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11 Reasons for UK visa refusal (and how to overcome them)
Updated: September 8, 2023
UK visa application is the most strict and highly scrutinized visa process. The UK Visas and Immigration receives thousands of visa applications every year that do not meet visa requirements.
Once you have a UK visa refusal, it remains permanently in the records of the UK Home Office. Each time you re-apply, your previous UK visa refusal comes up. It becomes an unavoidable hindrance to all of your future UK visa applications. Therefore, you must get approval in the first attempt at all costs.
According to national statistics published by the Home Office, the UK visitor visa refusal rate for 2019 was 13%. The countries with the highest refusal rates were Algeria, Ghana and Bangladesh with refusal rates over 40%.
This article walks you through the top UK visa refusal reasons. This list should also help if you are reapplying after your UK visa refusal.
The top reasons for UK visa rejection are as below –
- Long itinerary
- Unclear itinerary
- Lack of leave approval letter
- Lack of salary deposits in your bank account
- Large undocumented deposits in your bank account
- Exhausting all your savings or spending several times your monthly income
- Lack of travel history
- Lack of detailed cover letter
- Lack of proper documentation from the sponsor
- Not disclosing any previous visa refusals
- No change in circumstances since your previous visa refusal
Now, let’s take a deep look into each of these reasons and understand how to overcome these in your own UK visa application.
Go through and understand each of these reasons. Analyze your own visa application to figure what’s lacking and what needs to be done. It should help you build a strong case and get approval in your first attempt.
So, without further delay, let’s get started.
NOTE The visa refusal reasons in this article are actual reasons given by the UK visa officers in the visa refusal letters. After going through several visa refusal letters from my readers, I put this article together to help you all analyze your own applications and avoid future rejections.
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TOP 11 REASONS FOR UK VISA REFUSAL
01. Long itinerary
REASON “You have stated that you wish to visit the UK for 1 month”
Be realistic. The UK is small and you only need a few days to explore. A long itinerary looks suspicious. It looks as if you will be living or working in the UK rather than site seeing.
The UK is also expensive. You must have enough funds to justify your itinerary.
A 7-10 day itinerary works the best for the UK tourist visa . If you are only visiting London, probably less than 7 days is better.
Also Read: 11 mistakes that can get your visa denied. And how to avoid them.
02. Unclear itinerary
REASON “You did not indicate what you intend to do or where you intend to stay. The plans for this trip are unclear and lacking in detail.”
Specify a detailed itinerary in your cover letter. The itinerary should include the dates, cities and your day-to-day activities in each city.
If your itinerary is too long, attach an additional page to your cover letter.
03. Lack of leave approval letter
REASON “It is unclear if your employer has agreed for you to be away from work for the period of this trip, and therefore that you will return to this employment following this trip.”
Include a leave approval letter from your employer. A leave approval letter is the single most document that can strengthen your case. It indicates two things –
- You have strong ties with your country
- You have the obligation to return back to your country after your UK trip
Your leave approval letter should clearly mention that you have been granted leave to travel to the UK and you will return to your current job after your vacation.
This letter must be on the company letterhead with original HR or manager’s signature. You must have your HR or manager write this letter specifically for your UK travel.
If you cannot obtain a leave approval letter, have your employer at least mention your leave details in the employment letter.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE I had my employer include my leave approval details in the employment letter for my UK visa. I haven’t seen a single UK visitor visa refusal from those who submitted a leave/vacation approval letter. In my opinion, it really is a strong document.
Also Read: UK Visa Guide – All about UK visa requirements, application process, documentation, etc.
04. Lack of salary deposits in your bank account
REASON “Your stated monthly income is not reflected in the history of the account”
It is not uncommon to have a UK visa rejected due to bank statements. Apart from your employment documentation, you must be able to show your monthly salary in your bank statements for UK visa .
Make sure your employer deposit your salary directly into your bank account. Your regular salary deposits indicate two things –
- You are genuinely employed and have a steady source of income
- You have genuinely saved up to travel to the UK and not borrowing money from someone
Have your employer deposit your salary directly into your bank account. It’s fine if you have to withdraw cash for expenses, family, etc. But, it is important to have your salary deposited directly into your bank account.
If you receive a physical paycheck, deposit the check yourself in the bank regularly every month.
05. Large undocumented deposits in your bank account
REASON “Large credits have been made which are in excess of your stated monthly income”
REASON “I am not satisfied with the origin of these funds or that they are genuinely available to you”
REASON “The sources of these deposits are not demonstrated by the documents provided”
As I mentioned in the above reason, it’s not uncommon to have UK visa rejected due to bank statements.
Large deposits in your bank account indicate that you have borrowed money to inflate the numbers in your bank account. Visa officers will not be convinced that the funds in your account are your own and are available for you to use.
Make sure there are no large deposits in your bank account. If you already have large deposits in your account, provide proof of the source of those deposits. Example –
- If you have received money from selling a property, attach the sales deed to the bank statement
- If you have received money from rents, attach the rental agreements from your tenants
Also Read: How to travel 40 countries VISA-FREE with UK visa in 2023
06. Exhausting all your savings or spending several times your monthly income
REASON “I don’t find it credible that you would exhaust nearly all the funds available to you”
REASON “This amount represents over half your declared savings or over x months of your monthly expenditure”
If the total expenditure of your UK trip is more than half of your savings or several times your monthly salary, your visa will be refused. It’s not realistic to exhaust all your savings on one trip to the UK. You would need to preserve at least half of your savings for emergencies.
If your savings are low, your UK visa may be rejected due to insufficient funds. Taking chances and applying for your UK visa will lead to refusal and also affect all your future visa results. So, take a few months to build your savings first.
It is not wise to spend more than 2 times your monthly income on your UK trip. If your monthly salary is low, wait until your monthly salary improves. Ask for a raise or take up a second job. But taking chances will only lead to refusal.
If you have received a gift or bonus from your employer or your sponsor is taking care of your expenses, you are still REQUIRED to show a saving that is more than twice your UK trip expenditure. This is to make sure you can support yourself during your trip in case your sponsor or employer decides not to support you.
07. Lack of travel history
REASON “I am not satisfied that you are a genuinely seeking entry as a visitor and that you intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit”
REASON “I note that you have never traveled to the UK or anywhere else before”
Travel history indicates that you do not have illegal immigration intent. If you were to stay illegally anywhere, you could have done it so already in any of those countries you have been to so far.
If you do not have travel history, build your travel history first.
Travel to some visa-required countries. The more countries you travel to, the better it is for your UK visa.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE I have traveled to over 30 countries so far. I have been to some countries multiple times. I have plenty of visas and stamps in my passport. My travel history helps in my visa approvals.
08. Lack of detailed cover letter
REASON “I am not satisfied that you have sufficient ties and would, in fact, leave the UK on completion of your proposed visit”
UK visa application forms may not ask for all the details that you want to convey. Therefore, a cover letter is a way for you to convey that additional information and convince the visa officer that you are genuinely seeking entry as a visitor.
Write a detailed cover letter mentioning your proposed itinerary, your financial situation, your travel history, your intention to return, etc.
Your cover letter should not exceed one page. Use bullets instead of paragraphs. The simpler, cleaner the better.
Keep in mind that the UK visa officers may not be familiar with terminology from your country. Do not use words, designations, addresses, etc. that are not familiar to them.
Visa officers may have lots of work on their plates. So, your cover letter should convey what you want to convey clearly and quickly.
09. Lack of proper documentation from your sponsor
REASON “I am not satisfied that your sponsor will be able to provide maintenance and accommodation during your sponsor trip”
If you are using a sponsor for your UK visa, you must have the following documentation from your sponsor. If you don’t have all of this documentation from your sponsor, you will be risking your visa.
- A letter from your sponsor undertaking that he/she would arrange your accommodation, transportation and other expenses while you are in the UK
- Your sponsor’s bank statements for the last 3 months (must indicate employer pay deposits and have no large undocumented deposits)
- Your sponsor’s British passport’s main page
- Your sponsor’s British postal poll card
- Your sponsor’s utility bill
Just having an invitation letter is not sufficient. An invitation letter is not legally enforceable and such letters will not help unless you provide additional documentation from your sponsor such as those mentioned above.
10. Not disclosing any previous visa refusals
REASON “I am aware that you have been refused a US visa and you do not declare this on your visa application form”
UK Home Office may have information sharing with other countries. You must enter only true information and must disclose any previous visa refusals from any country, not just the UK.
Pretty much all the information you provide is verifiable these days. Therefore, not disclosing your previous visa rejections can lead to your UK tourist visa refusal.
Also Read: How to turn your weak passport into a strong passport (with examples)
11. No change in circumstances since your previous visa refusal
REASON “I note that your were previously refused entry clearance”
REASON “You are likely to be refused unless the circumstances of your application change”
If your circumstances haven’t changed since your previous UK visa refusal, your visa may be refused again. Multiple visa refusals can lead to blacklisting and permanent ban. It’s wise to not apply at all than dealing with a visa refusal again.
Reapply for your UK visa only if there is a considerable change in your circumstances.
The UK visitor visa refusal rate is very high these days. The UK Home Office has been refusing visas more frequently than ever before.
It’s your responsibility to make sure that you are eligible and meet the visa requirements. A UK visa refusal can be an unavoidable hindrance down the line.
The above 11 UK visitor visa refusal reasons should help you analyze youn visa application and overcome any hindrances that can lead to your visa refusal.
Have you had a UK visa refusal? If you did, what was the reason and how did you overcome in your re-application?
IMPORTANT This article is meant for UK visa applicants with “tourism” intent. My knowledge and experience are only in tourist visas. I will only respond to comments from those seeking advice on UK visas with “tourism” intent. I will not respond to comments from those seeking advice for purposes such as study, work, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, immigration, etc. I don’t have expertise in those matters. You would need to seek advice from immigration lawyers.
WRITTEN BY THIRUMAL MOTATI
Thirumal Motati is an expert in tourist visa matters. He has been traveling the world on tourist visas for more than a decade. With his expertise, he has obtained several tourist visas, including the most strenuous ones such as the US, UK, Canada, and Schengen, some of which were granted multiple times. He has also set foot inside US consulates on numerous occasions. Mr. Motati has uncovered the secrets to successful visa applications. His guidance has enabled countless individuals to obtain their visas and fulfill their travel dreams. His statements have been mentioned in publications like Yahoo, BBC, The Hindu, and Travel Zoo.
PLAN YOUR TRAVEL WITH VISA TRAVELER
I highly recommend using these websites to plan your trip. I use these websites myself to apply for my visas, book my flights and hotels and purchase my insurance.
01. Apply for your visa
You can get a verifiable flight itinerary for your visa application from Visa Reservation . Flight itineraries from Visa Reservation are valid for 2 weeks and work for all visa applications.
02. Book your fight
You can find the cheapest flight tickets using Skyscanner . Skyscanner includes all budget airlines and you are guaranteed to find the cheapest flight to your destination.
03. Book your hotel
You can book your hotel from Booking.com . Booking.com has pretty much every hotel, hostel and guesthouse from every destination.
04. Get your onward ticket
If traveling on a one-way ticket, use BestOnwardTicket to get proof of onward ticket for just $12, valid for 48 hours.
05. Purchase your insurance
You can purchase travel medical insurance for your trip from HeyMondo (for short trips + 5% discount for visa traveler readers), SafetyWing (for longer trips) or VisitorsCoverage (for US trips).
06. Get your travel SIM card
You can get an eSIM card instantly from Airalo . These eSIMs from Airalo are cheap and easy to set up. You can get connected and ready to go as soon as you land in your new destination.
07. Get your zero-fee ATM card
You can manage money internationally in over 70 currencies using Wise . With a Wise card, you can store and withdraw cash in 40 currencies with zero ATM fees.
Need more? Check out my travel resources page for the best websites to plan your trip.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER We are not affiliated with immigration, embassies or governments of any country. The content in this article is for educational and general informational purposes only, and shall not be understood or construed as, visa, immigration or legal advice. Your use of information provided in this article is solely at your own risk and you expressly agree not to rely upon any information contained in this article as a substitute for professional visa or immigration advice. Under no circumstance shall be held liable or responsible for any errors or omissions in this article or for any damage you may suffer in respect to any actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the information in this article. Please refer to our full disclaimer for further information.
AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please refer to our full disclosure for further information.
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Secure your Dream Trip through UK Visitor Visa from India
Travel across England, Scotland, and Wales to avail various tourism options or business opportunities
Contact us now to receive a UK Tourist visa within 3 weeks
Uk visit visa consultants india.
Is the United Kingdom your dream destination country for a memorable trip? Non-British citizens, including Indian nationals, need a valid visa to enter the English country. You can explore England, Wales, and Scotland by availing UK Visit Visa .
However, UK visa requirements can be complicated and time-consuming. To ensure a simple and flawless application process, you can hire the services of an experienced visa agent.
DM Consultants India is the most reliable, result-oriented, and affordable option. With nearly a decade of expertise in the industry, we have the expertise to get an easy visa approval for you. Our consultants will simplify your UK visitor visa from India application process.
If you are eligible for a travel visa, the application details are accurate; you have the supporting documents. Your visa can be processed within three weeks if the UK embassy completes your background check usually. Contact our qualified team of professionals today to know the application process and eligibility criteria.
Overview of UK Tourist Visa from India
Great Britain is amongst the most sought global travel destinations due to its historical significance. Its proximity to European countries opens seamless tourism opportunities for travelers from a foreign countries if they combine their UK and Schengen Zone travel. The United Kingdom has a stable economy with boundless tourist attractions. It is home to gigantic castles, historical buildings, and ancient museums across England, Wales, and Scotland. You can roam across major cities like London, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Cardiff. The Indian residents on UK tourist visa from India can explore the UK’s rich cultural heritage and high-tech technology. Travelers get enchanted with beautiful sceneries in Britain, the Highlands of Scotland, the rolling green hills and sheep farms of Wales, bordered by amazing landscapes.
Food and sports lovers can have a ball in England. The traditional and continental restaurants allure your taste buds while sports fans can witness the ultimate action in Football, golf, motor racing, cricket, and tennis at historical venues.
Key Features of UK Visit Visa
You must plan and apply for a visitor visa well in advance. The travel purposes can be:
- Tourism purposes (holiday or vacation)
- To see your family or friends
- Volunteers for up to 30 days for a registered charity
- Pass through the UK to another country
- Business activities
- To take part in a school exchange program
- Take up a recreational course (e.g., dance course) for 30 days
- Short study course
- Visit as an academic, senior doctor, or dentist
- Medical reasons
Categories of UK Tourist Visa
Visitors can pick a visa category for UK Tourist Visa depending on their visa choice. You can choose the suitable type of visa to explore the country depending on your country of birth, the purpose of travel, and short-term or long-term visit visa.
Standard visitor visa
You can visit the UK as a Standard Visitor for tourism, personal visit, business, study, medical treatment, etc. You can typically stay in the UK for up to 6 months. For example, you can apply for a long-term visitor visa in certain circumstances to get medical treatment.
Common Travel Area
Indian nationals traveling to the United Kingdom will require a valid visa unless they hold an Irish visa endorsed by the British Irish Visa Scheme. It allows specific people to travel to and fro the Common Travel Area (Ireland and the UK excluding the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) on a short stay visa for single entry.
A visa is required to pass through the UK territory in transit to another international destination. Applicants can opt for a Direct Airside Transit visa if they exchange flights in the UK. You do not require a transit visa if you: have a European Union Settlement Scheme family permit.
Permitted paid engagement visa
A Permitted Paid Engagement visa is granted by the UK government that authorises foreigners to enter the country for a brief commitment to perform paid work or activities relevant to their profession or expertise. This visa is usually issued for up to one month.
Marriage visitor visa
You can avail of this visa if you wish to get married, register a civil partnership in the UK, or present notice of a civil partnership or marriage in the UK. You have to satisfy all the eligibility requirements. You can get successful approval only if you do not plan an extended stay in the UK after your wedding or civil partnership.
Tier 4 Child Visa
As an Indian, you can apply for a Child Student visa if you are aged between 4-17 and want to study at an independent school in the UK. You need a course offer, enough money to bear course expenses, and the blessing of your parent or guardian for studies in the UK.
Eligibility Criteria for UK Tourist Visa for Indians
Indian residents can use the Standard Visitor visa to enter the country for tourism, business, short-term training course, and family meets. England’s Home Department has set the following eligibility criteria for London tourist visa for Indians:
- A valid passport and travel document with a positive history
- A solid connection to the country of birth to return home before visa expiry
- Detailed travel itinerary
- Enough financials to bear self-travel expenses and family members.
- Free from crime and tuberculosis disease
- Required details of the company and partner’s documents for business travel
Documents required for UK Visit Visa
Before starting the preparations for travel to Great Britain, an Indian citizen must gather the following copies of documents for a hassle-free and stress-free trip:
- Passport details
- Travel history details
- Identity proof
- Personal Details
- Visa fees receipt
- Visa online application
- Employment details, organisation details, and confirmation letter
- Cover letter mentioning travel itinerary and travel purpose to the UK
- Financial information like a bank statement proving sufficient funding.
- Proof of return
- biometric details
- Marriage certificate, if accompanied by a spouse
- Birth certificate of children
- NOC from the employer if working or institution if studying
- Company’s trade license and other identity documents of partners in case of a business visit
- Letter of Invitation from an individual or organisation (if needed)
Application Process for UK Visitor Visa from India
To begin the application process for UK Visitor Visa , a candidate needs to follow the following steps:
- Fill out the visa application form online with accurate details. You can also apply at a nearby UK embassy, consulate, or authorised visa application center like VFS Global.
- Pay the processing fees.
- Make a visa appointment.
- Attend a visa interview and provide biometric data
After processing visa to tourists travelling, a decision will be made by the concerned authorities. On successful approval, you will receive the visa through email.
What Makes DM Immigration the Best UK Visa Agent in India?
We are an experienced visa agent with comprehensive knowledge of UK visa applications and foreign policies. Our legit agents focus on delivering professional solutions to applications for visas, be it business visa or short-term or long-term UK visitor visa.
Our goal at DM Consultants is to offer hassle-free travel visa and immigration services. We can help you in term visa applications by taking care of the legalities and challenging situations. We also help you in getting documentary proof and extra documents if required. Contact us for the result-oriented process to visit the UK with a valid travel document.
UK Visit Visa Roadmap
If you want to visit the United Kingdom for a short leisure or business trip. Register through our website and give wings to your dream.
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The signup process is convenient and smooth. Use our website payment gateway to begin your application process fast.
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We will update you regularly and make sure you get your visa on time. We offer complementary services after visa approval until you reach Great Britain.
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The Economic Times daily newspaper is available online now.
United kingdom is back to processing visa applications within 15 days.
"Good news for those travelling from India to UK- visit visas now within standard time of 15 working days (with a small number of trickier cases taking longer)," Ellis said in a tweet. Extra slots for student visas have also been opened, to keep up with the January, 2023 intake, Ellis added, "Please apply as quickly as you can because there is a lot of demand."
You can switch to this UK work visa even before you graduate from university
Are UK universities luring Indian students with 'bring your family' offers?
Rishi Sunak may only allow foreign students with offers in top schools to enter the UK
Good news for those travelling from 🇮🇳 to 🇬🇧 - visit visas now within standard time of 15 working days (with a smal… https://t.co/1St88gw0EK — Alex Ellis (@AlexWEllis) 1671174111000
Wednesday, 15 Nov, 2023
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UK And Ireland Visa in 2023: British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS) For Indians (England Visa)
A step by step guide on how I obtained an Uk and Ireland Visa under the British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS) for Indians. Read on to find out more.
Written by: Soumya Nambiar
Last Updated on: August 1, 2023
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links we may make a commission from.
I just got back this weekend from a 3 week trip to Uk and Ireland. I went to attend the TBEX conference at Killarney, Ireland . It was such a hectic and wonderful trip and I have loads of stories to write about. But I got lots of queries from my readers asking me about how to apply for BIVS visa from India. Did I require two separate visas to visit these countries? So to answer all your queries, let me begin by explaining the ‘ UK And Ireland Visa: British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS) For Indians ‘. (Update: I went to the UK twice post that in 2018 and 2019 and hence I have added the updated information for this post. I am also planning for end of the year in 2023 and I have reapplied.)
Planning your London Itinerary at the last minute?
I know everyone is busy and don’t have time to plan their itinerary to London. That is why I have covered you with links to some places to stay in London, must do experiences and more details at one glance.
Where to stay in London?
Please check the room size while booking rooms in London. They tend to be really small in comparison to other cities.
- Vintry & Mercer – Affordable luxury hotel in the center of London
- Roseate House London – A great hotel in my favorite part of London – Hyde Park
- St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel, London – My dad’s favorite place to stay in London
Must do tours in London
- Harry Potter Studio Tour in London
- Windsor Castle, Stonehedge and Bath Full day tour
- Cotswolds Day trip from London
Table Of Contents
- 1 What is British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS) for Indians?
- 2.1 Register an account at the Gov UK website.
- 2.2 Create an Application for a Visa for UK and Ireland
- 2.3 Filling your application for your visa for Ireland and UK
- 2.4 Book An Appointment for UK Visa
- 2.5 Pay your UK visa fees online:
- 3 What are the documents required for a UK/Ireland Visa under the BIVS system?
- 4 Submitting your documents and biometrics for the BIVS scheme
- 5 Waiting Time for processing of your UK/Ireland Visa
- 6 Applying for a UK Visa for the second time
- 7 Optional Services for UK visa at VFS:
- 8.1 What is the correct website for applying a UK tourist visa for Indians?
- 8.2 How do I apply for an Ireland Visa for Indians under BIVS?
- 8.3 Should I apply for a British visa or an Irish visa if I am planning to go to both countries?
- 8.4 What is the common travel area when it comes to BIVS Visa?
- 8.5 I have a multiple entry visa from the UK. On subsequent visits, can I go to Ireland first?
- 8.6 What is the visa application fees for the UK or Ireland visa?
- 8.7 Is the visa application fees refundable after online payment?
- 8.8 Is the visa application fees refundable after online payment?
- 8.9 I am an Indian living in the UK with a work permit. Do I need a visa to go to Ireland?
- 8.10 Can I travel to other Schengen countries with my UK/Ireland visa?
- 8.11 Can I travel to Ireland with UK visa?/ Can UK visa be used to enter Ireland? / Is a UK visa valid for Ireland?
- 8.12 Can I travel to Paris with my UK/Ireland visa?
- 8.13 Can I travel to Dublin if I have a UK visa?
- 8.14 I flew to the UK. But I need to fly out of Ireland. Is this allowed?
- 8.15 Do I need another visa to go to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?
- 8.16 I have a BIVS Visa from the UK embassy. Can I fly to Edinburgh first?
- 8.17 Who handles the UK visa processing in India?
- 8.18 I applied for the visa more than a month ago. I have still not received my visa.
- 8.19 What is the earliest date by which I can apply for a BIVS visa?
- 8.20 How long can I stay in the UK or Ireland on my BIVS visa?
- 8.21 How long can I stay in the UK or Ireland on my BIVS visa?
- 8.22 What documents are required for processing?
- 8.23 Who are eligible for BIVS visa?
- 8.24 I do not have a BIVS endorsement on my stamp. Am I eligible for this scheme?
- 8.25 What does a stamp of United Kingdom (BIVS) mean?/ What is the meaning of the UK Visa (BIVS)?
- 8.26 Can I visit Scotland with a BIVS (British Ireland Visa scheme)?
- 8.27 Can I visit other countries with a UK visa?
- 8.28 Why would a UK visa be denied?
- 8.29 Can I apply for a new visa if my visa is rejected?
- 8.30.1 Does this website help in procuring a United Kingdom BIVS or a BIVS visa Ireland for us?
- 9 Conclusion
What is British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS) for Indians?
You must be wondering what is the meaning of BIVS? This is a visa scheme that was introduced a few years ago and is applicable to both Indians and Chinese nationals. Under this BIVS (BIVS Full form is British Irish Visa Scheme ) visa system, you can enter both UK and Ireland on a single visa and is mostly applicable in the case of short-stay visas(less than 6 months).
The only condition is that you need to first travel to the country that issued the visa. Since I was flying to London from India, I had to apply to the UK application centre in India. Indian or Chinese passport holders with valid UK Visa holders can enter Ireland using BIVS UK visa.
BIVS Visa Application Process for UK BIVS Visa and Ireland Visa
Once it was determined that I had to apply for UK visa BIVS, the application is same as in the case of only the UK visa.
Register an account at the Gov UK website.
Fill in the initial few details and register yourself. You will receive further instructions on the email address you provided. Once you confirm your email address, you can log in to the website.
Update as of December 2019 : The website has changed and hence the screenshots are a bit different. But the basic process still remains the same.
Create an Application for a Visa for UK and Ireland
Fill in few more details and create an application. Once you create an application, click on ‘Go to Application’ to fill in other details. (I just noticed that this website has got a brand new look.)
Filling your application for your visa for Ireland and UK
There are multiple subsections while filling the application. You also have an option to save and continue at a later point in time. I don’t think we can finish the application in one sitting and this is a helpful option to have.
Enter all details truthfully. In my case, I only knew that I was going to go on a road trip around Scotland and Ireland. But I hadn’t booked my accommodation yet and I mentioned this in my application. Please note that I am a frequent traveler and hence they might not have scrutinized my application as much as they do for others. Once all details are filled, sign the declaration form.
Book An Appointment for UK Visa
Ideally, you can apply for an appointment at the nearest consulate a few days in advance. Since I was travelling during that time, I opted for an appointment a few weeks ahead. I prefer the morning/ first slots for all my visa appointments since I can finish everything and still get to the office on time. Also, the morning appointments mean less waiting. As the day progresses, the queues just get longer and longer.
Pay your UK visa fees online:
You have to pay this online once you have booked an appointment. It is approximately Rs 9200 for a short-term visit visa and you can use your preferred mode of payment.
What are the documents required for a UK/Ireland Visa under the BIVS system?
Once your appointment is fixed and your BIVS visa fees paid, then it is time to get all the documents ready for submission.
Update as of December 2019
You don’t have to submit physical copies of any of the documents anymore. You have an option to upload all the documents at the end of the application. I realised at the last minute and I didn’t have some of the documents scanned. Hence I availed the services of VFS. They scanned my documents when I went for the biometrics. Please note that they charge around Rs 750 for scanning the documents.
You can find the list of documents that need to be submitted here . These are the documents I submitted:
As mentioned before, I was going to attend Tbex in Ireland. Since this was arranged by Failte Ireland, I asked them for a visa letter and on my request, they send one to me. I gave an invitation letter from my friend when I applied in 2018 and 2019.
Bank statements for the past 6 months. In addition, I had submitted my copy of all my fixed deposits as well. I know many of you have a question on how much bank balance should be there in one’s account. I advise a minimum of Rs 1 lakh and more in case you do not have sufficient travel history.
- Form 16’s for the past three years.
You should show ample proof that you intend to return. In case you are a registered owner of any property, it is wise to include proof of ownership.
- Salary Slips for past three months in case of a salaried employee.
Yes, I work for my family’s venture. But I still included this.
This is not mandatory but my tickets were already booked. They were refundable to an extent. I did not include any documents for travel within the UK or Ireland. (Check out section 4 in the list here .)
This is not mandatory as well in the case of a UK visa. I was staying with a friend in London and most of my bookings were confirmed only once I got the visa. But I did have one confirmed hotel booking in Ireland and that was included in the docket as well.
I never travel anywhere without insurance and this was included in the file as well.
This is also not mandatory again in the case of UK visa. There is one issue with the BIVS system though. There is no place in the entire UK visa application form to select the BIVS option. Yes, you can put it in the ‘Additional details’ text box. But there is still no option to select it as a radio button or something. So someone had suggested in a forum to include a cover letter where you can mention that you are planning to visit Ireland as well and you need a UK/Ireland visa under the BIVS system. The lady who collected my documents at the VFS centre also said the same thing.
You will have to sign and give a copy of this at the VFS centre.
- Two copies of your online application form.
Your passport should have at least 6 months of validity after your date of travel. I had taken my old passports as well but they did not accept it at the VFS center.
Submitting your documents and biometrics for the BIVS scheme
Some of the things to keep in mind are:
- On the day of the appointment, ensure that you reach the VFS center at least 15 minutes in advance. There is no point going any earlier since they do not allow you inside the building before your appointment time.
- Mobile phones are allowed. But laptops are not allowed. They do have a storage center to keep your laptops.
- Bangalore has a new VFS address and it is in Langford town. Parking is available on the road if you have an early morning appointment. Else it will be difficult to find parking.
- Once you enter the center, you will have to sign the application form and the document checklist and submit your passport and other documents. There are two security points before this.
- Then you need to enter another room and the VFS officer will verify if you have submitted all your documents. If you opt for courier service for delivery of your passport, this is where you pay Rs350 for the service. They accept only cash and I had forgotten to withdraw cash. Thankfully, there is an ATM on the floor.
- Then proceed to get your photograph taken and your fingerprints scanned with the sealed bag they give you. After this is done, you are done.
- The whole process took less than 30 minutes for me.
Waiting Time for processing of your UK/Ireland Visa
Unless you have gone for a fast track visa, it will take 15 working days. It took me exactly 19 days from the date of submission to the day I received my visa which was approximately 13 working days. This was the same case for all the other Indians who applied too and were at the conference.
Only in the case of one of us, the Irish embassy had intervened and he got his visa in 5 days (He had applied for an Irish visa). So it is suggested that you apply for a visa at least 1.5-2 months in prior. My visa came almost at the last minute and it was nerve-wracking to wait for a visa for that long. This is the longest I have ever waited for a visa.
Applying for a UK Visa for the second time
So I went to the UK again in November 2018 and November 2019. My previous visa was only valid for 6 months and that expired in March 2018. So I had to reapply. And I had the same queries as everyone else. How is the process different when I am applying for the second time? What are the documents that need to be submitted?
Actually, the process remains exactly the same. You have to submit the same set of documents. You will have to go and submit your biometrics again even if they already have the details. The only difference is that the processing time is much faster.
I submitted my documents on Thursday at the Bangalore VFS center, they reached the Chennai Consulate on Monday, my passport was dispatched back on Tuesday and I received my passports with the new visa by Wednesday evening. I didn’t even apply for a priority visa and I got it in under 5 working days. It was stamped with a BIVS stamp this time too.
Optional Services for UK visa at VFS:
Nowadays VFS is providing many additional services. You can check some of the services they provide below:
Read this post
US B1/B2 Visa Renewal
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) for Ireland and UK Visa for Indians (BIVS)
I keep getting frequent queries on various aspects of a BIVS visa UK. This is my attempt at answering them.
What is the correct website for applying a UK tourist visa for Indians?
As mentioned before, Visa Immigration is the correct website for applying a UK visa. Any other website will usually charge you extra for obtaining a Bivs Visa for Indians.
How do I apply for an Ireland Visa for Indians under BIVS?
The procedure is similar and you can find the Irish visa application form here .
Should I apply for a British visa or an Irish visa if I am planning to go to both countries?
You should apply to the country through which you intend to enter the common travel area. For e.g, if you are flying to London, you need to apply for a British visa and if you are flying to Dublin , you need to apply for an Irish visa.
What is the common travel area when it comes to BIVS Visa?
UK and Ireland are part of the common travel area. With the BIVS visa, visitors can now move freely between these two countries on one visa. Isle of Man and Channel Islands are not included in this scheme.
I have a multiple entry visa from the UK. On subsequent visits, can I go to Ireland first?
No, you cannot. You have to first fly to the UK and then fly to Ireland even if it is a subsequent visit. This is applicable vice versa too. You should always fly first to the country issuing the visa.
What is the visa application fees for the UK or Ireland visa?
It is approximately Rs 10250 (Update May 2023) and you need to pay it online while scheduling your appointment.
Is the visa application fees refundable after online payment?
In the case of a rejection or if you cancel your plan to travel to UK or Ireland, it is non-refundable. Once the online payment has been done, it is non-refundable.
I am an Indian living in the UK with a work permit. Do I need a visa to go to Ireland?
Unfortunately, yes. You need a separate visa to travel to Ireland if you are in the above category. The same case is valid for Indians living in other EU countries. You can only travel to Northern Ireland without the visa.
Can I travel to other Schengen countries with my UK/Ireland visa?
No, you cannot. Since both the UK and Ireland are not part of the Schengen area, you need a separate visa to travel to the Schengen countries.
Can I travel to Ireland with UK visa?/ Can UK visa be used to enter Ireland? / Is a UK visa valid for Ireland?
If your passport has a BIVS endorsement, you can travel to Ireland with your UK visa. Provided that you enter Ireland after entering the UK first.
Can I travel to Paris with my UK/Ireland visa?
Again, I repeat. No, you cannot. Paris is part of France which is part of the Schengen and you need a Schengen visa to enter the Schengen area.
Can I travel to Dublin if I have a UK visa?
If you have a BIVS stamp on UK visa, then you can travel to Dublin with your UK visa.
I flew to the UK. But I need to fly out of Ireland. Is this allowed?
Yes, this is allowed. You can fly out of the UK in the other case as well.
Do I need another visa to go to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?
All four countries (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) under the United Kingdom can be visited using this visa
I have a BIVS Visa from the UK embassy. Can I fly to Edinburgh first?
Yes, you can. Edinburgh is part of Scotland which is a part of the UK.
Who handles the UK visa processing in India?
VFS handles the collection of documents and biometrics for both UK and Ireland visa in India. Please note that they do not have the authority to grant you a visa. The documents once collected are sent to the respective embassy in India.
I applied for the visa more than a month ago. I have still not received my visa.
During peak season, it may take longer for the embassy to process your visa. Hence apply for a visa well in advance keeping this in mind. It is better to contact VFS or the embassy directly to know the status of your visa.
What is the earliest date by which I can apply for a BIVS visa?
You can apply at least 3 months before your intended date of travel.
How long can I stay in the UK or Ireland on my BIVS visa?
You can stay upto 90 days in Ireland with your short term BIVS visa. You can stay upto 180 days in the UK with the same visa.
What documents are required for processing?
This has been explained in detail above. In case of any further queries, please do contact me .
Who are eligible for BIVS visa?
All Indian and Chinese nationals are eligible for the BIVS visa in the case of short stay visas.
I do not have a BIVS endorsement on my stamp. Am I eligible for this scheme?
This needs to be answered by the relevant embassy or VFS. Please contact them directly.
What does a stamp of United Kingdom (BIVS) mean?/ What is the meaning of the UK Visa (BIVS)?
If you have a United Kingdom (BIVS) stamp on your passport, then it means that you can travel to both UK and Ireland with a single visa. BIVS stands for the British Irish Visa Scheme and is applicable for Indians and few more nationalities.
Can I visit Scotland with a BIVS (British Ireland Visa scheme)?
Yes, Scotland is part of the UK and hence can be visited using a BIVS visa. Cities like Glasgow, Edinburg are part of Scotland and you don’t need a separate visa if you have a BIVS stamp.
Can I visit other countries with a UK visa?
As an Indian, you can visit approximately 29 countries in addition to the UK. Most of these countries are in Eastern Europe and the Caribbean. We used this visa for Tharun when he was traveling to Mexico for the first time.
Why would a UK visa be denied?
Your visa could get rejected for the below reasons. So ensure that you have a fool proof application pack when you apply:
-> Your documentation is inadequate. -> You have not filled the application form correctly. -> You falsified some of the documentation or lied on your application. -> Never do this. Always be honest while applying for a UK visa. They usually find out in such cases. -> You do not have sufficient travel history. -> You do not show clear intent of coming back to India or you are listed as a potential immigrant. -> Financial requirements are not met. You should have at least Rs 1 lakh in your bank account when you are applying for the British visa. -> You have a criminal record. -> You violated the terms of your visa during a previous visit.
Can I apply for a new visa if my visa is rejected?
Yes, you can apply with the updated details for a fresh visa.
How long do I have to wait after a UK visitor visa rejection?
You can apply immediately. There is no wait time for applying for a fresh visa in the case of a rejection.
Does this website help in procuring a United Kingdom BIVS or a BIVS visa Ireland for us?
This website is a purely informational website based on personal experiences and only gives you pointers on how to apply for the UK and Ireland visa by yourself. We do not help in procuring visas for you. We are always ready to answer your queries but please understand that some questions can only be answered by the visa authorities themselves.
Read More – How To Get a Schengen Visa for Indians
My passport arrived with a multiple entry UK/Ireland BIVS stamp and is valid for the next 6 months from the date of issue. I hope I have answered all your queries on how to apply for BIVS visa. I was able to freely travel between the UK and Ireland with this BIVS visa.
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Find my recommendations for guide books on Great Britain.
Guidebooks for UK
Traveling to UK and need more guidance on which books to read? These are our recommendations for you to read before you go.
- Fodor’s Guide to UK
- Lonely Planet’s Guide to UK
- DK Eyewitness Guide to UK
Recommended: Australia Visa for Indians
Looking to book your trip now? Find some of my favorite resources I use while booking my trip. You can also find my travel gear here .
Book Your Flight
I am a Skyscanner fan when it comes to booking international flights. I use Makemytrip and Yatra for domestic flights.
Booking is my go to resource for booking hotel accommodation and I use Airbnb for booking my homestays. I also compare prices on Tripadvisor always. Another one I always use is Expedia .
As an Indian, I prefer ICICILombard and I am always insured when I am traveling outside India. In addition, I have used World Nomads and SafetyWing for some of my trips.
I do go on a lot of day tours especially when I am traveling solo. Depending on convenience, my choices are Viator or Getyourguide .
About Soumya Nambiar
Soumya Nambiar here, affectionately known by many nicknames. Avid Traveler, Blogger, Vegetarian Foodie, Entrepreneur from Bangalore, India who grew up in Tanzania, Africa.
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Visa to pass through the UK in transit
If you're going through border control (visitor in transit visa).
You might need a Visitor in Transit visa if you’re:
changing flights in the UK on your way to another country
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You need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you’re staying in the UK for more than 48 hours.
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Check how to apply .
How much it costs
A Visitor in Transit visa costs £64. This may change slightly depending on which country you’re in.
Travel to the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland
You might need to apply for a visitor visa to travel through the UK to get to the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland.
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You do not need a UK visitor visa if:
you have a valid visa for the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
you have a valid Irish biometric visa (marked ‘BC’ or ‘BC BIVS’ in the ‘Remarks’ section)
If you need to pass through the UK regularly
You can also apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa if you need to pass through the UK in transit regularly over a longer period. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit and your visa can last for 2, 5 or 10 years.
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