Although Brexit might change things in the future (in which case we’ll provide another article 🙂 ), we are proud today to have one of the main visa agency giving us clear indications about the visa situation in the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom is one of the most desirable destinations to visit or even to live in. There are various reasons why people visit the UK, such as joining a family member, sightseeing, studying or fulfilling work opportunities.
However, stepping foot in the UK doesn’t come easy if you’re holding a specific type of passport. You will need to apply and obtain the right visa before you are allowed to enter, stay temporarily or live permanently in the UK. In your country of residence, the visa is issued by the UK embassy and usually presented as a stamp or document in your passport.
Applying for the right visa can be stressful and confusing, so continue reading to get a better understanding of the different types of UK visas which are available.
Find out if you need a UK visa
Depending on your nationality, you may not need a visa to enter the UK. If you are a European Economic Area (EEA) citizen, a Swiss citizen or Commonwealth citizen, you may enter the UK without a visa. Check the list of nationals to confirm whether you need a UK visa.
Choose the right UK visa
If you realise that you do need a UK visa, the next step is to choose the right type of visa for your purpose of visiting the country.
UK Transit Visa
There are two types of UK Transit visas, the Direct Airside Transit visa and the Visitor in transit visa.
The Direct Airside Transit visa: If you have another flight to catch in the UK and won’t be passing the UK border control, you might have to apply for this type of visa. The Direct Airside Transit visa is only valid for 24 hours.
Visitor in Transit visa: If you want to pass the UK border control and do some sightseeing, you can apply for this visa. The Visitor in Transit visa is valid for 48 hours.
Standard Visitor visa
You can apply for the Standard Visitor visa if you want to visit friends or family members, for a holiday, private medical treatment, business, or partake in sporting activities and creative events in the UK. Generally, this type of visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to 6 months – you may be able to extend your stay if you’re visiting the UK to see your spouse or civil partner, for private medical treatment, or academic research.
UK Study visa
The UK Study visa is for individuals who want to enroll at a study course or university. You’ll need to apply for a UK short-term study visa if you’re going to study an English language course, take a training course or conduct some research for your degree. The short-term study visa allows you to stay in the UK for a maximum of 6 months, or up to 11 months if you’re taking an English Language course
However, before you can apply for this visa, you must be over 16 years old, have an offer from the organisation, can financially pay for the course, as well as being able to converse, read and write in English. Thus, the length of your stay depends on the course you’re doing and the qualifications you’ve completed.
UK Work visa
If you’re planning to engage in paid activity in the UK, you need to figure out which type of UK working visa is most suitable. There are various short-term or long-term work UK visas – and the kind of visa you need depends on your job offer, skills, qualifications, sponsorship, or if you’re going to work for a charity.
UK Family visa
If you have a proposed civil partner, spouse, partner, child, parent or relative who can support you, you can apply for a UK family visa. With this type of visa, you can live with a family member for more than six months.
As there are several UK visas you can apply for, make sure you do further research to know exactly which visa you need. If you’re unsure, seek advice from UK immigration consultants – they can guide you in the right direction, help you with your visa application process and secure your visa without any hassle.