The UK is favorable compared to many European countries with a highly developed economy and respect for tradition. This allows us to preserve monuments of history, architecture and at the same time occupies a leading position in the financial sector, aviation, pharmaceutical and other industries.
Tens of thousands of tourists come to the UK each year to enjoy views of the Stonehenge, Roman forts, magnificent palaces and medieval castles. There are attractions for all tastes, be it the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, the interactive Beatles History Museum, Shakespeare’s hometown, the whiskey museum, Scottish bagpiper performances, Loch Ness with its elusive monster. Know more about Tivat.
In addition to attractions, the UK also attracts with its high level of education. People come here to study not only at the world-famous Oxford, Cambridge, but also at other universities, colleges and even schools.
High wages in England and Scotland attract not only Russians but also EU citizens from Eastern Europe. Some of them subsequently obtain permanent residence, while others choose to obtain a permanent residence permit in Foggy Albion by marriage.
1. Do Russians need a UK visa in 2019?
Regardless of the purpose of the trip to Great Britain, Russians cannot do without permission to enter. Moreover, you have to get a visa in 2019 in advance and just to visit this country, because a Schengen visa is not valid in the UK.
2. Main types of visas
The British have developed a rather complex and not always clear visa system. They have more than 30 different options for entry permissions. It is all the more important to understand them and choose the right one, because once you enter the UK, you cannot change the purpose of the visa or use it for other purposes. Consider the most popular visas.
It takes the least amount of time to apply for a visitor visa. It initially opens at 6 months. With frequent travel, you can count on issuing a permit that will be valid for 2, 5 or even 10 years. It is important that you can stay in Foggy Albion for a maximum of 6 months with each visit.
A visitor’s visa is issued for:
- recreation (tourism, visiting relatives / friends);
- running a company, participating in sports / creative events;
- other purposes (treatment, marriage, etc.).
For a long-term (more than 6 months) stay in the UK you must apply for an immigrant visa. It can include the assessment of the applicant on the points system (visas for study, work, business) or be issued under certain conditions (family ties, etc.).
It is important to note that the British were able to identify separate categories of applicants for each type of visa. For example, eminent scientists and entrepreneurs must work on a Tier 4 visa, qualified professionals on a Tier 2 visa, and temporary workers on a Tier 5 visa.
No less visa types in the UK and for those who want to study here:
- short term student for language and all other courses up to 6 months;
- special for learning English from 6 to 11 months;
- Level 4 for any training lasting more than six months.
Since 4-year-old children are admitted here, underage student visa holders must have a guardian at Foggy Albion. This can be either a third party with parental authority or the parents themselves. They must also have an English visa.
Obtaining a transit visa (Transit) for the UK is almost as difficult as the rest. Fortunately, there is a visa privilege for Russians. It is applicable if the tourist uses air or water transport, has paid tickets and a visa for the country of destination and will stay in the United Kingdom for a maximum of 24 hours. As it is impossible to leave the customs control zone, visa-free transit is only possible at Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Since the decision to apply for a visa concession is made by British customs officers on the spot, if there is any doubt, it is better not to take the risk of choosing another route or obtaining an English transit visa.
3. How much does a visa for the UK cost in 2019?
Since the UK, unlike most EU countries, has not switched to the euro, the cost of issuing an English visa is calculated in pounds sterling (£, GBP). Even after Brexit, they are valued above the euro, and the British valued permission to enter their country more expensive.
Visa fee for visitor visa:
- 89 pounds up to 6 months;
- £ 337 for 2 years;
- £ 612 for 5 years;
- 767 pounds in 10 years.
Visa fee for other types of visas:
- from £ 292 for Tier 1;
- from £ 446 for Tier 2;
- £ 335 for Tier 4;
- £ 235 for Tier 5;
- £ 93 for a 6-month study course;
- £ 179 for an 11-month course;
- 34 or 62 pounds for Transit.
Prices for all types of UK visas valid from 6 April 2017 can be seen on the GOV.uk website (information in English). Immigrant visa applicants must pay an additional “health benefit”. Its size depends on the time of the proposed stay in Foggy Albion.
How to apply for a British visa on your own
Despite the somewhat confusing British visa system, it is quite possible to get permission to enter the UK. Since the personal presence for applying to the British is possible even for children under 5, intermediaries can only help prepare the documents (if you can find a bona fide agency).
4.1 Via the Visa Application Center
The UK has developed not only its own visa system, but also a clear procedure for obtaining them. Documents can only be submitted through visa centers. In Russia, in 2014, TLScontact won the tender for the provision of services for the reception of applicants. English visa centers exist in Moscow, Novosibirsk, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Yekaterinburg.
You must arrange an appointment with them via the Royal Visa and Immigration Control website, for which:
- Fill out the online form;
- pay the visa fee;
- Choose the date and time of the visit to the toilet.
After completing the application form and paying the fee, the applicant receives a unique GWF number. It, as well as the questionnaire, the confirmation of payment must be printed and submitted to the EC at the agreed time. Almost all the information on the VIC website is in English only, which makes it difficult to work with.
After completing the above steps, it is recommended to register on the TLScontact website (at least in Russian). This will allow you to familiarize yourself with EC rules, order additional services if needed:
- £ 59 Premium service (submission of documents in comfortable conditions);
- for £ 59 documents are submitted without a deadline;
- £ 75 Prime Time (morning or evening appointments);
- 40 руб. copying documents.
At the agreed time, ie 30 minutes earlier, it is necessary to come to the EC with a ready-made package of documents. If you are late, you will need to sign up again. The documents are handed over to an EC expert, and then go through the procedure for submitting biometric data (photographs, fingerprints).
As of March 27, 2017, UK Visa Application Centers provide the possibility of electronic processing of applications. To do this, the CC expert scans all supporting documents and sends them electronically to the British Embassy / Consulate. This speeds up the processing of applications by visa officers.
4.2 Through the consulate
British embassies / consulates are considering but not accepting Russian citizens’ visa applications. Documents must be submitted via TLScontact CC. At the discretion of the Visa Officer, the applicant may be invited for an interview by e-mail.
Application for a UK visa
The application form must be completed online at GOV.uk in English. At the same time, it is important to initially correctly indicate the type of visa, enter the name and surname strictly in accordance with the passport data. You must also monitor the accuracy of the information displayed and the compliance of all names (city, street, employer company) with the transliteration rules. Any differences between personal data and documents submitted later are not interpreted in favor of the applicant. At the same time, after the registration of the questionnaire, it is no longer possible to make changes.
Without knowledge of English it is almost impossible to fill in the questionnaire correctly. It will help to contact a well-known English speaker, an intermediary company or TLScontact experts directly. For an additional £ 70 the EC will provide online assistance in completing the questionnaire and for another £ 12 it will assist in payment.
5.1 UK visa application form
We encourage you to use our online guide to fill out the form.
6. UK visa documents: census from 2019
The documents submitted to obtain a visa for the United Kingdom must be in English. Otherwise, a complete English translation is attached to the original document. The visa officer will take them into account if each translation has the full name of the translator, his contact details and date.
There is a mandatory list of required documents:
- valid and expired (if any);
- Russian passport;
- (for selection or all at once: letter of sponsor, bank statement, letter of recommendation from the place of work, etc.).
As for other documents, the UK immigration rules state that the visa applicant must independently select and prepare them. Most importantly, they must convince the visa officer that the applicant:
- intends to visit the United Kingdom for this purpose;
- the exact time required for its implementation is required;
- has financial support;
- will leave Foggy Albion after the visa expires.
All documents for obtaining an English visa must contain reliable information. British visa officers are known for their picky attitude towards documents and the ability to check them. If false information is found, you can be banned from entering the country for 2 to 10 years.
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about the expulsion of 23 British diplomats and the closure of the Consulate General in St. Petersburg . There is no exact date for the closure of the consulate.