UK Tourist Visa or UK General Visitor Visa is issued to people who wish to visit UK for leisure or as a tourist on holiday. This visa is for individuals who are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. This visa also applies to those people who want to go to UK for the purpose of visiting friends or family who are not permanent residents in the UK. There are some restrictions on what you can and can’t do while you visit UK on a general visitor visa.
General Visitor Visas are usually granted for a period of 6 months. If you a frequent visitor to the United Kingdom you can apply for a multiple-entry visitor visa that is valid for 2, 5 or 10 years. Even with a multiple-entry visitor visa the visa holder is allowed to stay in the UK for up to a period of six months at any given time. Normally, you cannot spend more than 6 months out of 12 months in a year in the UK.
Eligibility Criteria for UK Tourist Visa
To be eligible for UK tourist visa you need to prove to the UK migration authorities the following things:
- You wish to travel to UK for the purpose of leisure only and not for employment, business or study
- As a visitor with a UK General Visitor Visa you will not carry out activities that would qualify you for a different category of visitor, such as: receive private medical treatment, marry or form a civil partnership, perform in shows or take part in sports events
- You are able to support yourself financially for the duration of your trip to UK
- You have the financial resources to meet the cost of your onward and return journey
- You are not in transit to another country, except for Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Island
- You intend to leave UK at the end of your visit
In case you want to apply for a long term visit visa, in addition to the above points you will also be required to prove the following things to the UK migration authorities:
- You have a need to come to UK on a frequent and ongoing basis
- The reason for your need to visit the UK frequently is unlikely to change significantly during the period the visa is valid
Steps to follow to apply for UK Tourist Visa
After you become sure about your eligibility to apply for a UK General Visitor Visa, you need to follow the procedure mentioned below to apply for the visa.
Step 1: Fill the tourist visa application form online
Complete the visa application form VAF1A online. There are guidelines available in various languages like English, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Russian, Thai and Turkish to fill the application form. Read the guidelines carefully before you start filling the form.
Step 2: Get an appointment date
Submit your online visa form to get an option for appointment date. Schedule an appointment.
Step 3: Print out the application form
Take print out of the application forms and complete them. Gather all supporting documents needed along with the application form.
Step 4: Pay the tourist visa application fee
Make payment for the tourist visa application fee. You will be required to pay the visa fee online using Visa or MasterCard debit or credit cards or via e-wallet.
Step 5: Submit the visa application form
Submit your visa application form along with all supporting documents in person at the British Embassy/High Commission or your local visa application centre for UK. You will be required to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre as part of your visa application procedure. This is to provide as biometric information about yourself.
Step 6: Track the application’s status online
Keep track of your visa application status online. Return to the visa application centre when the online status shows that a decision has been reached for your visa application.
Required Fees for UK Tourist Visa
- Visa Fees for General Visitor Visa – 83 GBP (INR 8,267.6)
- Visa Fees for Long Term Visit Visas Upto
- 1 year – 300 GBP (29,882.96 INR)
- 2 years – 300 GBP (29,882.96 INR)
- 5 years – 544 GBP (54,187.76 INR)
- 10 years – 737 GBP (73,412.46 INR)
- Your application fee will not be refunded if your visa application is refused.
- The conversion into Indian currency is based on current conversion rates which may change.
UK Tourist Visa Waiver Program
Citizens of some countries of the world do not require a visa to visit the United Kingdom as a tourist. However, such people are advised to be in possession of either a return ticket or, if arriving on a one-way ticket, proof of sufficient funds to accommodate and support themselves for the duration of stay. Here is the list of such countries whose nationals do not require a visa when entering the UK as a tourist:
|NAME OF THE COUNTRIES|
|Costa Rica||Denmark||East Timor|
|French Guiana||French Polynesia||Germany|
|Netherlands Antilles||New Caledonia||Nicaragua|
|Samoa||San Marino||South Korea|
|United Kingdom||United States||Uruguay|
|US Virgin Islands||Vatican City||Venezuela|
Dos and Don’ts for UK Tourist Visa Application
You need to remember the following dos and don’ts while applying for UK tourist visa.
- Apply for a tourist visa to the UK at least 10 weeks prior to your planned travel date to allow time for visa application procedure to be completed on time for your travel
- Fill up your visa application form carefully with all accurate details
- Bring along all forms and supporting documents for submitting your visa application form
- Check your visa application form to see how many photos you need to provide and arrange for them accordingly
- Do not present false documents for your visa
- Do not hide or misrepresent facts in your visa application
- Do not use photos for your visa application that have been cut down from larger pictures