The United Kingdom is one of the most popular overseas destinations for Indians for tourism, study, employment, or even medical treatment. Irrespective of the reason for a visit to the United Kingdom, Indian passport holders must obtain a UK visa to go to the UK. To travel to the UK for tourism, you need to apply for a UK tourist visa from India.
UK tourist visa from India
The United Kingdom has a wide range of attractive tourist spots including the city of London, countryside of Scotland and Wales. A UK tourist visa for Indians is referred to as a UK Standard Visitor Visa which allows its holder to enter and stay in the UK for up to 60 months. You can stay for longer in certain circumstances, such as medical treatment. A UK tourist visa allows Indians to travel to the United Kingdom for the purpose of:
- Meeting family members
- Medical treatment
- Certain business activities i.e. meeting, interview, etc.
- To pass through the UK to another country (‘in transit’)
- School exchange programs
UK visitor visa term
Based on your requirements, you can apply for two types of tourist visas to the UK:
- Short-stay visa: Generally valid for up to 6 months.
- Long term standard visitor visa: If you visit the UK regularly, you can apply for a long-term Standard Visitor Visa valid for 2, 5 and 10 years. With this visa, you can stay in the UK for a maximum of 6 months on each visit.
UK tourist visa requirements
You need to fulfil the UK tourist visa requirements i.e. eligibility criteria and documentation to get a UK tourist visa from India.
Eligibility criteria for UK tourist visa
- You will have to prove that you will leave the UK before the validity of your visa expires.
- You have sufficient funds to support your trip to the United Kingdom and your return.
- You will not live in the UK for extended periods during your recurrent visits.
- For a long-term visa, the purpose of those visits would remain the same over its duration.
- You need to submit proof of any activities you will participate in, which should be in compliance with the framework of the permitted activities.
- You may need to fulfil extra eligibility requirements if you are applying for a UK Standard Visitor visa:
- To study, take an exam or do placement.
- To visit as an academic, senior doctor or dentist.
- For medical treatments.
Documents required for a UK tourist visa application
Here is the list of documents required for a UK tourist visa application:
- Filled UK tourist visa application form VAF1A.
- Two recent photographs meeting the UK visa photo requirement guidelines.
- Passport valid for three months beyond the date of your departure from the UK, with at least one blank page.
- Financial statement to prove you have sufficient funds to cover your trip and living cost in the UK.
- A document that shows where you will be staying in the UK, such as:
- ID information and living address of the person paying your travel costs.
- ID and passport number of any friend or relative living in the UK.
- Detailed travel itinerary that contains your travel plan such as onward and backward dates, places you will be visiting, meeting agenda, festival agenda, etc.
- Biometric information, your fingerprints and digital photograph.
- Letter or invitation from the host.
- Recognized certificate of English language.
Based on the purpose of your visit, you will have to submit additional documents to apply for a UK tourist visa from India.
How to apply for UK tourist visa from India
You can apply for a UK visa online and in person. Follow the steps mentioned below:
- Fill the application form: Visit the gov.uk and complete your UK tourist/ visit visa application form. Make sure the information you provide is correct. You will have to visit a visa application centre (VAC) at an allotted date and time to submit your biometric information.
- Pay the application fee: After completing the application form, you have to pay the UK visa fees using a valid debit or credit card.
- Book your interview appointment: You have to book an appointment for a UK visa interview. Book a date when you will be available. Before attending the interview, you must practice the UK visa interview question and answers.
- Collect your documents: Collect your documents including a printed copy of your appointment letter, your UK visa fee receipt and your passport for visa interview.
- Attend the interview: Interview will be the final step of your UK visa application. Reach the interview center before time and carry all necessary documents.
You need to submit the UK tourist visa application to the UK High Commission or a UK Visa Application Center in India. You can apply for the visa online or in person.
UK tourist visa fees for Indians
Here is the checklist of UK tourist visa fees in Indian Rupees based on visa type:
|UK visitor visa type
|For up to 6 months, single/ multiple entry
|Valid for up to 2 years
|Valid for up to 5 years
|More than 6 months to 12 months
|Marriage visitor visa
|Permitted paid engagement visa
|Private medical treatment
|More than 6 months to 11 months
Indians living in the UK can easily compare exchange rates offered by various operators and send money from the United Kingdom to India to their loved ones with a few clicks.
UK tourist visa processing time
The earliest you can apply for a UK standard visitor visa is 3 months before you travel.
After you have successfully applied for a UK tourist visa online, you will usually get a decision on your visa application within 3 weeks. In the meantime, you can track your UK visa status online.
You will get an email or a letter related to the decision on your application and instructions on what you need to do further.
NRIs living in the UK may have several India-related queries. To ask any questions related to the rights of NRIs, PIOs, and OCIs, you can download SBNRI App from the Google Play Store or App Store.
You can also use the SBNRI app for investment in stock market/ mutual funds, NRI account opening, tax filing, etc. To ask any questions, click on the button below. Also, visit our blog and YouTube channel for more details.
Yes, Indian passport holders have to compulsorily get a tourist visa to travel to the UK. You need to fulfill the UK visa requirements to apply for the same. You can apply for a UK visa online or in person.
No, the UK government doesn’t provide a visa on arrival facility to applicants applying for a UK tourist visa from India. Hence, you need to apply for a UK standard visitor visa.