United Kingdom Visa

In most cases, U.S. citizens do not need a United Kingdom visa for travel to the UK if they are staying for less than six months. However, if you are planning a trip to the United Kingdom, you will be required to show a valid passport upon arrival.

In addition, you may be asked by officials to present documents related to your trip when you arrive (e.g. hotel reservations, itinerary, evidence of sufficient funds for your stay in the UK, etc.). You should have these documents readily available.

If you are not eligible for visa free travel to the United Kingdom, you must secure the appropriate visa based on the purpose and length of your trip prior to arriving in the UK. Visas are not issued on arrival. Without the appropriate travel documents, you will not be allowed to enter the country.

Requirements

When you apply for a United Kingdom visa, you must complete several forms and submit a variety of supporting documents, so your application can be processed.

The exact information you will be required to provide varies based on the purpose of your trip and the type of visa for which you are applying. However, below is a list of items that are commonly required when applying for a visa for travel to the UK.

  • Valid U.S. passport. According to the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs website, unlike many countries, there are no minimum passport validity requirements for travel to the United Kingdom.
  • Passport photo
  • Proof of sufficient funds for your stay in the United Kingdom (e.g. bank statement, pay stubs, etc.)
  • Itinerary/hotel reservations
  • Completed application form. You must complete the form online. Handwritten application forms will not be accepted.
  • Proof of online payment. United Kingdom visa fees vary based on the type of visa for which you are applying and how long the visa is valid
  • Stamped biometric receipt
  • This list is not meant to be all-inclusive. You may be required to provide additional information based on the type of visa for which you are applying. For the most up to date visa requirements, visit the UK Border Agency website.

    Submitting Your Application

    To apply for a UK visa from the United States, you must first complete your application form and pay your visa fee online. Then, make an appointment at one of the UK Application Support Centers in the United States, where you will be required to submit your biometric information.

    After you have submitted your biometric information, send a printout of your signed application form and the required supporting documents (you must provide originals and copies of each) to the UK Border Agency in New York.

    You can submit your United Kingdom visa application up to three months before your trip. If you submit your application before that, it will be returned to you unprocessed.

    Visa Service

    Identifying the requirements based on the type of visa for which you are applying can often be the most difficult part of the application process, especially if you have never before applied for a visa.

    However, it is also the most important. Without the appropriate forms and supporting documentation, your application will not be processed. If you want help preparing your application, so you get it right the first time, a professional visa service like “company name” can provide the assistance you need to secure your United Kingdom visa.

    Visa companies are authorized by foreign embassies and consulates to submit applications on behalf of their clients. They are also experts in the application process.

    Most visa services have large databases of the most up to date visa requirements for nearly every country in the world, making it easy for you to identify the forms and supporting documents you need to submit so your application can be processed quickly.

    Furthermore, when you work with a visa company, representatives are available to answer all of your questions as you prepare your application.

    After you have completed your application, send all of the materials to the visa service. They will review your application to make sure it is complete and accurate and then submit it for you. When your United Kingdom visa is issued, it will be mailed to you, so you can be on your way as scheduled.