: cs@britishcitizenshiptest.co.uk

The Types of UK Visas

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In the era of globalisation, starting life in a new country is becoming a norm. The UK, USA, Australia, and Canada are some of the biggest destinations inviting immigrants who are skilled workers. Any person who wishes to migrate to the UK should have a visa which is a legal way to enter the UK for temporary or permanent domicile. If you're one of those who wish to apply for a visa in the UK, read on to find out in detail the UK visa types you can apply for. If you are a first-timer, the information available on the official site could be overwhelming but we've summarised it for you. The various categories under which visas are available include:

  • Tourism and short visits
  • To join their family or partner
  • Work and business
  • Study purposes
  • To transit through the country
  • Medical Treatment
  • Government or Diplomatic visits
  • Stateless people
  • Refugees
  • Ancestry
Types of UK Visa

Here’s a look at the main UK visa types you can apply under.

The Visit Visa

This is for those looking for short term visits to the UK and not planning to settle there, long term. To know more details on eligibility for this type of visa, find out here.

Study Visa

This is perhaps one of the most sought out visas since many students opt for education in the UK. If you are an aspiring student in the UK, here's more information on the same.

Work Visa

UK Work Visas are available for various types of jobs and the nature of your business. Right from start-up visa to sportsperson visa, those opting to visit for professional reasons can find all the detailed information here for a smooth process. Some of the main UK Work visas include:
Highly qualified foreigners:

  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa
    Skilled foreigners with a job offer
  • Tier 2 (General) Visa
  • Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Visa
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Visa
  • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa
Family visa

You need a family which may include parents, spouse, child or relative to stay in the UK for more than 6 months. Depending on your circumstances, you can apply for a UK Spouse Visa, UK Parent visa or a UK Child visa. You can opt for this visa with the necessary documents and even extend this visa for a long term stay with family. Here are the details before you proceed further on the same.

Unmarried Partner Visa

If you are an unmarried partner of a British citizen and are from outside the EEA or Switzerland, you have to apply for a UK visa in order to join them in the UK. You get the unmarried partner visa UK if you provide proof that you have lived in a relationship like a marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years before you apply.

Transit visa

If you have to move to the UK in transit on your way to other countries, you need this visa, the details of which can be found here.

Asylum seekers and refugees

These types of visas are issued to those seeking asylum in the UK and for refugees on humanitarian grounds.

Other UK visa types

Other visas in the UK include Ancestry visa for those who have a British grandparent or meet certain other criteria, the details of which can be checked at the official site. Those with indefinite leave to remain (ILR) who have left the UK for more than 2 years have to apply for a returning resident visa in order to return back. Once you decide to stay in the UK permanently, you should take the Life in the UK test and meet other criteria before you proceed further with your application.


EU, EEA and Swiss Citizens - EU Settlement Scheme

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, your family and you should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in order to continue in the UK after 30 June 2021. On successful processing of your application, you either get a settled or pre-settled status. Check out more of the details on your eligibility before you apply.

Who are exempted from the UK visa?

The above visas are applicable for the citizens of most countries worldwide but there are a few whose citizens are exempted from the above. The citizens of European Economic Area and Switzerland are not required to apply for a UK visa to enter the UK. To check if you need a visa, please enter your country’s official website. However, with Brexit fast approaching, the UK Government had agreements with the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland and you need to stay updated on the latest rules.

Now that we've covered the various types of visas available, here's how you are eligible for a British passport or citizenship. Getting UK citizenship which is a step to a better life is what most migrants aim at.

Various visa categories under which you may apply for a British Passport

Visas related to work, marriage, business and those with asylum and ancestral rights can apply for a British passport. But they should comply with other conditions like the residency period requirement and also a language competency certificate. This will prove that you are well acquainted with the British ways of life and can integrate into their society.

Work visa

Skilled worker or Tier 2 is a common way to secure the ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) status. With this visa, if you have stayed and worked in the UK for 5 continuous years, you can apply for citizenship.

Spouse or Partner Visa

A part of the family visa, if you can prove a genuine relationship with a British citizen and you are co-habiting with them for a minimum period of 5 years, you can submit your application. In the case of dependents, if you wish to apply for settlement or indefinite leave to remain(ILR) as the partner or child of a person with a valid UK visa, your current visa must be as a dependant on your partner’s tier 1, 2 or 5 visa.

If you have your current visa as your partner’s dependant after their settlement, you must apply as the partner of a settled person instead.

Ancestry Visa

You should have at least one grandparent born in the UK along with the other eligibility requirements to acquire British citizenship.

Asylum/Refugee Status

Those with an asylum/refugee status after 5 years can apply for the coveted British citizenship.

'Permanent Resident' Status

Those from the EU, Switzerland or the EEA can apply for British passports after living in the UK for 5 years. They usually possess a 'permanent residence' status or 'settled status.'

Besides this, you should meet the language proficiency requirement and the Life in the UK test. For more details on the eligibility for UK Citizenship, check it out on their official site which should cover all the details.