UK Visa and Immigration Wizard: Do I need a visa for UK?

Welcome to the IAS UK Visa and Immigration Wizard. One of the common questions asked by those looking to travel to the UK is ‘do I need a visa for UK?’. The following information presented in the tool will help to answer this question, and determine your eligibility for certain Visas and your Immigration status for the UK. It also takes into consideration the most up-to-date Rules and Regulations to broadly work out your current status and what you can and cannot do to Enter or Remain in the UK.

The Visa and Immigration Wizard is a tool to provide you with a helping hand at no cost, however, it must not be used in place of comprehensive Immigration Advice from an accredited professional.

When following the steps, please enter the information from the perspective of the person who requires Immigration information and is asking the question: ‘Do I need a visa for UK?’. At the end, you will be given the choice to save your conclusion or to request an appointment with a lawyer suited to your circumstances.

Below are also some common questions around what you need to know about UK visas. These may help with resolving questions before you start the visa wizard.

What are the different UK visa types?

Here at IAS we offer a range of visas that help with your UK Visa needs. A UK Visa is an official authoritative document that provides permission for worldwide citizens to reside in the UK. 

Do I need a visa for UK – Depending on your circumstances and the reason you’re needing to travel to the UK, a Visa may be required in order for you to be eligible to stay or visit the UK. Once you’ve received your visa, it makes you eligible to enter the UK and grants you permission on the purpose of the visa that you have been issued.

There are several different reasons why people choose to apply for a UK visa. There are different visa categories available depending on the purpose of your stay with each having multiple visa types:

What are the UK visa requirements?

The decision made from the application process for obtaining a UK visa is normally determined by your current status and the documents that you can provide in your application. Depending on the UK visa you’re applying for there may be additional documents required, but for every UK visa there are specific documents that are required with your application.

Your UK visa supporting documents checklist

In order to apply for a UK visa, the following supporting documents will be required. If any further documents are required based on the specific UK visa you apply for, you’ll be advised of this:

  • UK visa application form: You can complete the relevant form either online or fill out the manual application form
  • Two Photographs: These need to have been taken in the last 6 months and previewed in colour
  • A valid passport: Ensure that your visa is valid and doesn’t expire within 3 months from the date you plan to enter the UK. It must also have a blank page free to include your stamp
  • Proof of financial capability: You’ll need to provide proof that you’re able to cover yourself financially during the purpose of your stay. These documents must be within the last 6 months and can be in the form of pay slips or a bank statement.
  • Proof of living: You’ll also need to provide proof of where you’ll be accommodated whilst in the UK. This doesn’t necessarily have to be proof of full payment to the hotel or hostel that you’ll be staying at before you apply for the visa, just documentation that proves your stay in the residence.
  • Travel Itinerary: You must also provide a detailed travel itinerary which shows what you plan to do whilst you’re in the UK. This needs to include the dates that you’re looking to travel, places you intend to visit, any tours that you have booked etc.
  • Tuberculosis Test Results: For certain nationals around the world, to secure a UK Visa you’d need to provide a Tuberculosis Test to be eligible.
  • Biometric Information: For those looking to stay in the UK for more than 6 months, you’ll need to provide biometric information. The application center will be able to take your fingerprints and photograph.

What else do I need for a visa for the UK?

There will be additional requirements to submit for the following circumstances:

  • If you need to confirm your employment status
  • If you’re under the age of 18

Requirements to prove your employment status

For applicants looking to work in the UK or need to prove their application status, you’ll need to provide the following relevant documents:

  • Employed: A letter from your employer which confirms your current position, salary and the length of your employment.
  • Self-employed: Document confirming the registration of your business which includes the business owner’s name and the start date of the business.
  • Student: A letter from your education provider which confirms the start date of your enrolment and when you’re due to finish.

Requirements if you’re under the age of 18

As applicants for a UK visa are unlikely to hold some documents that are stated in the list above, there are alternative documents that can be provided:

  • Birth certificate
  • Papers proving adoption (if applicable)
  • A letter that’s signed from parent(s) or guardian(s) if the minor is travelling alone or with another party
  • A signed copy of the biography page of the parent(s) or guardian’s passport

How long can you stay in the UK with a US passport?

With a US passport, you’re able to stay in the UK for up to 6 months. This is applicable via a stamp on your arrival to the UK. This only includes countries in the UK which means the Republic of Ireland is not included. This is only applicable providing you’re able to support yourself financially whilst in the UK and you have a form of residence to stay at during your visit. This does not grant you permission to work in the UK, however.