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UK Visa Application for South Africans

If you are a South African Citizen and would like to go to the United Kingdom then you will need a UK visa. Applying for a UK visa can be difficult, but our attorneys can help you with any visa application.

To find out more about the application process for a UK visa, speak to our team today on 0333 305 3612.

 

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UK Visa application

If you want to leave South Africa to live, work, study or even visit the UK then you will require a UK visa to do so. There are many types of UK visas available but the application process can be complex. You will have to meet many requirements and submit forms and evidence to the UK Home Office.

Our attorneys can assist you with any UK visa application.

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How do I submit my UK visa application from South Africa?

You can apply for most UK visas online via the Gov UK website and you can also have an attorney apply on your behalf. To start the visa application, you will need to fill in and submit the application form and pay the relevant fees. You also need to submit a portfolio of documents that will act as evidence to support your application.

The documents you will be required to submit will vary depending on which visa you’re applying for. But generally, South African citizens will need to send the following documents:

  • Proof of identification such as a passport or other valid form of ID which must have a minimum of one blank page
  • Two passport-sized photographs
  • Evidence that you can financially support yourself and any members of your family you may bring with you whilst in the UK
  • Proof you’ve paid the visa fees
  • A copy of your Tuberculosis test results

It’s important to note that if your documents are not written in English then you will need to get them translated before submitting them.

When can I apply for my visa?

When you can apply depends on the country you are currently in. Usually, you can apply for a visa up to 3 months before you intend to begin your stay in the UK. However, this can vary if you have already left South Africa and are in the UK.

If you’re applying to get your first visa to go to the UK from South Africa then you need to receive your visa before entering the UK. If you have already been living in the UK and are applying for another visa to remain here then you should apply before your current one expires.

The time it takes to receive a decision on your application can vary depending on the visa you’re applying for. According to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), the processing times for UK visas can range from 3 to 12 weeks.

The waiting time may increase if your application requires more information before a decision can be made, and you may need to submit more documents as evidence to support your application.

The UKVI also offer priority services that will get you a quick decision once your application had been made. You will have to pay extra fees for this.

Get in touch with our expert immigration attorneys to learn how to apply for a UK Visa. Contact us

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What happens during the application process?

The UK Visa application process can be lengthy. You should start by choosing the visa you need and double check that this is the right one for you. Then you will need to fill in and submit your application form, as well as paying the fees for your application.

If you’re statyng in the UK for more than 6 months you will also need to take and pass a Tuberculosis test.

After you’ve made the initial application you will need to book an appointment at a visa application centre in your country. There are five application centres in South Africa located in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Pretoria. Your nearest application centre could be in a different country, so if you can’t make it to any of these application centres then you can travel to a centre in another country if you need to.

At the application centre you will need to have your biometric information taken, this is your fingerprints and photograph. You should also bring any required documents to your appointment at the application centre as well as any documents you will use as evidence to support your application as you can submit all of these here.

Once you’ve done these things you will wait for the Home Office to get back to you with their decision about your application. If your application is successful, then you will receive a sticker, called a vignette, that goes in your passport. This sticker shows the following information:

  • They type of visa you’ve been granted
  • The validity period for the visa you have
  • The immigration conditions you’re required to meet

If you’re staying in the UK for more than 6 months the last thing you need to do in the application process is to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) you must collect this once you’ve arrived in the UK and it will act as evidence you’re here legally as well as your right to work, study or live here.

Your BRP must be collected within 10 days of arriving in the United Kingdom or before your vignette sticker expires, whichever comes later. You can choose where you will be collecting your BRP from when you submit the application.

How can IAS help?

Here at the Immigration Advice Service, our attorneys have helped thousands of people with successful visa applications. They strive to provide excellent immigration services and can assist you with applications for any of the UK visa and will help to make the complex process as easy as possible.

If you choose to hire one of our attorneys, you will be assigned a caseworker dedicated to helping you with your application. They can advise you on which UK visas are available to you and support you through each step of the application process. They offer an Application Package that is perfect for guiding you through the application process.

Just some of the ways our IAS attorneys will assist you with this package include:

  • Helping to fill in your application and submitting it to the Home Office on your behalf
  • Explaining all the requirements you need to meet how to meet them as well as helping you to gather all of the supporting documents you will need
  • Monitoring your applications progress and communicating with the Home Office on your behalf to receive updates about your application

Whilst based in the UK, our attorneys can still offer all of their services to you whilst you’re still in South Africa. You can arrange an appointment with one of our expert immigration attorneys to be conducted over the phone or via Skype call.

For more information on how we can help you with your application contact us on 0333 305 3612.

Visa extensions

If you wish to stay in the UK after your visa is set to expire then you will need to apply to extend it. You can usually extend the visa you have if you still meet the original eligibility requirements for the type of visa that you’re extending.

You need to apply for a visa extension before your current one runs out. If the visa you’re on expires after you’ve applied for an extension then you can stay in the UK until you receive your decision from the Home Office.

What happens if my application for a UK Visa is refused?

Unfortunately, applications can be refused by the Home Office and these refusals can often be due to errors in the application or a lack of evidence to support the application.

The Home Office will write to you about your UK visa application and if it has been refused then the letter you receive should also state whether you have a right to appeal the decision.

If you think that the Home Office has made the wrong decision and do wish to appeal, then you must launch your appeal quickly. The letter you receive should also give you details about how you can do this.

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you can try making a new visa application for a different type of visa.

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The Application Package

With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your legal advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

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Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

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By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If your visa has expired and you do not renew it you must return to South Africa. You have up to 30 days to do this voluntarily, you won’t be reminded when your it expires so you must check what date it expired on for yourself. If you do not return to South Africa within 30 days, then you will be breaching British immigration laws, which will harm any future UK immigration applications you may make.

If you’ve overstayed your visa, then you could be deported by the Home Office and banned from returning to the UK.

It’s important to note that even if you’ve overstayed, you still have the right to send your children to school, use any emergency services, and receive essential healthcare.

Unfortunately, applications can be refused by the Home Office and these refusals can often be due to errors in the application or a lack of evidence to support the application.

The Home Office will write to you about your UK visa application and if it has been refused then the letter you receive should also state whether you have a right to appeal the decision.

If you think that the Home Office has made the wrong decision and do wish to appeal, then you must launch your appeal quickly. The letter you receive should also give you details about how you can do this.

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you can try making a new visa application for a different type of visa.

For help with appeals, speak to one of our attorneys on 0333 305 9375.

Yes, if you are coming from South Africa to visit the UK then you will need a Visitor Visa.

The UK visitor visa will allow you to stay in the UK for up to 6 months. You can use this for visiting family and friends, business and leisure activities, and for other reasons such as receiving private medical care.

To be eligible you must prove that you intend to return to South Africa after 6 months and that you can support yourself financially whilst visiting the UK.

Although you can carry out business activities when you are visiting the UK on this visa, you are not allowed to do any paid or unpaid work.

To find out more about the Visitor Visa application process, speak to a member of our team today on 0333 305 9375.

The fees for a UK visa vary based on which one you choose and usually increase in the length of validity of the visa. Currently, the cost of a UK visa ranges from £95 to £822.

As well as the visa application fee, it is also important to consider other fees that you will need to pay, such as the cost of sitting an English language test.

If you are staying in the UK for more than 6 months, then you will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is currently set at £624, you might pay a reduced fee for the Health Surcharge if you are on a specific visa, such as the Student and Mobility Scheme Visas.

Once you’ve paid the Immigration Health Surcharge, you will have full access to the British healthcare service, the NHS.