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Last update: November 2008

United Kingdom

Visa Information

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People from certain countries, known as visa nationals, need a visa to enter the UK for any reason.

Entry clearance is the formal term to describe the application process for visa nationals who wish to travel to the United Kingdom and for non-visa nationals who intend a longer stay or to settle in the UK. The entry clearance certificate, more commonly called a visa, is put into your passport or travel document.

An entry clearance (visa) officer at a British mission overseas will decide if you qualify for entry before you travel to the United Kingdom. Entry clearance officers work to strict rules and procedures - Diplomatic Service Procedures (DSPs) - which you can read more about on the UKvisas website:

You will need a visa if you:

  • are not a UK/EU national
  • are stateless (you do not have a nationality)
  • hold a non-national travel document (a travel document which does not give you the nationality of the country that issued it), or
  • hold a passport issued by an authority that is not recognised in the UK

Generally, you should apply for an entry clearance at the UK Mission in the country where you are normally and legally a resident. This is particularly important if you are applying to come to stay in the UK for a long time, or for settlement. If you are staying only temporarily in the country where you apply, the visa office may not accept your application, or there may be a long delay before a decision on your application is made.

UK visa requirements all applicants

Not all of the below are required. Please visit the UK Visas website for an up to date list of prescribed document requirements.

  • A fully completed application form
  • A valid passport (six months minimum validity, 45mm x 35mm)
  • A recent photograph (Very Recent and on White background)
  • A sponsorship form, or letter if you have relatives or friends in the UK
  • Work and Salary Certificates plus CNSS Slips / Leave Certificate / Business Registration Certificate / School Certificate, as appropriate
  • Bank statements (e.g. last three months)
  • Payslips (e.g. last three months)
  • Marriage certificate, family book
  • Visa fee

Biometric Information

In some countries currently - and in all countries by April 2008 - you will need to provide 'biometric' information as part of the visa application process. This biometric information consists of scans of all 10 of your fingers and a full-face digital photograph. You will have to go to the nearest VAC in person to provide this biometric information. In those countries where there is no VAC, you will need to go to the British mission. Your visa applications will not be processed until you have provided the necessary biometric information. The finger scans are electronic so staff do not need to use any ink, liquid or chemicals. You will have your digital photograph taken at the same time and the whole procedure should take no more than five minutes to complete. You should make sure that you do not have any decoration (such as henna), or any cuts or other markings on your fingertips before having your finger scans. You should also make sure that if you have any cuts and bruises on your face, they have healed or disappeared before you have your photograph taken. Digital photographs must be of your full face and you should not wear sunglasses, a hat or any other head covering (unless you wear it for cultural or religious reasons but the face must not be covered).



TB screening

Applicants for UK visas valid for longer than six months in certain countries now require a certificate to show that they are free from infectious pulmonary tuberculosis (TB).

In the past year and a half the Government has implemented a programme to screen people applying to enter the UK for more than six months for tuberculosis.  The initiative is part of the Government's Five Year Strategy for Asylum and Immigration.  Testing has begun in the following countries: Bangladesh, Ghana (which also takes applications from Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo and Niger), Kenya (which also take applications from residents of Eritrea and Somalia), Pakistan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Thailand (which also takes applications from Cambodia and Laos).



Tourist visa

  • Letter of invitation from the sponsor in the UK
  • Copy of sponsor's passport showing his status in the UK / hotel reservation
  • Sponsor's latest bank statements (3 months)

Click here to Download Visa application forms

Business visa

  • Work Certificate, if the applicant is the President Director General, to be signed by the company manager
  • Written letter of undertaking from the company
  • Letter from employer explaining reasons for the trip
  • Fax or letter from the company in the UK

Short-term visit (up to 6 months, single or multiple entry)


Academic visitor (up to 12 months)


Clinical attachments, dental observation and PLAB test


Long-term visit (up to 2 years)


Long-term visit (up to 5 years)


Long-term visit (up to 10 years)


Click here to Download Visa application forms

Student visa

  • School Certificate from Morocco or the country of residence
  • Certificate of enrolment from the school or college in the UK
  • Details of tuition fees and living expenses. Where fees have been paid, proof of payment
  • Proof of previous studies and evidence of qualifications plus a good knowledge of English
  • The fees for a student visa application is DH 630,00 regardless of course length

Click here to Download Visa application forms

Medical Treatment visa

  • Local doctor's medical report recommending treatment in the United Kingdom
  • Proof of doctor's appointment in the UK giving details of costs of treatment / per appointment
  • Proof of funds
  • Visa Application fee: Short term visit (up to 6 months): 78

Click here to Download Visa application forms

Transit Visa

Visa for country of destination / confirmation of travel arrangements.
Short term visit (up to 48 hours)-52

Visa fees:(To be paid in cash)

Price correct as of April 2008.

  • Single, double and multiple, valid up to 6 months - 65.00
  • Longer term multiple entry (1, 2, 5 and 10 years) - 205.00
  • Settlement - 515.00
  • Visit Overseas Territory (inc Gibraltar) - 44.00
  • Commonwealth Visas - 44.00
  • Direct Airside Transit (DAT) - 45.00


More advice and information

For more advice and information about visas contact:

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH

Important Notice

  • Please make sure you have exact money
  • Please bear in mind that the Visa Officer reserves the right to ask for any further documents that he/she may deem necessary after an interview
  • Please supply original and photocopies of all documents
  • Payment of the visa fee and production of the above documents does not guarantee the issue of a visa. The Entry Clearance Officer reserves the right to request further documentary evidence as necessary
  • All applications for entry clearance should be made in person from 8.00 to 10.30 a.m. from Monday to Friday. Please be aware that we are only able to accept a maximum of 50 applications from Monday to Thursday and a maximum of 40 applications on Fridays. We normally operate a 'same-day' service but during the busy summer months you may be asked to come back at a later date
  • Fees are not refunded if application is refused.


Living and Working in the UK

This guide, written by UK Trade and Investment gives practical information for inward investor. There are two main section:

  • Living in the UK:

Contains practical information on aspects of life in the UK, from education and healthcare to driving licence requirements and personal finance.

  • Working in the UK:

Provides guidance on many facets of doing business in the UK, from company formation to taxation and employee legislation.

Source: UK Trade and Investment


Last update: November 2008

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