The UK visa is a legal status and document that allows individuals from around the world to enter, and temporarily stay, or permanently reside, in the United Kingdom.

Individuals may need a UK visa to enter, stay, work or study in the UK. There are many different types of UK visas. Visas can take the form of either a stamped endorsement in your passport or a document issued by a UK embassy, or consulate in your home country. There are also many different categories of visas that will apply to different groups of people, depending on the reason they want to travel to or stay in the UK, and their individual circumstances.

When a visa is granted, it signifies that you have met the requirements for entry into the UK based on the specific type of visa you applied for. There are various reasons why someone may seek a UK visa, including:

  • Employment or business opportunities
  • Education or training purposes
  • Short-term visits for tourism or other reasons
  • Reuniting with family members who are already residing in the UK
  • Transiting through the UK en route to another destination
  • Permanent settlement
  • Seeking refuge or humanitarian protection
  • Being stateless
  • Needing permission to remain in the UK

The QC Immigration team has years of experience with immigration applications, working with thousands of individuals and businesses, and can help you achieve the best chances of being successfully granted a UK visa.

While there are many visas available, they can be grouped into main categories depending on the area they apply to:

A Partner Visa can be relevant for a spouse, civil partner, fiancé, unmarried partners, or same-sex partners. This type of visa will allow applicants to join a loved one in the UK. Holding the applicable partner visa will enable you to enter or stay in the UK, as long as you are in a civil partnership with a British citizen or an individual who holds UK settled status. Your partner must be a British national, have settled in the UK, or be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status. This will mean you are lawfully residing in the UK with no time limit on your stay

Visitor and Tourist Visas are short term visas (generally no longer than 6 months) allowing visitors to come to the UK for short stays, tourism and similar purposes. With this visa, you cannot work in the UK. You need to prove that you will leave the UK at the end of your visit, as well as that you need to be able to financially support yourself and any of your dependents during your stay in the UK. If you need to visit the UK regularly, you have the option to apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa which lasts 2, 5 or 10 years.

A Family Visa can be relevant for a spouse (or civil partner, fiancé), a parent, a grandparent, a child or other relative. This type of visa will allow applicants to join family members in the UK as their dependants.

International students who wish to come to the UK to study may need to apply for this type of visa. There are different Student Visas depending on whether the student is a child, adult or the individual is coming for a short period of time only. When applying for a student visa, you need to ensure to make your eligibility as clear as you can, making it an easier decision for the Home Office to grant your application.

Business Visas allow individuals to come to the UK as investors, innovators or global business mobility workers. Some of the business visa routes offer the representatives the eventual opportunity to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, also known as Permanent Residence, through the 5-year route.

In the UK employers have a responsibility to ensure that each employee has the right to work, with supporting documents and proof that they have the applicable visa, before they commence working in the UK. This will normally include your visa, or proof of successful business visa application.

There is an extensive selection of business visas available, as you can see below - make sure to apply to the most relevant and applicable visa for yourself, your circumstances, and your personal business situation. There are different requirements and criteria for each business visa type, so ensure to read these and customise your application to emphasise how you meet these.

Individuals coming to the UK for work may need to apply for a specific Work Visa depending on their circumstances. There are many types of visas in this category; which one applies to you will depend on your activity and why you are coming to the UK.

In the UK employers have a responsibility to ensure that each employee has the right to work, with supporting documents and proof that they have the correct documents, including their applicable visa (or proof of successful business visa application), before they commence working in the UK. Make sure you are prepared to show this to potential or future employers.

Take a look at some of the work visa types that QC Immigration can help you apply for today:

After living lawfully in the UK for a certain period, you may qualify for settlement. To be eligible, you must have the right to reside, work, or study in the country via a specified visa. Once you complete the required period, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), obtaining settlement status in the UK.

British citizenship grants you lifelong permission to reside in the UK, work, study, access benefits, apply for a British passport, and more.

If you're seeking to remain in the UK under the immigration and asylum system, you can make a human rights application under Article 3 or 8 of the ECHR. Article 3 applies if returning to your home country puts you in danger of persecution, torture, or inhumane treatment. Article 8 would apply if you've lived in the UK for years and formed strong family or private ties.

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How do I know if I need a UK visa?
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If you are an EU national and have obtained either the pre-settled or settled status via the EU Settlement Scheme, you need to make a separate visa application until you are eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain or British Citizenship. You can use the Home Office’s tool to check whether you need a visa or not, or feel free to get in touch with the team if you’d like more guidance.

How long does it take to get a UK visa?
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Visa application waiting times vary depending on the nature of your application, how complex your case is, and how many requests the Home Office has to handle at any given time. This can range from a couple of weeks to several months. We find that a well-presented case helps the Home Office make a decision quicker

How much does a UK visa cost?
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There is no unique cost for a UK visa and you will need to check the individual fees depending on which visa you are applying for. Please note that if you are adding dependents to your application, the cost will be per individual. You may also have to consider additional costs such as any tests required, biometrics, translation of documents, healthcare surcharge and other costs that are not part of the application fee.

How do I apply for a UK visa?
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UK visa applications can vary depending on what kind of visa you need. Firstly you must be certain that you can tick off all the boxes in regard to eligibility, and you must gather all possible evidence and documentation to support your application case to the Home Office.

Can I appeal a visa that has been refused?
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If your visa application has been refused you must act swiftly. The Home Office may reconsider but a strong case is essential in order to convince them to overturn their decision. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you work alongside immigration lawyers or an experienced team in order to ensure everything is done on time and your case is strong enough to potentially change the decision.

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