If United Kingdom is the country you yearn to visit then you must not do it on impulse, applying for a UK visa requires careful planning and a thorough list of documentation.
You would well be advised to first make up your mind about the trip 6months prior to your visit and start working towards maintaining a healthy bank balance. I would suggest that you maintain about 3000 USD in a healthy transaction, that is not depositing one hefty amount but a steady withdrawal/deposit and other transaction histories should work in your favor.
Now that your last 6months of banking history start looking good you can begin your application HERE.
Any visa application requires your details, family details, travel plans/itineraries, salary/income, how much you intend to spend on your visit abroad. Your past travel history helps to strengthen your case and ensures that you are not an immigration violator of any sort and have a good record of returning back to your own country within the stipulated time frames.
After you start an application you can save it and return to it any number of times between submission via the link sent to you in your email.
Once you have finished filling your application and are ready to submit, the last step would be to select the dates for the biometric appointment, once this is done you can pay your fees and submit your application. Unlike in the US visa, in the UK Visa application you can pay the fees online within your application portal.
Once your application is submitted a list of documents to be provided can be downloaded. You need to carry all these documents during your biometric appointment as the VFS center will scan to attach it along with your application. The visa services of UK is handled by the VFS global visa service centers that are located in most of the metropolitan cities. You can submit an application through their application portal as well. Even if you don’t the VFS still handles the biometric part of the application hence you can choose the center nearest to you for your biometric appointment, mine was Kolkata in India
Documents required for UK tourist visa could vary for individuals but generally the mandatory documents are the same for example;
- A valid passport, any old passports
- 6months bank statement
- 3months salary slip for employed people
- Your IT returns or IT exemption whichever is applicable
- NOC from your Head of Office
- Travel itinerary (no confirmed bookings is ok)
- Any papers about the assets you own in your home country
- Basically everything that can prove you are financially strong and emotionally tied to your country.
- Also all the documents have to be in English. Any other language needs to be translated to English
On the day of the biometrics you go to the VFS center taking along with you the appointment confirmation mail which contains the GWF number/barcode. Your digital fingerprints and photo is taken at the center and your documents are scanned and returned to you so its alright if you carry the originals as they will be returned to you. Just make sure all the documents are in A4 size and not laminated, for such docs you need to photocopy it onto an A4 size paper.
At the VFS center you are asked what form of delivery you want for your passport so you may choose to collect it in person or get it mailed to you. You will be charged extra for any services you choose including the sms service which you will receive regarding the status of your passport (not your visa) that is you will get to know when your passport reaches the Embassy and when it gets released from there, when it reaches the VFS center and when it gets ready for collection or gets couriered as per your choice of delivery method.
You also get an email from the embassy when they send the passport to the VFS center, this email will contain your application number and a new reference number. Now there are lots of theories on the internet regarding this reference number as some people seem to receive their emails without any new reference number and these seem to be unsuccessful applications but I reserve my judgment on the matter.
Either way your anxiety is put to ease only when you receive the package in your hand and open the passport yourself to see whether you have been fortunate enough to get that sticker.
If all your documents are in order there is no reason why you shouldn’t get it. So good luck with your application,
This post only talks about online application for short term tourist visa so it may not apply to a long term visa or a paper application process.