The United Kingdom is a beautiful destination with plenty of opportunities. If visiting the UK has been on your wish list, then you must learn about the visa requirements before you plan your trip.
The process of applying for a UK visa can be overwhelming. There is a lot to do, from applying to gathering documents to scheduling your appointment. There are many other factors to consider, however, when applying for a UK visa from a versatile nation such as the United Arab Emirates. The United Arab Emirates is a melting pot of expatriates from various countries. So how would you go about applying for a UK visa from the UAE? Below is a quick guide that will walk you through the process. Read on to know more.
Check if you need a UK visa
You should always make sure that when you are planning a trip to the United Kingdom, you do the following two things without fail:
i) Verify that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you arrive in the UK.
ii) Find out if you need a visa to enter the United Kingdom.
The UK visa is a travel document that gives its holder permission to visit the United Kingdom for a set period of time and to stay anywhere within the country. Citizens of some countries don’t require a UK visa to stay in the country for a certain period of time. The Emiratis, i.e. the citizens of the UAE, are allowed to travel to the United Kingdom under the Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) if they intend to travel for social or leisure purposes, to pursue studies, or to receive medical treatment. With EVW, UAE nationals are permitted to remain in the United Kingdom for a maximum of six months. If, however, you are an expatriate living in the UAE and applying for a UK visa from Dubai, then you will have to apply in accordance with your nationality. For example, if you are an Indian living in the United Arab Emirates and intend to visit the UK to travel for a holiday, then you will have to apply for a Standard Visitor visa before your journey.
Types of UK visa
The type of visa you need for the UK will depend on the purpose of your travel and the length of your stay in the UK. A standard visitor visa, which covers a period of validity of six months in the UK, is sufficient for leisure or social visit. It is also possible to apply for the Standard Visitor Visa to attend medical treatments and to take part in study programs that have a duration less than six months. With the UK visit visa, you won’t be able to get a job or set up a business that will earn you a living. For those of you looking for employment in the UK, you will have to apply for a UK work visa. Furthermore, if you are planning to stay in the UK as a student for a prolonged period of time, or if you are planning to complete a full degree course, you will need to apply for a student visa.
Procedure to apply for a UK tourist visa from the UAE
For UAE residents, once you learn that you need a pre-approved UK visa for your UK visit, it is time to start the paperwork to get the visa. Once you know exactly what you need to do and organize it in a logical manner, the UK tourist visa application will not seem so overwhelming.
- Apply for a UK visitor visa online by filling out all the required information completely, clearly, and without making any errors. You will also need to schedule an appointment with the British consulate in the UAE once you have filled in all the information.
- Pay the fee for the UK visa after you have completed all the steps above.
- The confirmation page and receipt of your visa fee should be included in the documents docket when presenting your application to the UK embassy.
- Put together a document docket that includes all the necessary proofs and travel documents for your trip to the United Kingdom. Ensure that the information you provided matches and supports the data you provided on the online UK visa application form. Documents should include the following:
- Passports that have more than six months of validity as well as any previous passports would be required.
- A copy of the completed application form, confirmation page, and visa fee payment receipt.
- Financial documentation, such as bank statements and salary slips, etc.
- Proof of residency and work authorization in the UAE.
- A letter of authorization from the company if employed in the UAE.
- Passport-sized photographs as described in the UK visa application guidelines.
- Letter of invitation from a person residing in the United Kingdom or from a travel agency, hotel, etc. stating your reason for visiting the U.K., where you will stay, and the length of your stay.
- Copy of travel itinerary, confirmation of the hotel bookings, and return flights showing that you will depart the United Kingdom following your visit.
- Health and travel insurance that covers your stay in the United Kingdom.
Waiting time for UK visa results
It is pertinent to note that the waiting time for your UK visa will commence after you visit the UK Consulate and submit your biometric information. There is an average waiting time of 3 weeks for the results of your UK visit visa to be announced after appearing at your appointment. As a result, it is advisable to apply for your visa at least 3 months in advance to ensure smooth processing of your visa and to avoid any disappointment on your part if your visa is not issued in time. So, there you have it! As soon as you get the word about the approval of your UK visa, you will be all set to embark on a memorable trip to the UK.