10 Easy Tips to Help You With a UK Visa Application

Preparing your own immigration application to apply for a visa to the UK or extending your current leave may seem an overwhelming experience, however we wish to help you with 10 easy tips which you can apply to navigate the process.

1. Read and read again the immigration requirements specific to your own category. You have selected your immigration category and even established through the UK Border Agency (UKBA) points based calculator that you are able to claim enough points to qualify, well done! However, make sure that you identify the specific requirements by checking UKBA website.

2. Do not cut corners. If in doubt, always assume that the UKBA or the British Embassy will not exercise their discretion in your favour. Most of the requirements are mandatory and you will need to show that you do meet these by providing the required evidence. Never assume a caseworker will apply common sense when considering their application, they have a limited time and resources to establish your exact situation thus make sure that you explain in detail your circumstances and provide evidence to support your claims. Be particularly careful when it comes to the maintenance requirement!

3. Prepare the application form with accuracy. Reduce the chances of a refusal by carefully completing the application form, make sure that you have filled-in all relevant sections, answer truthfully all the questions (especially in case of a prior refusal), sign and date the application form.

4. Evidence. All documents unless specified need to be original. Your application might be refused on the basis that you have only provided copies or not all the required evidence. Make copies of everything you send to the UKBA/ British High Commission.

5. Cover letter. Always prepare a cover letter to accompany the application bundle explaining your immigration history, how you meet the different points and listing all the documents.

6. Payment. This might be an obvious tip, however make sure that you have paid the correct fee and if you have decided to pay by credit card, alert your bank of the impending transaction or in the alternative pay by postal orders or banker draft. An invalid application can lead to become an over-stayer.

7. Post using special recorded delivery. This might again be self explanatory, but it’s SAFER to send your bundle by recorded delivery than dealing with the headache and repercussion of a lost passport or important documents.

8. Always check your visa expiry date! If you were to make an application after the expiry of your leave, you might lose your right of appeal.

9. Do not wait until the last minute to submit the application! Try to allow sufficient time for the submission and the processing of the application before you make any travel arrangements.

10. Legal advice does not have to be expensive! If your situation is not straightforward, you had previous refusals/adverse immigration history, or if you are not fully confident you have all relevant documentation speak to an immigration solicitor or an OISC registered consultants. They often offer documents checking service which is cheaper than the full representation and could buy you a peace of mind as well as save you the government fee if your application is unsuccessful.

Spread the word! Share this information with others as it might help them too!

Good luck!!


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