The consultants at Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants have brainstormed to come up with the top ten tips they have, to ensure a speedy and smooth UK visa application!
- Apply before your current Visa expires
It might seem like a logical thing to do, but you would be surprised by the amount of people who do not do this. Ensure there is enough time for you to be able to gather the relevant information and documentation before the expiry of your current UK visa or permit. If your current visa has expired, contact BIC as soon as possible, to arrange a consultation to find out what options you have.
- Make sure you have a current, valid passport
A new requirement introduced in April this year means that all applicants (including dependants) must have current, valid passports. If your current passport has expired, or due to expire before you submit your application, you must arrange to apply for a new passport. Please note that for certain applications, you may be required to have a longer validity date left on your passport at the point of application. For more information please contact BIC.
- Know where your original documents are and have them to hand
Whether it is your birth certificate, marriage certificate, degree certificate or any other original documentation required for your application, make sure you know where they are and have them to hand. Most applications require original documentation. Even if the documents have been provided to the UK Home Office before, you should have these in a safe place and ready to be given in with the application to the UK Home Office if required.
- Be aware of the requirements of your Visa
All Visas issued for Entry Clearance and Further Leave to Remain come with requirements. Ensure you know what these are and that you are following them up to the point of application and continue to do so if you are extending your visa. If you are unsure of requirements, then contact BIC for a consultation. BIC can fill you in on the requirements, even if you are not due to make an application.
- Criminal Convictions
If you have a criminal conviction, it could affect your application depending on the date of conviction, amount of convictions and the sentence issued. You must always keep the relevant documents, that comes with it and be truthful and honest about any convictions. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) runs checks on all applicants. If you have not declared your convictions on the application form, you may receive an automatic refusal and could be faced with a ban from re-entering the United Kingdom for ten years. If you are worried or need advice on the best way to proceed contact BIC today for a consultation.
- English language requirement
It is important to know how you are going to meet this requirement. There are various ways to do this, but you must ensure that you meet the requirement at the correct level. Please ensure that you speak to your BIC consultant to double check that you are fulfilling the English language requirement at the correct level.
7. Make sure you have the money available for the application fee
If you are submitting a postal application and are paying by card or cheque, please ensure you have the relevant funds in place to pay for the application. Money could be taken at any time from when the application is received by the UKVI. Please also contact your bank if needed and inform them that the UKVI will take payment from your account and inform them of the amount they are due to take. We also recommend that you pay via Bankers Draft, which your bank will be able to help assist you with.
When you submit a postal application, you will be required to have your biometrics taken as part of the application process. These are taken at certain participating Post Offices around the United Kingdom. You will receive a letter shortly after your application is submitted which will explain how you go about getting this done. You must arrange to do these as swiftly as possible and ensure you do it in the time frame provided. There is an additional charge of £19.20 per applicant to have your biometrics taken.
- Booking travels
We advise our clients not to book any holidays or trips until you have the approved application and documents back. UKVI processing times varies for different types of applications and depending on the volume of applications they have. The UKVI do not give out updates on applications unless they have been pending for six months, even then it is normally minimal information. They will not expedite your application because you have a holiday coming up, and you could, unfortunately, end up missing a trip you have booked and end up losing out financially as well.
We also advise clients applying via the premium service to not book any holidays as well and recommend that you do not leave the Country without your Biometric Residence Permit.
In exceptional circumstances, the UKVI may exercise their discretion and expedite applications, but this does happen very rarely. If it is an emergency, then you will be required to send documentation as proof. Please speak to your BIC consultant for more information.
- Immigration Health Surcharge
The UK Health Surcharge is a requirement that came into force from April 2015. Known as IHS for short, this is a payment that needs to be made prior to submitting your application. The IHS is not applicable to all applications. Contact BIC for a consultation to find out if the IHS is a requirement for your application.
Please note that at the time of publishing this, all of the above information is correct. Requirements for Immigration change and evolve regularly. We understand that there is lots of information to take in and lots of requirements to meet, and it can be very overwhelming. Why not arrange a consultation with Breytenbachs and allow us to ease the burden and help you with the application? We offer a professional, friendly and exemplary service that will put your mind at ease and ensure that the application process is smooth and efficient!
www.bic-immigration.com or [email protected]
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