Frequently asked questions


  1. Where to mail a UK visa application?
    1. The Rules have now changed and from 2nd November 2018 the way you make an application for staying in the UK has changed. Those who wish to remain in the UK or settle permanently have to make an application and pay for the application fee on line. This will include the biometric enrollment fee and also the Immigration Health Surcharge before the application is made. Then you will be directed to SOPRA STERA’s web site to book an appointment at a UKVCAS Centre. At this stage you will book the appointment. You will be able to choose an appointment within five working days of making your application.
  1. Where to check UK visa application status?
    1. In order to get in touch with UK V=visa from inside the UK, one has to distinguish between applications for British citizenship and nationality or European nationals, asylum applications, sponsor and employees or settlement. If, for example, it is an application for British citizenship one should get in touch with Nationalityenquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or on telephone 0300 123 2253. Please note that these telephone details can be changed and you are advised to check the Home Office web site.
  1. Where to submit an application if I am abroad?
    1. In order to make a visa entry clearance application you need to submit it to the British Embassy and the Consulate and you will need to be present. You should be present legally in the country or territory you are applying from and the Home Office web site provides guidance as to visa application centres. The link is https://www.gov.uk/find-a-visa-application-centre
  1. Which application form do I need?
    1. Different applications require different application forms to be completed. For application forms abroad we suggest you look at the link https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-visa-forms, which illustrates which form one needs to use in order to make an application to come to the UK. For example, a visit for a short term stay is Form VAF1A and an application for UK visa for family settlement is Form VAF4A. Please note that the forms change regularly and you need to make sure that you submit the most up to date form.
  1. Who makes the Immigration Rules?
    1. The Immigration Rules are a piece of legislation that makes up UK Immigration law.
    2. Immigration Officers, Entry Clearance Officers and the staff in the Home Office carry out their duty to implement the Rules.
  1. Who enforces Immigration Law?
    1. Immigration Enforcement, which was established in April 2012, is responsible in preventing abuse and tracking immigration offenders. Immigration Enforcement works in partnership with the police.
  1. Which immigrants are entitled to welfare benefits?
    1. Most non-EU nationals who are subject to immigration control are not allowed access to “public funds” such as Job Seekers Allowance or Tax Credits although they can use public services like the NHS and education. EU citizens who are working have similar access to the benefits as UK citizens. For Job Seekers or people who are not working the rules for determining eligibility can be complex. The current Government has introduced various restrictions on European Economic Area citizens accessing benefits. The restrictions of “no recourse to public funds “are in place initially after arrival, when there are still time limits or other conditions on their authorisation to remain in the UK. There are some exceptions such as people who are granted refugee status or humanitarian protection. Asylum seekers are not eligible for welfare benefits while the applications are pending.
  1. What is an immigration status document?
    1. A UK residence permit replaces stamps in passports and status letters which previously indicated that the individual was given permission to stay in the UK. An Immigration Status Document (‘ISD’) is given to an applicant following the grant of leave where no passport is held.
  1. What are the UK visa fees?
    1. In order to determine the visa fee you will need to pay, you need to use the following link https://www.gov.uk/visa-fees where you select the country that you are applying from and thereafter the category for which you would like the visa fees, for example study. You would then determine the length of your stay and will be provided with the costs of the visa application.
    2. For applications in the UK you should check the fees on the forms themselves. There is a new fees regime for visa applications in the United Kingdom. The Home Office has long been able to levy a surcharge above the normal administrative costs of processing applications but migrants and visitors now face fees that are four or five times the actual costs of dealing with the applications.
  1. Why would a UK visa be denied?
    1. Most applications are refused for lack of documents. Applications should not be deferred except in most exceptional circumstances to enable you to produce additional documents and usually refusal will follow. Additionally, there is a guidance on refusing if criminal convictions are relevant.
    2. There are also general grounds for refusals which are contained in paragraph 320 of section S-EC of Suitability; mandatory grounds for refusal are set in paragraph 320(1)-(7) and discretionary grounds for refusal are set in paragraph 320(8).