How Much Time Is Required For UK Visa Processing?

By Tiara

As mentioned before, there are several different types of visa that can be needed for international travel. These include business visas, tourist visas, research or academic visas, and what we will focus on in this article is how much time you have to process your UK visa.

Most people agree that it’s very difficult to get a British visa within a matter of days. But some countries may offer faster processing times if they feel like you will visit soon after arriving!

However, most experts believe that even those fast-track options are still outside of your guaranteed visa approval period. This means you could arrive at an embassy with all of the necessary documents and be told “We never received them” or "The mail got lost in transit."

It's important to remember that getting a visa does not mean you'll actually get into the country. A lot of times, governments require you to have proof that you will return from your trip (a flight back home usually counts as valid proof). If you don't have enough time to gather these things, then you're going to need to look for another destination where you do.

Budget destinations are becoming increasingly popular due to their ease of access, so why not give one a try? Luckily, traveling abroad has become way easier than ever thanks to technology. There are many ways to explore the world without having to spend a fortune, which includes online shopping, reading review sites, and listening to reviews.

There are different visa types. You should know which one you are applying for.

how much time for uk visa processing

Visas that do not require much time to process usually have you apply through an embassy or consulate in your destination country. These visas are typically shorter term as well, only valid at certain times of year.

Visas that require more than just submitting your documents and receiving approval can be tricky because there is no standardized timeline for how long it takes various visa agencies to process their applications.

Some take longer than expected due to external factors like whether someone outside the agency contacts the agency about the application or if there is any sort of delay with payment.

Other things may also affect processing time such as the amount of money being spent on the application so far (fees, shipping, phone calls, etc.) and how busy the visa office is during the given period.

Apply as early as possible

how much time for uk visa processing

It’s totally fine to be stuck waiting at an airport or VISA processing center while your documents are being reviewed, but you should not spend too much time doing this. The earlier in the process you apply, the less time it will take, and once you start applying online, there is usually no need to visit any visa centers physically.

It can easily add up when you have to pay to get VISA prepaid cards, buy airline tickets, and/or go through additional applications like proof of residence and job offers. This is particularly important if you are going during off-peak times, or just before the deadline so that you don’t overbuy on coupons and whatnot.

Also remember that some countries require more documentation than others! For example, India only requires one piece of ID, whereas many other countries ask for two (like Canada). Make sure you know which ones they are before investing in extra copies. Luckily, most people aren’t actually aware of this, so you won’t be alone in spending money trying to comply with the rules.

Keep your application up to date

how much time for uk visa processing

It is very important to stay in contact with members of your family while you are applying for visas. You should make sure that they know you will be away and when to expect you back.

If there’s someone who knows about your plans, tell them as soon as possible! This gives them time to talk to their own families about it before the announcement goes out to others.

By staying in touch, they can also help coordinate any extra activities or services they have available so you don’t need to pay for them. They may even be able to offer employment while you’re gone if necessary!

It is totally acceptable to ask people to keep an eye on things for you while you’re away, but remember to give them adequate notice first.

Pay the visa application fee

how much time for uk visa processing

It’s pretty straightforward, really. If you need to stay in the UK longer than the three months that most nationalities are allowed, you will have to pay an additional fees. This is typically around £140-160 (for more information see our article about staying past your visa).

The process of paying this fee depends on which country you come from and how much money you have. Some countries don’t like foreign currency so make sure you read up before buying one!

Some banks offer visa services such as payment by credit card or debit card. Check with yours if they do as some may be too expensive. You could also look into getting a visa pre-paid gift voucher, but remember to check whether there is a maximum amount you can use the voucher for first.

Be careful not to spend all of the vouchers as sometimes these run out early and it can cost you to get extra ones.

Provide your documents

how much time for uk visa processing

Make sure to have all of your important documents ready before you head out to meet with an immigration attorney or UK consulate. They will ask for proof of income, job offers, proof of residence in Canada, and sometimes even proof of health insurance!

It is very common to be asked about your spouse’s status here in Canada, so make sure to bring that up too. Many employers require at least six months of employment before they can confirm their spousal visa status. This way you’ll have time to gather those things!

Some other questions you may be asked include if there are any warrants against you or your family members in either Canada or overseas (usually America), anything related to medical issues or debts, as well as if anyone close to you has travelled outside of Canada in the last year. All of these things should definitely be checked!

In addition to all this, most embassies and consulates want to see copies of your passport,proof of residency in Canada,and evidence of sufficient funds to stay in place while you are away from home.

Wait and see

how much time for uk visa processing

The more important question is how much time you have to spend in the country before you need to start thinking about visa processing. Some people will tell you that it takes just a few days or even hours to process visas, but this isn’t always the case!

It depends on not only your timing, but also what kind of visa you are looking to get as well as where you want to go to visit. If you don’t have much time then we suggest staying in popular destinations until at least the very last minute. This way you won’t waste any time waiting for transport or seeking accommodation because you can enjoy the city while you wait.

If you do have some time though you could look into visiting less populated countries. These may take slightly longer to process a visa, however, they can save you money if you stay somewhere close by while you are there. You would also have more options when searching for accommodation.

Contact the embassy or consulate

how much time for uk visa processing

It is their responsibility to process your visa, so it makes sense to give them as much time as possible before you check out. You can do this by either calling or visiting them directly to see if they have any update information about when your visa will be processed.

If there’s no new information, try back once a week until you get some updates. If one month has gone by with no news, consider whether these things are necessary and if obtaining them is worth the wait.

It may help to remember that most embassies and consulates follow standardized procedures which take around two weeks per person. This means that even though they’re responsible for processing your visa, there’s an internal system that helps determine how long it takes individual officers to complete their work.

In fact, many people find that getting delayed results in having more free time because individuals working at the embassy or consulate know that someone else will assume their workload while they’re waiting for theirs to move forward.

Prepare for the worst

how much time for uk visa processing

If you find yourself with little time to process your UK visa, then prepare for the worse! There are some ugly scenarios that could play out if there is not enough time to complete the application process.

One of these is having your passport snatched while you’re waiting for approval. This can happen when someone notices you have an expired visa and they don’t take too kindly to it. They may even be in possession of your documents at this stage, making them difficult to retrieve unless you are willing to pay large amounts of money or use violent means to do so.

Another risk is being stuck outside of the country because you ran out of time before you were able to enter. You would likely need a new entry permit as well as other visas depending on what destination you wanted to visit. All of this has to be done within a specific timeframe, which isn’t always easy to know.