UK Entry Clearance
If you reside outside the UK and are looking to come to the UK, you need entry clearance when you make your initial visa application.
What is Entry Clearance?
Entry Clearance is a procedure which Entry Clearance Officers at British Missions overseas use to check whether a person entering the UK qualifies to enter the UK under the immigration rules for entry. All visa applicants require entry clearance before they enter the UK even if they come as tourists.
Commonwealth and non-visa nationals who come as tourists are given up to 6 months of entry clearance to enter the UK on arrival at a UK port entry. A non-visa national can travel to the UK without having applied for a visa in advance, applying to enter the UK at the border. For all other types of visa, however, entry clearance must be sought.
How to Apply for Entry Clearance
There are several categories where the applicant can apply for entry clearance, depending on the type of visa. The application should be made in the country of residence of the applicant (e.g. where they have the permission to live). They can apply for entry clearance at the British Embassy or High Commission in their home country.
There are some requirements that to be fulfilled when you apply for entry clearance. These are as follows:
- You must show that your entering to UK is conducive for the UK economy and general public good more generally.
- You must prove your qualification for the visa under which you are seeking entry clearance. If you are seeking a work permit entry, then you must have a valid work permit document to show.
- You may be asked to attend an interview
You can apply for entry clearance to UK by completing an online application form which is available on the UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) website.
After you complete the application form, you need to book an appointment to attend your local Visa Application Center. At the Visa Application Center, you will need to provide original copies of your supporting documents which depend on which visa category you are applying for. You also need to provide your biometrics – a photograph, a thumb print followed by four fingerprints on both of your right and left hands, and your signature.
Entry Clearance will inform you about the time from when the entry clearance is valid and when it expires. The time of validity depends on the nature of the entry clearance sought.
After the appointment and thorough examination of your entry clearance application, you will get a decision by UKVI. This can take between one week and two months, depending upon the type of application you made.
Once your entry clearance application has been approved, you will receive a short term visa vignette in your passport in order to enter UK. One you enter the UK, you can collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from your local Post Office which contains the full validity period of your visa.