The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the most popular destinations for immigrants across the globe. Whether you are looking to visit the country for business, study, or work, you will need to obtain a UK visa. The UK has different types of visas, and each has its own set of requirements and costs. In this article, we will discuss the costs and fees associated with a UK visa application and answer some frequently asked questions to help you prepare for the process.
Types of UK Visas:
Before we dive into the costs, let’s first understand the different types of visas available in the UK:
1. Visitor Visa – This visa is for people who want to visit the UK for leisure, business, or medical treatment for up to six months.
2. Study Visa – This visa is for students who want to study in the UK for an extended period of time.
3. Work Visa – This visa is for individuals who have secured a job in the UK.
4. Family Visa – This visa is for individuals who want to join their family members living in the UK.
5. Ancestry Visa – This visa is for Commonwealth citizens who have a grandparent born in the UK.
6. Transit Visa – This visa is for individuals who are passing through the UK at the airport on their way to another destination.
Costs Associated with UK Visa Application:
Now that we have a good understanding of the different visa types, let’s dive into the costs associated with the application process:
1. Application Fee – The application fee is a mandatory fee that must be paid when you submit your visa application. The cost of the application fee varies depending on the visa type and the duration of stay. For instance, the application fee for a standard visitor visa for six months costs £95. Meanwhile, a study visa fee for a non-degree course lasting up to six months is £97.
2. Healthcare Surcharge – In addition to the application fee, all non-UK citizens must pay a healthcare surcharge as part of their visa application process. This surcharge goes towards the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), and it is meant to help cover the cost of any medical treatment that an individual may require while in the UK. The cost of the healthcare surcharge is £624 per year, and it is payable upfront for the entire duration of stay in the UK.
3. Priority Service Fee – Applicants can choose to pay an additional fee to expedite their visa application process. The priority service fee varies from £220 to £956, depending on the type of visa.
4. Sponsorship Fees – If you are applying for a work visa, your employer may be required to obtain a sponsorship license from the UK government before you can apply for the visa. The fee for a sponsorship license ranges from £536 to £1,476, depending on the size of the company.
5. English Language Test Fees – Individuals applying for a UK visa may be required to take an English language test, depending on the visa type. The cost of the test varies depending on the provider, but it usually costs around £150.
Q. Which fees do I need to pay when I submit my visa application?
A. You will need to pay the application fee and healthcare surcharge as part of your visa application process. If you opt for the priority service, you will need to pay an additional fee.
Q. How long does it take for a visa application to be processed?
A. The processing time for a UK visa application varies depending on the type of visa and the workload of the UKVI. On average, it takes about three weeks to process a standard visa application.
Q. Are there any exemptions from the healthcare surcharge?
A. Yes, individuals applying for a visitor visa for less than six months and individuals applying for a transit visa are exempt from the healthcare surcharge.
Q. Are there any additional fees that I need to pay when I arrive in the UK?
A. No, the fees mentioned above cover the visa application process. However, you may be required to pay for additional services, such as transport or accommodation.
Q. Can I apply for a visa extension once I am in the UK?
A. Yes, you can apply for a visa extension if you meet the eligibility criteria. The cost of a visa extension varies depending on the type of visa.
Obtaining a UK visa can be a complicated and expensive process, but with the right guidance, it can be a seamless one. It’s important to note that the costs and fees associated with a UK visa application are subject to change, so it’s always best to check the UKVI website for the most up-to-date information.