Finally, the much-awaited visa arrived today. And as I get ready for my Euro trip tomorrow, I thought I should write and provide information on applying for a UK tourist visa with an Indian passport.
Applying for the visa, I must say is the most tedious part of the entire travel planning. It was even more stressful for me as I had to apply for both UK and Schengen visa, given that my flight takes off tomorrow and I booked and planned everything just 4 weeks ago.
How I wish, had there been no walls and boundaries for us to travel and explore. But a practical me says that’s inevitable and probably for the best, as human beings are not as pure and simple as the world and nature is. If few rules and boundaries can maintain the peace then let be!
So keeping my philosophies aside, let me give you some details, tips, and instructions on how to apply for UK visa for a hassle-free processing and travel. Because at the end of the day when you reach and witness those magnanimous cities and sheer beauties of the countryside from the other part of the world, it will all be more than just worth it.
Below are the details for UK Visa. I will provide the Schengen Visa details in my next post.
How to apply for a UK tourist visa?
- You can either directly apply at the embassy or consulate.
- Or you can apply at a nearest VFS center. You need to fill the UK application form from the VFS portal.
- You can either fill the online form and download it or download the form and then fill it.
Essential and supporting documents needed for UK visa:
- Application form duly filled and signed at VFS center. UK application costs around 8k. This fee is subject to change.
- Passport( New and Old passport if any)
- Tour details – Basic itinerary, Flight details, and hotel bookings or stay related details, letter of invitation if you are going to stay with friends or family.
- Employees:- NOC from the employer, Payslips(3- 4 months), IT returns(3 years), Bank account statements ( 6 months)
- Self-employed:-IT returns(3 years, personal and company/firm/business etc), Bank account statements (6 months)
- Other documents like land registration, mortgage documents if you have any assets.
- If married, documents showing your marital status, such as Marriage certificate etc. or any other proof.
- Other ID proofs that have your permanent address. Ex: Aadhaar card etc.
- A document checklist with all the above details.
- A cover letter to the embassy, explaining why you need the visa.
Other things to note:
- You need to show sufficient funds in your bank account to avoid rejection. Probably 1000 – 2000 GBP for a short trip( 3 – 7 days).
- You should submit a clear itinerary along with flight tickets and hotel bookings.
- If you have not planned so much yet and wish to apply for a visa first then the best option is to book refundable tickets for the dates you plan to go.
- And book hotels or Airbnb or hostels in advance from booking.com or similar online platforms.
- They only block some amount from your card which will be returned if you cancel before time.
- Note that visa will be given from the date you land in the UK (according to your itinerary and flight bookings) until three months (usually). So you can’t advance your dates.
- Also, it is completely up to the consulate’s discretion and sometimes they can even sanction visa just for the travel dates provided with a three days grace period.
- I would suggest, plan everything well and if you submit all the relevant documents, there won’t be much risk.
Bored already? Here is a picture to motivate you further and to make you read more..
Don’t Procrastinate: This would be my very first advice that I give you out of my own experience.
- Apply in advance. The maximum you can apply is three months before your date of travel.
- UK tourist visa processing takes a minimum of 10 – 15 working days (excluding weekends).
- You might get your visa in less than 10 working days when there isn’t much traffic but it is safe to assume 10 to 15 working days and apply accordingly.
- In some rare cases, it might also take more than that. But then they are rare cases and if you submit enough proofs for all the cases, then the chances of falling into that rare case scenario would be very low.
What if I don’t have that much time? – Priority UK visa.
For all the crazy ones like me who makes last minute plans or for all the lazy bums out there who didn’t apply before time. You have one option, the priority UK visa.
- This will put a hole in your pocket but it is a good option to get the visa on time.
- This year they charged about 17k rupees per application for priority visa, excluding the application fee. The charges keep changing every year though.
- On priority service, you will receive your visa within three to five days of submission or maximum of a week.
I had to apply for priority as I didn’t have much time and I needed my passport back to apply for Schengen visa.
What to do after applying?
- You can track the status of your application through VFS portal and go get the passport once it arrives at the nearest VFS center.
- You can also opt for mobile and courier services on some additional charge while applying, which will provide you, update on the status of your passport and courier it to your address.
- Remember that either you or anyone related to you with a valid ID proof has to be present to collect the passport on arrival.
Hope this information helps you. If you are planning to visit London, go through my story of London below to catch a feel of it.
Enjoy your Holiday.