UK Visa Guide for Indians

UK Visa Guide for Indians

27 December, 2023

Are you planning your next trip abroad? The United Kingdom could be your next choice. Its rich culture and excellent professional and educational opportunities have always made it a popular destination among Indians. If you are considering visiting the UK for tourism, work, study, or other purposes, you must get a visa beforehand. This comprehensive guide will navigate you through the process of obtaining a UK visa. From choosing the right visa type to successfully completing the application process to ensure that your journey begins on the right foot, this UK visa guide offers total assistance.

Types of UK Visas for Indians?

The first step to obtaining your UK visa is identifying the right type of visa for your purpose of visit. The UK offers various visa categories for different purposes.

  • Tourist Visa (Standard Visitor Visa)

    This visa is for those who are visiting the UK for up to six months for tourism purposes. Whether you are planning a vacation, visiting family or friends, enrolling in a quick course, or attending business meetings, this visa fulfils such requirements.

  • Student Visa

    As a student looking to enrol into academic courses in the UK, you can opt for a student visa. This visa is categorised into different types based on your eligibility and requirements, including:

  1. Short-term study visa: For English language courses lasting over six months and up to 11 months.
  2. Student visa: Applicable for longer courses. However, you must have a sponsorship from a licensed college or university and a confirmed seat.
  3. Child student visa: This is for children/students between the 4 to 17 years age group, who want to study at independent schools.

  • Work Visa

    If you have secured a job offer from a UK-based employer, this visa allows you to work and live in the UK. Work visas are typically categorised as:

  • Health and care worker visa: For medical professionals seeking to work with the National Health System (NHS) or in the adult social care sector.

  • Skilled worker visa: You can opt for this visa to work at an eligible organisation with an approved employer. This visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to five years, with facilities to extend the visa as needed.

  • Family Visa

    For Indians with family members who are residents/citizens of the UK, the family visa is an ideal option. Whether you are joining your spouse, parent, or child living in the UK, you can apply for this visa.

  • Innovator Founder Visa

    This visa suits entrepreneurs, professionals, and investors seeking to engage in business-related activities like establishing startups. It is for those who possess a track record of entrepreneurial success and have a unique business idea endorsed by eligible bodies.

What is the Process for a UK Visa Application?

You can initiate the UK visa application process by visiting the official UK government website and creating an account for application tracking purposes. As an Indian passport holder travelling to the UK, you can apply for your UK Visa via VFS Global. You can log in on the website and follow these steps:

  1. Choose your preferred visa type.

  2. Prepare your application and pay online for the visa.

  3. Provide the necessary documents.

  4. Receive the application letter.

  5. Get a biometric residence permit (if you are visiting for more than six months).

When to Begin Your UK Visa Application Process?

Starting your UK visa application process at the right time is crucial to ensure a smooth, stress-free experience. Consider these points when planning to visit/move to the UK:

  • Apply three months before your travel dates if you are opting for a standard visitor visa.

  • For most work visas, you should apply three months prior to your employment start date.

  • For student and child student visas, apply six months before your course’s start date.

Eligibility Criteria for Obtaining a UK Visa

UK visa eligibility can vary depending on the specific type of visa you need. Different visas have different requirements based on factors like the purpose of visit and intended duration of stay. Here is an overview of the eligibility criteria for some common UK visa categories:

1.Standard Visitor Visa

  • You intend to leave the UK upon completion of your trip.
  • You must have enough funds to cover your stay.
  • You will not extend your stay in the UK.

2.Student Visa

  • Short-term study visa

  1. You should be 16 years old or older.
  2. You should show proof of acceptance in an English language course with a duration of 11 months or less.
  3. Your chosen institution should be officially recognised.
  4. You should show proof of funds to cover your tuition fees, living expenses, etc.

  • Regular Student Visa

  1. You should be 16 years old or older.
  2. You should have been accepted into a full-time course at a recognised educational institution in the UK.
  3. You should show proof of funds to support your living expenses and course fees.
  4. You must meet the English language proficiency requirements for the course.

  • Child Student Visa

  1. Your age should be between 4 and 17 years old.
  2. You should be admitted into an independent school in the UK.
  3. You should show proof of funds to cover your stay and pay for your course.
  4. You must provide proof of consent from your parent/guardian.

3.Work Visa

  • You must be a qualified doctor, health professional, nurse, or adult social care professional if you have applied for a Health and Care worker visa.

  • If you have applied for a Skilled worker visa you must have a job from the list of eligible occupations.

  • You must furnish a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer providing information about the role offered.

  • You must receive a minimum salary per your work type.

  • You employer should be approved by the Home Office.

4.Innovator Founder Visa

  • You must show Proof that you are not joining an already existing business.

  • Your business idea must be original/different from the existing businesses.

  • You must show proof of potential growth.

  • You must provide a detailed plan that addresses job creation, scalability, and growth into domestic and international markets.

UK Visa Fees

The fees to obtain a UK visa vary based on the visa type. Here is a list of visas with application fees in Indian Rupee (INR) for Standard visitor visa:

Visa type

Visa application fee in INR

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


Longer-term (valid for up to 2 years)


Longer-term (valid for up to 5 years)


Longer-term (valid for up to 10 years)


Visiting academic – more than 6 months up to 12 months


Marriage visitor visa


Permitted paid engagement visa


Private medical treatment – more than six months up to 11 months


Short term student studying English language for more than 6 months but up to 11 months only


Keep in mind that the above-mentioned fees are subject to change. Therefore, it is essential to refer to the official UK government website for the most accurate and detailed information before applying.

What Happens When Your Visa Application Is Successful?

  • Visa vignette issuance

    If you have provided your biometric information at a visa application centre a vignette will be issued. It is a sticker placed on your passport containing essential information related to your trip.

  • View immigration status online

    If you used your smartphone application to prove your identity, you will be able to view your immigration status online. It will show the details of the type of visa you have been granted, the travel dates, and the applicable visa conditions.

Manage Funds in the UK Efficiently with HDFC Bank Forex Cards

​​​​​​​Once you are in the UK, you cannot use INR to pay for things. You need to purchase everything in Pounds. You can buy the Pounds in India before leaving for the UK. One of the best ways to carry the pounds is to obtain a Forex Card from HDFC Bank. A Forex Card is a type of prepaid card designed for international travellers, on which you can load multiple foreign currencies. You can use your HDFC Bank Forex Card just like a Debit Card at ATMs, and pay for your expenses everywhere in the UK.

Simplify your international travel plans with HDFC Bank Forex Cards. Apply Today!

*Terms and conditions apply. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances.

Make effortless payments and enjoy your overseas adventures. Apply for Forex Card Now

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