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Types of UK visas

If you wish to enter the UK, then you will need a visa to do so. Find out more about all the UK visa options and how our immigration lawyers can assist you with your application.

For more information about UK visas and immigration, get in touch today with our team of immigration law experts on 020 4502 8582.

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    UK Visa application assistance

    Here at London Immigration Lawyer, our team are experts when it comes to UK visa applications. With decades of experience and extensive training in all areas of UK immigration law, they know exactly what it takes for your application to be successful.

    There are many reasons why people wish to apply for a visa to enter the UK, they include to work, study, do business, join immediate relatives, visit as a tourist, transit through the country, access private medical treatment, to seek refuge and to live in the UK permanently.

    A UK Visa is a document that will give you a right to enter the UK, whether you wish to come to the United Kingdom on a temporary basis, or wish to make the country your permanent home by gaining settlement status, your visa will be a key part of your UK immigration journey.

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    UK Visa Types

    Visa type Purpose
    Skilled Worker Visa Skilled Workers with a job offer in the UK
    Temporary Worker Visa Temporary work, work experience and research in the UK for less than 12 months
    Youth Mobility Visa 2 year work permit for young people aged 18-20 from participating territories
    Paid Permitted Engagement visa Short-term entry clearance for individuals invited to the UK as experts in their field
    Sportsperson Visa Work permit for elite sportspersons or qualified coaches
    Minister of Religion Visa Work permit for religious workers
    Intra-Company Transfer Visa Employees from multi-national companies transferring to work in a UK branch
    Business Visitor Visa Travel to the UK for up to 6 months for business activities
    Student Visitor Visa Studying in the UK on a temporary basis
    Tourist Visa Travel to the UK for up to 6 months for leisure or other purposes
    Adult Student Visa Studying in the UK
    Two year post-study work visa Work permit for international students who have studied a bachelor’s or master’s course in the UK
    Child Student Visa Children age 4-17 to study in the UK
    Spouse Visa Spouses of British Citizens/settled persons
    Fiancé Visa Fiancés of British Citizens/settled Persons
    Unmarried Partner Visa Long-term partner of British Citizens/settled persons
    Adult Dependent Visa Foreign nationals requiring care from a UK relative
    Child Dependent Visa Child of a British citizen/settled person not living an independent life
    Ancestry Visa Citizens of commonwealth countries with a British grandparent
    Innovator Visa International entrepreneurs with £50,000 to invest in a business in the UK
    Investor Visa International investors with at least £2 million to invest in UK businesses
    Startup Visa Applicants with approved sponsors to start their first business in the UK
    Schengen Visa Travel throughout the Schengen area


    All overseas nationals must apply for a visa to enter the UK if they intend to stay for more than 90 days. Non-EEA nationals must also apply for a visitor visa if their stay is less than 90 days whilst citizens from EEA countries can enter the country for up to 90 days without the need for a visa.

    There are a wide variety of UK visas available including both short-term to long-term UK visas, the right one for you will depend on why you intend to enter and how long you plan to stay in the UK.

    The visa types available include work visas, study visas, family visas, tourist visas, business visas and transit visas. Many of the UK visas can also be used as a route to Indefinite Leave to Remain, which is a key step in the journey to British citizenship.

    You can apply for a UK visa by completing the relevant application forms online, all of the applications are available on the UK government website. As part of your application you will also need to submit a number of supporting documents to prove that you meet the eligibility requirements for the visa that you are applying for.

    The UK’s new points-based system requires you to score a certain number of points for each visa to be eligible and you will need to prove that you can do this.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance with your UK Visa application. Contact Us

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      UK Work Visas

      If you intend to work whilst living in the UK, then you must hold a visa that permits you to do this. The UK work visas include:

      The most common UK work visa for overseas nationals is the Skilled Worker Visa. Previously known as the Tier 2 Visa, this visa allows international workers to take up employment in the UK for up to 5 years and can also be extended after this. To be eligible under the points based system you must score at least 70 points.

      You can do this by having a job offer and Certificate of Sponsorship from a registered UK sponsor company, demonstrating a knowledge of the English language and meeting the relevant salary requirements for your role.

      There are also a number of business visas suitable for entrepreneurs who may wish to enter the UK, they include the:

      • Innovator Visa
      • Investor Visa
      • Startup Visa
      • Business Visitor Visa

      Visas to study in the United Kingdom

      The UK is home to many world-class educational institutions, which makes it a popular destination for international students. Before entering the UK, overseas nationals must secure a visa that permits them to study in the UK.

      The UK Student Visa, previously known as the Tier 4 Visa, permits students to stay in the UK for the duration of their studies. To be eligible you must have an offer to study on a course from a registered UK educational facility. You will also need to demonstrate your knowledge of the English language and will need to prove that you are able to support yourself financially without the use of public funds.

      There are also other types of student visas available. The Short-Term Study Visa is available to those intending to study in the UK for 6 months or less, for example as part of an exchange programme. For younger students, there is also a Child Student Visa. This if for children between the ages of 4 to 17 who will study in the UK for over 6 months.

      UK Visitor Visa

      Non-EEA citizens will require a visitor visa if they intend to enter the UK for a period of six months or less. The standard UK Visitor Visa can be used for a number of purposes including:

      • Visiting friends and relatives
      • Staying in the UK as a tourist
      • Accessing private medical treatment

      There are also other types of visitor visas that may be more suitable for you. The Short-Term Study Visa is a student visitor visa that allows people to study in the country temporarily. The Business Visitor Visa allows foreign nationals to enter the UK temporarily to carry out business activities.

      Visitor visas are issued for a period of six months and cannot be extended. However, visitors from the United States, China, Pakistan, India, and other non-EEA countries can, however, apply for a long-term visit visa for UK travel. These are available at an extra cost and can be held for a duration of two years, five years or ten years. The long-term visitor visa still restricts you to a maximum single visit of six months or less.

      Family visas

      Being apart from your immediate relatives can be difficult, luckily there are several types of UK Visas that can be used for the purpose of family reunion. You could be eligible for a family permit if one of the following applies to you:

      • Your family member/spouse is a British Citizen
      • Your family member/spouse has ILR of settled status
      • You have an eligible relationship with an individual in the UK with refugee status or humanitarian protection

      The Child dependent visa allows you to bring your children to join you in the UK, and the Adult dependent visa allows you to bring an adult relative who requires care in the UK to join you here. If you wish to join your partner in the UK, you will need to apply for one of the partner visas. They include the Spouse Visa for those who are married to a British citizen or settled person, the Unmarried Partner Visa for those in a civil partnership with a British citizen or settled person or the Fiance Visa for those who intend to marry a British partner or register a civil partnership during their stay in the UK.

      How can London Immigration Lawyers help?

      UK visas and immigration is complex, so it can be difficult to navigate the visa application process by yourself. If you make a mistake in your application, UK Visas and Immigration may refuse it. This is why it is highly recommended that you seek the complete assistance of a professional immigration lawyer.

      Our immigration solicitors have had success with thousands of visa applications, whether you want to study, work or simply live in the UK, our lawyers are here for you and will work tirelessly to give your application the best chance of a successful outcome. We offer application packages that will see you assigned a caseworker who can discuss your situation with you, as well as a range of bespoke services, find out what you are trying to achieve and can advise you on the most viable UK immigration options available to you. During a professional legal advice session your caseworker can also assess that you meet the eligibility criteria for the UK visa route that you wish to apply for.

      Once you have decided which visa you would like to apply for, our lawyers can assist you with your visa application. Our application package will ensure that you are fully supported throughout the entire immigration process. Our lawyers can assist you with filling in the visa application form and can help you to gather any required supporting documents. We can also provide you with a Letter of Representation to support your application.

      For more information about how we can assist you, book your free consultation today by calling 020 4502 8582.

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      During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

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        With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

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            By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                As well as visa applications, our lawyers also assist with a number of other UK immigration issues, these include:

                • British citizenship applications
                • Indefinite Leave to Remain Applications
                • Asylum seekers claims
                • Immigration detention and deportation issues
                • UK passport applications

                Our caseworkers can also assist with visa extensions.

                Having an immigration application refused can be disheartening, but refusals can happen. Usually, this is due to a mistake in the application, or a lack of supporting documents and other evidence. If your UK visa application has been rejected, our lawyers are here for you. We can help you to make an appeal about your visa application if you believe that the wrong decision was made.

                For more information about the appeal process and how our lawyers can help, call us today on 020 4502 8582.

                The earliest that you can apply for a UK visa is 3 months before the date that you intend to arrive. However, you should note that the processing time can take up to 3 weeks, and you could face further delays if there are any mistakes in your application. So you should make sure that you submit your UK visa application in plenty of time.

                A Transit Visa is a temporary UK visa intended for those who will be passing through the United Kingdom on transit to another country. There are two main types of transit visas, they include the:

                • Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV) – for changing flights in the UK without leave in the airport
                • Visitor in Transit Visa – for foreign nationals who need to leave the airport and take another means of travel. This visa can be valid for up to 4 days.

                There is also a long-term transit visa available to overseas nationals who can prove that they need to travel through the UK to another country regularly, but that they do not intend to stay in the UK or take up residence in the country.

                The time it takes to receive a decision on an application depends on which visa you applied for, as each visa category has varying levels of complexity, taking different amounts of time to process. Where you made your application from—whether outside or inside the UK—can also be a factor in how long it takes to review.

                Generally, you should expect a decision within three weeks to six months from the date of submission. After this time, you will receive this decision by mail, email, or through your immigration lawyer, depending on how you have opted for UKVI to contact you.

                For anyone who hasn’t received a decision within this timeframe it is also possible to track your visa application status using an online tracking tool, provided by UKVI.