Applying for a UK Visa

Applying for a UK Visa

UK visas have strict eligibility requirements with a lot of supporting information needed for a successful application. If you are applying for a UK visa, working with our expert immigration lawyers can significantly boost your chances of success.

IBB law boasts one of the UK’s leading immigration teams, with many years of experience helping people from all over the work to secure all types of UK visas. We can ensure you apply for the right visa and that your application is as strong as possible, providing a smooth, stress-free service.

Whether you are making a visa application, need to renew your visa, are looking to switch to a different type of visa, or have had a visa turned down, we can help.

Complete support for all types of UK visas

We assist people from all over the world with securing UK visas, including:

We can also advise employers on sponsor licence applications and employees on all types of UK work visas.

Why choose IBB Law for UK visa advice and support

The UK immigration experts at IBB Law can offer you:

  • In-depth knowledge of UK Immigration laws, policies, and procedures.
  • Hands- on support from experts who keep up-to-date with developments in the law so that you always receive practical and accurate advice.
  • A cost-effective and timely service with great attention to detail.
  • Independently accredited immigration expertise with our team being ranked by leading client guide the Legal 500 for Immigration Law.

Looking for immediate help with a UK visa application?

If you need expert advice and support with a UK visa, our highly experienced immigration team will be happy to assist.

To discuss your situation with our industry-leading immigration solicitors, you can call us on 03456 381381 or email

How applying for a UK visa works

In this guide, you can find more information on the following key areas:

UK visa requirements

There are specific requirements for different types of UK visas, but there are some general requirements for all UK visas that you will need to meet.

Standard requirements for all UK visas are:

  • Proof of identity – with a valid passport
  • Proof of your skills and/or qualifications
  • Knowledge of English – you will need to be able to prove you have sufficient knowledge of the English language
  • Proof you have the financial means to support yourself in the UK – e.g. with bank statements or payslips
  • Proof of accommodation – showing where you will be staying in the UK
  • Tuberculosis test results – showing you do not have TB (only required for certain nationalities)

Types of UK visas

If you are planning to come to the UK or extend your stay in the UK to be with a loved one, to study, or for other personal reasons, you must apply for the right type of visa for your circumstances.

Making sure you are eligible for the type of UK visa you are applying for and that your application contains all of the necessary information is essential. Failure to do so could see your application turned down, wasting time and money.

With so many different UK visas to choose from, specialist advice can make a huge difference. We have set out basic information about the various types of UK visas below, but we strongly recommend speaking to a member of our team before applying for a UK visa.

The various types of UK work visas you can apply for are:

UK Family visas

Family visas allow you to live in the UK with a spouse, a civil partner, a long-term unmarried partner, someone you are engaged to, a child, a parent, or a relative who will be providing you with long-term care for more than 6 months.

You will not be able to get a Family visa if the family member you are planning to join is in the UK temporarily on a work visa or student visa. If you are in the UK on a visitor visa or a type of visa that only allows you to stay in the UK for 6 months or less, you will normally need to the leave the UK before applying for a Family visa.

UK Spousal visas

A Spousal visa or ‘spouse visa’ is the name for a Family visa where the family member you are applying to join in the UK is your husband or wife.

UK Partner visas

A Partner visa is the term for a Family visa where your application is being made with respect to a long-term unmarried partner. You will need to be able to show that you have lived together in a relationship for at least 2 years in order to be able to apply for a Family visa on this basis.

UK Civil Partnership visas

A Civil Partnership visa is the name used for a Family visa where the applicant is in a civil partnership with the person in the UK they are seeking to join.

UK Child Dependant visas

A Child Dependant visa is a Family visa where the applicant is the child of the person they are seeking to join and they are still dependent on the parent in the UK. Children over 18 must have been granted permission to come to or stay in the UK on a Family visa before they turned 18 or it must be possible to show that they do not live an independent life e.g. if they are mentally incapacitated.

UK Visitor visas

A UK Standard Visitor visa usually allows you to come to the UK for up to 6 months for the purposes of tourism, business, or study, as well as some other permitted activities. You cannot carry out paid or unpaid work for a UK company or on a self-employed basis on this type of visa.

UK Student visas

A Student visa will allow you to come to the UK to study if you are over the age of 16 and have an offer from an education provider with a student sponsor licence. You will need to be able to show that you have the funds to support yourself, including paying any course fees. If you are under 18, you will need proof of consent from your parents for you to come to the UK.

Child Student visas

Children aged 4-17 can come to the UK on a Child Student visa to study at an independent school (also known as a ‘private school’). To be eligible for a Child Student visa, the applicant must have an unconditional offer from a recognised independent school and the consent of their parents or guardian to study in the UK.

UK Sports visa

If you are planning to visit the UK to take part in an amateur sporting event, then you can normally do so on a Standard Visitor visa.

If you are planning to work as an elite sportsperson or coach, then you will need to apply for an International Sportsperson visa. To do so, you will need recognition from your sport’s governing body as being at an elite level and you will require a certificate of sponsorship from your intended employer.

UK Ancestry visas

UK Ancestry visas are open to people with a historical connection to the UK. Applicants must be a Commonwealth citizen, British Overseas citizen, British Overseas Territories citizen, Overseas British National, or Zimbabwean citizen and they must be able to prove that one of their grandparents was born in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man.

Applying for a UK visa

UK visa applications are now normally done online. This helps to make the process faster and simple, but it is still easy to miss things or make other mistakes. Any errors or missing information could see your visa rejected, meaning you would have to reapply.

Reapplying for a visa will cost you extra and take longer, you will also need to convince UK Visas and Immigration that the mistakes were genuine and not dishonest.

Our immigration lawyers can guide you through the entire visa application process. We will check your application, make sure all of the right information is there and help you fill in anything that’s missing.

We have an excellent track record of success in helping our clients to secure the visas they need, so can offer reassurance that your application is being handled correctly.

UK visa refusals

If you have had a visa turned down, you should not despair. In many cases, our team are able to secure visas for people who have had their initial application rejected, allowing them to come to the UK or stay for longer in the UK.

Many visa rejections are caused by people applying for the wrong type of visa or failing to provide some of the essential information required with their visa application. The refusal letter you received should clearly state the reasons why your visa was turned down and we can help you understand what this means and what your options are.

If you are not eligible for the type of visa you previously applied for, we can help you to explore other visa options for the UK that may be more suitable. If your application was rejected due to missing information, we can help to fix this, making a fresh application with the right information included.

As part of our service, we will write an explanation of why errors were made with your previous application to be included with any new application. This helps to show UK Visas and Immigration that the mistakes with your application were genuine, which is required as part of making a new application.

Whatever your circumstances, we can quickly assess your situation and tell you your options for dealing with a UK visa refusal. We can guide you through making a fresh visa application or, if we believe your original visa application should have been accepted, we can help with seeking an administrative review.

Renewing a UK visa

When your current visa is due to expire, you will need to either renew your current visa or switch to a different type of visa depending on the circumstances. If you have been in the UK for long enough, you may also be eligible for indefinite leave to remain, giving you the right to permanently settle in the UK.

Not all types of UK visas can be extended, so the first step is to check whether this is allowed. Our immigration lawyers can advise you on whether you are able to extend your visa and, if so, we can guide you through the whole visa renewal process.

If you are not able to extend your visa, we can let you know whether there are other visas you can switch to or help you apply for indefinite leave to remain, if you are eligible to do so.

Switching to a different type of UK visa

Should you need to switch your visa, it is important to carefully consider the different visa options the UK offers. You may be eligible for more than one type of visa, so you need to understand the different options and make sure you pick the one that is best for you.

Our UK immigration lawyers can advise you on which visas you are eligible for, explain their benefits and restrictions and help you pick the right visa for you. We can then handle your application for a new visa, giving you the best chance of success.

Get immediate expert advice on UK visas

If you need expert advice and support with a UK visa, our highly experienced immigration team will be happy to assist.

To discuss your situation with our industry-leading immigration solicitors, you can call us on 03456 381381 or email