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- What is a visa?
A visa (or entry clearance) is a certificate that is put into your passport or travel document that gives you permission to enter the United Kingdom (UK). On arrival in the UK a Border Force officer may check that you are here for the reasons you have stated. For more information about what you might expect on arrival in the UK please visit the UK Border Agency website.
- When to apply
For all types of visa, you can apply up to 3 months in advance of your intended date of travel to the UK. Applicants are strongly advised not to confirm their travel arrangements to come to the UK until they have received their visa.
- How to apply
There are 8 steps to complete the visa application process. You are advised to read through the application steps set out below before you make your visa application so you are clear about the procedure and requirements.
Step 1 - Check if you need a visa
Use the 'Do I need a visa' guide on the UK Border Agency website to see if you need a visa. If you need a visa you should follow the steps outlined below.
Step 2 - Read the information on your visa category
Before you decide to apply for a visa please make sure you familiarize yourself with the information on the visa category you are applying for. Quick links to information on visa categories and other helpful information can be found on the 'Visa Information' page on this website. You may also want to read the Immigration Rules as your visa application will need to meet these requirements.
Step 3 - Complete your visa application form
You should submit 1 visa application for each individual applying for a visa, including children. Please ensure that you select the correct visa application for the purpose of your visit
• Download an appropriate visa application form from the UK Border Agency website • You should print your completed visa application form on good quality paper and ensure that the information does not extend beyond the margins on the paper. • Complete the application form in English and sign it. • Ensure that you complete all the sections correctly. If you make a mistake in filling in any of the sections you will need to make the change on the form and sign against it.