A UK Visa permits you as a legal permanent resident of the United Kingdom, the privilege to enter the country as a visitor or for a restricted period, as a worker. There are several different visa categories, each of which has its own specific criteria, requirements, and restrictions on how long you are allowed to stay in the UK. The duration of your stay is determined by your immigration status and your reason for coming to the country. For example, if you are coming to the country as a tourist you will only be eligible to apply for a short term leave to visit family or friends for two weeks or less. If you are coming to the country as an employment or study course participant, you will be eligible to stay for a longer term.
The type of visa that you will receive depends on whether you are an immigrant, non-immigrant, or visitor. Immigrants generally need to obtain a visa through the UK immigration authorities while non-immigrants may do so by applying directly with the Home Office. Both categories of visitors require a UK visa for circulation, so you must apply for your visa as soon as you know that you are coming to the country. Otherwise, your visa could be rejected and you would have to return home and lose your benefits or rights to remain in the UK.
There are three main UK visa categories based on when and where you wish to visit the United Kingdom. These categories are a student, business, and family. To visit family, you need either a family visa or a partner visa sponsored through your employer. Student visa applications are available throughout the year but student visitors are advised to apply as early as possible to ensure their visa is approved.
Skilled worker visa is often the first step for any applicants wishing to travel to the United Kingdom. Business and family visa holders are encouraged to use the same company as the sponsor to reduce the risk of rejection of their application. All UK visa categories except for student visa take into consideration the ability of the applicant to speak the language of that country where they plan to reside. For example, if you intend to live in Birmingham, England, and work in Manchester, England, you will need to indicate that at the beginning of your application.
Business and family visa types require applications to be submitted for at least six months or the applicant to be eligible for an extension to their visa. Student visa applications can be submitted for up to three years and a British citizen may apply for up to five years. If you wish to prolong your stay in the UK you have to apply for a one-year leave to remain visa.
The process of applying for an immigration visa does not end there. Once you have successfully completed your application, you have to wait for the decision which is normally done electronically. In some cases applications can take up to a year and sometimes longer. You will receive a notification either accepting your application or declining it. Usually your visa is declined if you cannot meet the specific requirements of the UK immigration law, especially if you do not intend to settle in United Kingdom.