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Ensuring safe and secure travel

Passports & immigration

Visas

Whatever your reason for travelling to the UK, it's important that you find out in advance whether you need a visa.

UK Border Agency International Group (new window) manages its visa service around the world in UK embassies, high commissions, consulates and visa application centres. The UK Border Agency (new window) oversees immigration issues and border control, while the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (new window) oversees embassies and consulates abroad.

Depending on your circumstances, their websites provide additional information that could be helpful for you.

Visas for coming to the UK

Whether you need a visa to enter the UK depends on your:

  • reason for visiting
  • country of nationality
  • current location

The UK has a points-based system for approving some categories of visa application. Entry Clearance officers will look at all of the information and documentation you provide, and determine whether you should have a visa.

You can check whether you need a visa by completing the interactive questionnaire: Do I need a visa? (new window)

How your application will be judged

Your visa application will be judged on criteria such as:

  • whether you can support yourself financially
  • your prospective employer
  • your home nation
  • your age
  • your area of work
  • your educational background
  • whether you intend to work here temporarily or permanently
  • whether you have a criminal record

Visa fees

Fees for processing your visa application range depend on the type of visa you need. Please see the current list of visa fees (new window).

How to apply for a UK visa

You can apply for a visa by visiting the UK Border Agency Visa Services website (new window).

(Links will open in a new window)

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