before I Travel to the UK?

For a visit under six months, you don't require a medical test. Citizens from India travelling to the UK for over six months will need a Tuberculosis test. Generally, a complete health checkup is advisable before you travel to any country. Click here for more information on the subject.

Is My Application Fee Refunded if My Visa Application Gets Rejected?

You do not get a refund if your application gets rejected. Take your time and follow every guideline to avoid getting your application rejected.

Does the UK Offer a Visa on Arrival for Indians?

No, the United Kingdom does not offer a visa on arrival. You need to apply in advance.

Can I Travel to Europe with a UK Visa?

You can visit certain parts of Europe such as Georgia, Ireland, Albania, etc.

Can I Get a UK Visa Faster?

Yes, you can opt for the priority service by paying additional charges to receive your UK visa faster.

Do I Need Travel Insurance to Obtain a Visa for the UK?

Yes, travel insurance is mandatory if you are applying for a UK visa.

What to Do If My UK Visa Application Gets Denied?

If your visa application gets rejected, you can apply for the same with a new application. Make sure you resolve the issue that led to the refusal of a UK visa in the first place.

Disclaimer: The information mentioned on this page is compiled from different websites and government sources. The information may be updated from time to time. Hence, please refer to the respective government websites and verify before making any visa-related decisions.

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