Whatever category you are considering, applying for a UK visa can be a tricky process to navigate. Before you apply, take a look at our 5 top tips:
- Choose your category carefully. The requirements for an individual visa type are not always clear, and what category you choose can have far-reaching consequences, limiting your options to switch to something else in future, for example. Application fees vary depending on your category and the duration of the visa for which you apply, so this needs to be considered at the outset to ensure that you choose the right option for you.
- Make sure you understand the document requirements. Applications which have specified document requirements (many long-term UK visa categories) can easily be refused where an item is missing, or doesn’t contain everything that it should. Many applicants also require tuberculosis or English language testing to apply for a UK visa, and this needs to be planned and completed in advance of your application being made.
- Consider your timings. When long-term visas are approved they are often awarded in 2 stages; an initial short-term stamp in your passport, and then a longer-term plastic card collected upon arrival in the UK. If you time your application badly, you can find yourself unable to travel within the time slot provided, needing to make a further application for a secondary passport endorsement.
- Know the process. UK visa applications must be submitted at specific centres, and often you are required to scan your supporting documents at your chosen centre or forward hardcopy documents to the UK. Research your application method before you apply to be confident in the process. This should help to prevent delays in the decision-making process.
- Take advice! If you are unsure about your category, documents, or process, seek advice from a qualified expert. UK visa applications are costly and time-consuming, you can save yourself wasted money and effort if you take advice before you apply. If still in doubt, your application can be prepared for you by a competent professional, so you can relax and concentrate on the other aspects of relocation.