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Simple Guide for a Tourist UK Visa

Determining the type of visa you need:

Visas for the United Kingdom are processed by a sub-department of the Home Office – UK Visas and Immigration. In India, the entire application process is handled by VFS Global – a company that specializes in global outsourcing and technology for diplomatic missions and governments worldwide. The Home Office generally grants several types of visas, depending upon the nature of your visit. This is an important step, because it determines what kind of supporting documents you need to submit. Here are some common categories:

  1. Tier 1: Investor, Entrepreneur, Exceptional Talent, etc.
  2. Tier 2: Intra-company transfer, etc.
  3. Tier 5: Government Sponsored, sportsperson, youth mobility schemes, creative persons, etc.
  4. UK Study : student, student visitor, doctoral scheme extension, etc.
  5. UK Family: spouse, family, dependent family members, etc.
  6. UK General Visitor: general tourist, visiting a relative residing in the UK, academic visitor, paid engagement, etc.
  7. Others: Indefinite Leave to Remain, Right of Abode, UK Settlement, etc.

For the purpose of this post, we shall concentrate on category number 6 – UK General Visitor (short stay Tourist UK Visa is a subset of this category). You can read more about other categories  here.


The Application Process – 1


  1. Despite the Visa frustrations, your upcoming travels sound great! Can’t wait to hear more!

  2. I thank my lucky stars I have a Canadian passport- I saved about 2 hours in the line at JFK because of that!
    Enjoy your trip!

  3. Hi Sanket, Is it necessary to subit documents related to scotland travel when u r applyin for UK visa? I have applied for UK visa, but going to scotland is still not sure.. what should I do…If I have written Scotland in my VISA application but I have not submitted any travel or hotel bills of scotland , then will it still get accepted?



    • mm

      Hi Aditya,

      Thanks for stopping by. To be honest, the UK embassy doesn’t give clear instructions on what documents to submit. You don’t necessarily have to mention you are traveling to Scotland. Here’s what is necessary: you need to prove that if you are in the UK for 20 days, you have enough funds for your sustenance for 20 days. I’d say return flight tickets are an absolute must, because then they know you have a strong motivator to return. After that, you may or may not make confirmed accommodation bookings. The thing with this is – if you make and show accommodation bookings, then your bookings need to match up with the itinerary you are sharing. If not, then you can get away with not showing accommodation bookings but having access to enough funds to be able to book on the go. I’d recommend that you build a simple itinerary to attach with your application, and make fully-refundable bookings that match. Try using Booking.com – you will find many options that are 100% refundable. If you have other questions, feel free to email me.

      Also, this article is from some time ago. Please be careful to review current policies on the UK immigration office website.

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