How to apply for a UK Visa
Choose how you want to apply
I will do it myself
A cost-effective way to apply for a UK visa.8 stepscosts as per Gov.uk
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Make sure your application is correct, and make applying for your visa more comfortable and convenient.Fewer stepsUSD 146.03
Get VFS Global to do it for me
For complete peace of mind, choose a premium, personalised help package for the fastest and surest way to apply for a visa.Fewer steps, more speedUSD 160.76
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
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.
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.
Not sure what to choose? Save money with a discounted, all-in-one Silver Premium Services package to speed up your visa application.
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.
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 biometrics 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. If you can’t access email easily, or would like more detailed tracking information, you can also choose an optional extra and get updates by SMS sent directly to your phone.
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, send a representative to pick them up for you, or have them delivered to you by courier.
Collecting your documents in person; bring the receipt issued by the visa application centre and a form of Government identification.
Sending a representative to collect your documents; they will need to present a letter of authorisation signed by you, bring the receipt issued to you by the visa application centre and their Government identification.