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UK Entry Clearance Guide

Entry clearance is the technical description for obtaining a UK visa.

This guide is divided into the sub categories:

  1. UK Entry clearance for visitors

  2. UK Entry clearance for Tier 2 Visa Applicants

  3. UK Entry clearance for the dependants of Tier 2 Visa Applicants

  4. UK Entry clearance for Tier 1 Investors, Tier 1 Entrepreneurs, and their dependants

  5. UK Entry clearance for Representatives of an Overseas Business

  6. Applications

 

UK Entry clearance for visitors

For further information please see our UK Visitor Visas section

If you wish to enter the UK as a visitor, either for business or pleasure, the first question to ask is: Do I need to get a visa in advance?

Generally, most people travelling on passports issued by Western countries do not need to obtain a visa before entering the UK as a visitor – they can simply fly (or sail) to the UK and will be granted a visit visa at the port of entry. Nationals of the countries listed below (generally referred to as visa nationals); need to obtain a visa before travelling and should apply for entry clearance at a British Embassy or Consulate in their country of citizenship or usual residence:

 

 

 

 

Afghanistan

Laos

 

Albania

Lebanon

 

Algeria

Lesotho

 

Angola

Liberia

 

Armenia

Libya

 

Azerbaijan

Macedonia

 

Bahrain

Madagascar

 

Bangladesh

Malawi

 

Belarus

Mali

 

Benin

Mauritania

 

Bhutan

Moldova

 

Bolivia

Mongolia

 

Bosnia Herzegovina

Montenegro

 

Burkina Faso

Morocco

 

Burma

Mozambique

 

Burundi

Nepal

 

Cambodia

Niger

 

Cameroon

Nigeria

 

Cape Verde

Oman*

 

Central African Republic

Pakistan

 

Chad

Peru

 

People’s Republic of China

Philippines

 

Colombia

Qatar

 

Comoros

Russia

 

Congo

Rwanda

 

Cuba

Sao Tome e Principe

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Saudi Arabia

 

Djibouti

Senegal

 

Dominican Republic

Serbia

 

Ecuador

Sierra Leone

 

Egypt

Somalia

 

Equatorial Guinea

South Africa*

 

Eritrea

South Sudan

 

Ethiopia

Sri Lanka

 

Fiji

Sudan

 

Gabon

Suriname

 

Gambia

Swaziland

 

Georgia

Syria

 

Ghana

Taiwan*

 

Guinea

Tajikistan

 

Guinea Bissau

Tanzania

 

Guyana

Thailand

 

Haiti

Togo

 

India

Tunisia

 

Indonesia

Turkey 

 

Iran

Turkmenistan

 

Iraq

Uganda

 

Ivory Coast

Ukraine

 

Jamaica

United Arab Emirates

 

Jordan

Uzbekistan

 

Kazakhstan

Venezuela

 

Kenya

Vietnam

 

Korea (North)

Yemen

 

Kosovo

Zambia

 

Kuwait 

Zimbabwe

 

Kyrgyzstan

 

This list was last updated in July 2016.

NB This list changes from time to time. Please confirm details with your local consulate before travelling.

Documents

In order to make a visa (entry clearance) application using the online service or at a British Embassy or Consulate, you will need to present:
 

  • A valid passport (or other appropriate travel documents), which must be valid for the entire length of your planned visit

  • Evidence that you have the financial means to support yourself while in the UK, such as bank statements or pay slips

  • You will also need to have you biometric data (fingerprints and a photograph) recorded at a visa application centre, such as a British Embassy or Consulate, in your country of origin

 

    UK Entry clearance for Tier 2 Visa Applicants

    For further information please see our Tier 2 Visa for Skilled Workers and our Tier 5 Visa for Temporary Workers sections

    If you wish to enter the UK on a tier 2 visa for more than six months, you MUST apply for entry clearance. You only don't require entry clearance if you are a non-visa national and will be working in the UK for less than six months; though EU/EEA nationals are exempt from this requirement. Almost every Tier 2 visa holder will need to obtain a visa before travelling and should apply for entry clearance at a British Embassy or Consulate in their country of nationality or usual residence:

    In order to make an entry clearance application at a British Embassy or Consulate, you will need to present, at a minimum:

    • An application form, downloaded from the UK government's Visa4UK website

    • The relevant fee

    • Your original tier 2 work visa

    • A valid Passport, or other appropriate travel documents

    • You will also need to have you biometric data (fingerprints and a photograph) recorded at the visa application centre

    • You may also need to present a Tuberculosis test certificate if you are from a high TB risk area

    UK Entry clearance for the dependants of Tier 2 Visa Applicants

    If you are the spouse or dependent child of a tier 2 visa applicant then you will also need to apply for entry clearance along with the principal applicant, if you intend to travel with them to the UK for more than six months. You will need to present the same completed form, biometric data, and fees as above, along with your passport at a British Embassy or Consulate in your country of nationality or usual residence. You will also need to provide evidence of your relationship to the main applicant, i.e. by providing a marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.

     

    UK Entry clearance for Tier 1 Investors, Tier 1 Entrepreneurs and their dependants

    For further information please see our Tier 1 Visa for Business People, Investors and those with Exceptional Talent section

    If you intend to enter the UK as a Tier 1 Investor or Entrepreneur then you need to apply for entry clearance at a British Embassy, or Consulate in your country of nationality or usual residence. You will have to submit the following documents, at the minimum:

    • An application form, downloaded from the UK government's Visa4UK website

    • A valid Passport, or other appropriate travel documents

    • The relevant visa fee.

    • You will also need to have you biometric data (fingerprints and a photograph) recorded at the visa application centre

    • You may also need to present a Tuberculosis test certificate if you are from a high TB risk area

    • details of your investment portfolio showing that you intend to invest not less than £2,000,000 (for Tier 1 Investors) or £50,000 (for Tier 1 Entrepreneurs) in United Kingdom Government bonds or in share capital or loan capital in active and trading United Kingdom registered companies, but NOT property investment, management, or development companies.

    • You and your dependants over the age of 18 must also present a criminal record certificate for any country you or they resided in for a year or more in the last 10 years


     

    UK Entry clearance for Representatives of an Overseas Business

    For further information please see our UK Representative of an overseas business visa section

    If you intend to enter the UK as a Representative of an Overseas Business then you need to apply for entry clearance at a British Embassy or Consulate in your country of nationality or usual residence. You will have to submit the following documents, at the minimum:

    • An application form, downloaded from the UK government's Visa4UK website

    • A valid Passport, or other appropriate travel documents

    • The relevant visa fee.

    • You will also need to have you biometric data (fingerprints and a photograph) recorded at the visa application centre

    • You may also need to present a Tuberculosis test certificate if you are from a high TB risk area

    • Details of the company's assets, accounts, and shares for the past 12 months

    • A letter confirming that the company will establish a branch or wholly owned subsidiary in the UK, in the same area of business as the parent company

    • Your employment contract, and details of your job description and salary

    • A letter confirming that you are fully familiar with the company's operations and have full autonomy to conduct negotiations and make high level decisions on behalf of the company, without needing to consult with others in the company

    • A notarised letter stating that:

      • you will be the company's sole representative in the UK

      • you will not undertake any business not on behalf of the company, either for themselves or a third party

      • the company has no other branch, subsidiary, or representative in the UK

      • the company will continue to be based overseas

     

    Further information, help, and advice

    Workpermit.com's team of specialists has over 25 years of experience in immigration services, and have helped thousands of people to study and work in the UK. We work with OISC registered advisers who can submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day.

    For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at london@workpermit.com