How to apply for a UK Visa

Apply for a visa yourself, or take advantage of the Premium Services on offer and have trained staff make the process easy.

Choose how you want to apply

  • I will do it myself

    A cost-effective way to apply for a UK visa.

    8 steps
    costs as per Gov.uk
  • Research your visa type

    Determine the correct visa for your visit

    Use the UK Visas and Immigration website to check what type of visa you should apply for, and the documents that you will need in order to complete this.

    Each visa type requires different documentation, so check your visa type carefully. If your documents are not in English, you may need to get translations prepared before applying.

  • Apply for your visa through Gov.uk

    Apply online

    Once you are ready to apply, go to the UK Visas and Immigration website to apply for your visa.

    You will need to ensure you have a good record of your travel history, with documents to support each trip you have taken. If you are applying for visas on behalf of your family or other relatives, you will also need all their details and travel history available before you start.

  • Book an appointment

    Choose a visa application centre and make an appointment to visit

    As part of your visa application, you need to make an appointment to have your fingerprints and photo taken at a visa application centre. This is known as ‘biometric information’. If you’re applying for a student visa (Tier 4), you may also need to have a short interview.

    Travelling as a family or a group? Save time, travel and money with a Group Appointment Booking.

    See if your chosen visa application centre offers this service.

  • Pay your visa fees

    Once you have made your application and chosen an appointment time, you need to pay for your visa application. This should be done online within your Gov.uk application.

    If you don’t have a credit or debit card, you can arrange for someone to pay this for you on your behalf. Alternatively, some visa application centres can also do this for you for a small fee. See if your chosen visa application centre offers this service.

  • Choose your services

    Make your application easier

    Once you have paid your visa fees, you will be given a reference number. This starts with GWF. Now that you have that number, you can tailor your upcoming visit to the visa application centre with VFS Global’s range of Premium Services.

    Whether you would like the process to be faster and easier, or just sit in peace and comfort when you visit the visa application centre, VFS Global has optional services to help you.

  • Visit the visa application centre

    Attend your appointment

    You must attend the appointment for your visa application. You cannot send someone in your place.

    • Arrive at least 15 minutes early
    • Bring a printed copy of your visa application, as well as a valid passport or travel document with at least 1 page that is blank on both sides.
    • Bring all supporting documentation (originals and copies)

    At the centre, you will also need to submit your fingerprints and photograph. This is known as biometric information collection.

    A digital finger scanner collects images of all 10 digits, and you will have a digital photo taken. The digital finger print scanner uses no inks, liquids or chemicals and will not mark your skin.

    Your digital photograph must be taken with full face and without sunglasses or tinted spectacles, or head covering unless it is worn for religious or medical reasons. Your face should be clearly visible with no hair across the eyes.

    • Ensure your fingertips are free from any forms of decoration, cuts, abrasions or other markings as these may affect your ability to provide acceptable finger scans.
    • If you are applying for a visa on behalf of a child under 5 years old, they must also attend an appointment, but don’t have to provide their biometric data.
    • Children under 18 years old need to be accompanied by an adult and this cannot be a member of VFS Global staff.

    Without biometric information, your visa will not be processed.

  • Track your application

    Stay informed about the progress of your application

    You will receive an email update when your decision has been returned to the visa application centre.

  • Pick up your documents

    Return to the visa application centre to receive your documents

    After a visa application decision has been made, you can collect your documents from the visa application centre.

    Choose whether you would prefer to collect your documents in person or send a representative to pick them up for you.

Ready to apply?

Start your visa process and then come back to VFS Global with your reference number to take advantage of the Premium Services on offer.