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    UK Visitor Visa Basics.

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    Equalizer
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    UK Visitor Visa Basics.

    Post by Equalizer on 11/10/18, 04:39 am

    There are three basic steps when applying for a UK visit visa.

    1. Prepare all documents, translations and copies.
    2. Make the online application.
    3. Submit the application at a VFS centre.

    https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa/documents-you-must-provide
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visitor-visa-guide-to-supporting-documents

    All UK visa applications in China must be made initially online; starting here:
    https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/product/uk-visit-visa

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-v-visitor-rules#appendix-v-immigration-rules-for-visitors

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-v-visitor-rules#part-v4-eligibility-requirements-for-visitors-standard

    The details of the company outsourced to receive hard copies of the applications and to capture the biometric details are VFS, their details are here: https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/cn/en
    From this you can access details of the the procedures, the Visa application centres and the current fees.

    All documents must be originals. (Exception copy of Sponsors passport photo/details page).
    If you submit a document that is not in English or Welsh, it must be accompanied by a full translation that can be independently verified by the Home Office. Each translated document must contain:
    - confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document
    - the date of the translation
    - the translator's full name and signature
    - the translator's contact details

    All original and translated documents should be photocopied and both sets should be submitted.
    Once you have compiled your documents, translations and copies ready for submission, completed the application and paid the fee, you will be taken to a page where you can make an appointment with one the UK Visa Application Centres (VFS) for the applicant to submit their supporting documents and have their biometrics taken.
    N.B. If the applicant makes a mistake on the online application form, you can no longer amend the application and a new application must be completed again. Fees are non refundable.

    VFS offer a number of premium services, whilst most are probably unnecessary for the majority of applicants, applicants should read the details of the services and judge for themselves.

    On submission of the supporting documents at the chosen Visa Application Centre, you will be given a receipt and tracking number. All original documents will be returned when a decision is made. Alternatively some centres may scan the documents and return them to the applicant immediately. The decision on the application is made by Entry Clearance Officers and after a decision is reached they will either affix the Visa vignette to the passport or issue a refusal letter.
    Note: The UK Visitor Application Centres, are outsourced under contract to VFS Global, a private company, VFS are handling agents only, they play no part of the decision making process. Their sole function is to receive applications and forward them to the UKVI.

    Visitor Visa Refusals have 'no right' of appeal, but you can request a Judicial Review.

    There are three basic requirements to be met when applying for a UK visit visa.

    1. The applicant is a genuine visitor with a genuine reason to visit.
    Most Chinese visitors will either arrive as a part of an organised tour group, or to visit family, friends, or husbands who may also sponsor their visit.
    The applicant should therefore provide evidence of their relationship with his, or her sponsor.

    If living together in China then provide evidence of your life together in China together with a copy of the sponsor's passport detailing their immigration status in China
    If living apart, one in China and one in the UK, then provide evidence of contact such as phone records, e-mails, etc. and copies of the sponsor's passport to show how often they have visited the applicant.

    Any person sponsoring an applicant should write a brief 'Invitation letter' . Refrain from including any unnecessary information, however it should include:
    Your full name and address.
    The reason they are inviting you.
    Where you will stay.
    How they know you, relationship.
    Dates of your intended arrival and departure.
    Details of planned itinerary.
    If you are sponsoring the trip, details of the extent of your financial support for the visit.

    The applicant should also submit an 'Application Letter' of similar content.

    2) The visitor will be adequately maintained and accommodated whilst in the UK without working, claiming any public funds, or being a burden on the State.
    There is no minimum amount of available money required. Everyone's circumstances are different and the amount of money needed is variable. For example someone touring for 4 weeks and staying in hotels will probably need more than someone staying for 6 months with friends or family.

    The applicant does need to show that sufficient finances are available to them to cover all the costs of their visit.
    Finance can come from the applicant's resources, the sponsor's, a third party's or a combination of these. Whoever is contributing to the finances should provide evidence of their ability to do so, e.g. 6 months bank statements and the source of their income. If a third party is providing support then they should say why they are doing so, and the decision maker must be satisfied that they have a genuine professional or personal relationship with the applicant, are legally present in the UK, or will be when the visitor arrives, and can and will provide support to the visitor during the duration of their stay.

    Do not be tempted to 'load' the applicant's bank account prior to applying with a lump sum, not only is this unnecessary, but it can cause the ECO to be suspicious, as they will want to know where this money suddenly came from and why.

    Accommodation can be in a hotel, staying with the sponsor or with friends or family of the applicant or the sponsor. If staying in a private household the person offering accommodation should include a brief description of the property included in the Invitation letter, to show that at least one room is available for the exclusive use of the applicant; although sharing a room with their sponsor or a friend or relative of the same sex is fine. It might prove helpful if the person offering the accommodation supplies proof of ownership or a letter from their landlord granting permission for the visitor to stay; whichever is applicable, although it is not an actual requirement.

    3) The visitor will leave the UK when or before their visa expires (reason to return).
    This will be easier to prove if the applicant is living with their sponsor in China, as the relationship with the sponsor can be their reason to return, in this case the sponsor should provide evidence of their status and circumstances in China.

    Whether the sponsor lives in China or not, the applicant should also provide evidence of their circumstances; do they Work, Study, Own land or Property, have children? If so, provide documentary evidence, such as a letter from their employer granting a leave of absence and guaranteeing they will have a job on their return.

    Be aware, though, that if using an employer's letter or similar that the ECO or a locally employed Chinese speaking member of the UKVI team may telephone the person who signed the letter for confirmation of the contents included in the letter. If the letter is written in English they will expect to speak to that person in English (unless translated) and will doubt the genuineness of the letter if that person is unable to do so. If the original letter is written in Chinese then the team member calling will be happy to speak to the signatory in Chinese. If the applicant is seeking to visit the UK for a prolonged period, then it can be much harder to satisfy the ECO of the reasons to return.

    Family in China, even children, may not alone be considered in itself to be a 'reason to return.' Many Chinese work abroad and send money home to their family.

    Even if there is no 'concrete' reason to return, many people have obtained a UK visit visa based upon the strength of their relationship with their sponsor. If the ECO is satisfied that the relationship to be genuine and subsisting then they may also believe that the applicant would not want to jeopardise future applications, such as settlement, by overstaying or otherwise breaching the conditions of a visit visa.

    You should provide details of previous travel outside of the applicants home country, especially to countries that require Chinese Nationals to obtain a visa before travelling. If the applicant has previously travelled to the UK then provide details of the visa and travel history, if an applicant previously applied for a UK Visa indicating they intended to visit for a couple of weeks and then stayed for the full validity of the visa, then explain why. Whilst staying for the full validity of the visa doesn't breach Immigration Laws, extending a stay over and above the initial stated time could cause the ECO to doubt the credibility of the applicant.

    The applicant may be interviewed by telephone by a member of the UKVI in their chosen language to ascertain the credibility, facts, or genuineness of a relationship contained in the application.

    If the intention is to marry whilst in the UK, then the visitor should apply for a Marriage Visit Visa. The conditions are no different to that of a Visitor Visa and the holder must leave the UK when or before it expires. It cannot be converted into settlement inside the UK.

    Whilst this guidance is accurate at the time of posting, the UKVI constantly change the procedures. Members should therefore check the UKVI and VFS websites for recent changes in criteria and procedures.

      Current date/time is 13/12/18, 09:20 am