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Applying from the United States

Applying from the United States

To apply for a UK visa from the United States, you need to apply for the visa online and pay the relevant visa fees to have your visa application considered by the UK Home Office.

The UK does allow US citizens to come to the UK on a short visit or business entry, however, to remain in the UK other than a short visit, you would need to apply for the visa prior coming to the UK.

In some cases, based on your personal circumstances, you may need to apply for the visa because, you may have had a previous visa refusal or had been denied entry to the UK. 

Once you lodge your application online and attend an appointment to submit your biometric data, a decision will be made by the UK Visa team. The US Immigration Services does not have any influence or supportive role in making a visa decision. 

Applying for a short-term visit visa & business visa to the UK from the USA

Those wishing to enter the UK on a regular basis and to avoid being questioned at the Border Control in the UK, we recommend that you apply for the visa before you book your travels to the UK. 

At the time of applying for the visit visa, you should ensure that both information and documents to support the application are available. To enter the UK as a visitor or to conduct permitted activities as a business visa holder, you need to demonstrate evidences related to your intention of entry.

For example, as a visitor if you’re planning to visit family or friends, then documents from the sponsors should be provided. If you are attending a business meeting, then a letter from the business should be provided. 

In addition to the above, you must demonstrate that you will have adequate financial and accommodation in the UK. Further to this, you must prove you will leave the UK after your short visit to the UK. To ensure your application does not fall for refusal as a visitor, we recommend that you enclose a detailed cover letter to support the visa application. 

Join your spouse or unmarried partner from the USA to the UK

One of the most common applications that family members apply for, is the partner visa, otherwise known as the spouse visa. The visa route allows you to apply for your partner to come and join you in the UK. 

The partner visa does allow you to apply settlement, in most cases after 5 or 10 years residency in the UK. 

The spouse or partner visa must be applied prior to your entry to the UK. In some cases, you may be able to apply whilst on a different immigration visa but we would recommend to take legal advice prior to the application is lodged. 

To meet the requirements of the partner visa, you must ensure information and evidences related to your relationship, intention to live together in the UK, financial and accommodation requirements are met. 

How does ICS Legal help on applying for a UK visa from the US

ICS Legal provides advice and help on applying for a UK visa from the US. Through our collaborative partnership and support, we can help to apply for the UK visa. 

Our Lawyers do not compromise on both quality and consistency in supporting your visa application from the USA. We will help to collate the information and documents to support the visa application. 

Through our partnership, we will complete the necessary immigration visa application forms, draft the supporting statement of grounds and put together a detailed visa application checklist. In some instances, we will draft the sponsorship documents if required.

Children of British nationals

If one of the parents are British, then a child born in the USA and holding US citizenship, may be permitted to apply for a British passport. 

Where a child is not eligible to automatically apply for a British passport because of their parent’s circumstances, an application to register as a British national can be made.

British nationality is a complex matter and we would recommend to take legal advice before applying for a British passport or an application to become British citizen. 

Business partnership, Global Mobility and Innovator Visas

The UK based on the special relationship with the US, does have visa scheme to allow US citizens to come and do business in the UK. The visa schemes extends to those intending to come and work in the UK. 

If you are planning to work for a UK business, then the skilled worker visa is the most appropriate route to apply. There are 2 schemes either as a worker or temporary worker. 

Those considering to do business in the UK, can apply under the Global Mobility visa scheme. 

UK visa refusal when applying from the USA

We understand that a visa application may be refused because you have failed to provide the correct information or documents to support the application. 

If your visa application is refused, the UK Home Office will tell you in detail their reasons for the decision. In most cases, you will be given a right to challenge the decision. This may be through an administrative review or an appeal. 

In most cases, both administrative review and appeal application must be done within 28 days unless otherwise stated. 

Most frequently asked questions when applying for a UK visa from the USA?

We have put together some of the most common visa application questions. ICS Legal hopes this will address questions that does not require legal advice.

Does an American holding a US passport need to have a visa or apply for a visa? Yes, you will be required to apply for a visa unless you are coming to the UK on a short term. For example, under the temporary work visa, you may be allowed to enter the UK once your employer provides a certificate of sponsorship. 

How long am I permitted to remain in the UK as a visitor when travelling from the US and holding a US passport? 6 months is the maximum duration. 

Should I apply for a UK visa from the United States prior coming to the UK? In most cases, you should apply for a visa based on your circumstances prior coming to the UK. 

Are US students able to undertake voluntary or unpaid internship work in the UK? You are able to do those activities only if you hold a visa. For example, if you are a student and holding a US passport, you would be permitted to do those activities in the UK. 

Can I apply for a student visa if I am a US national in the UK? Unless your completing a short course, you would be required to apply and hold a student visa. Your university or school must provide a CAS and you must have sufficient funds to meet both course & maintenance costs in the UK.

Applying to do business in the UK if I am a US national? Yes, you will be able to apply for a business and work visa only from the US. The schemes are flexible given that you are a US national. 

How do I apply for a UK visa from the USA? This is done online and you must ensure the correct visa application is chosen when applying. In some cases, you may also need to complete a paper form alongside the online form. 

How do I book a visa appointment in the USA? The visa appointments are usually handled by the US Immigration Services. The booking is done once you have lodged and paid for the visa application. 

How long does a visa decision take from the US? We would recommend to choose priority visa service at the date of the visa application. Normal service standards will delay your entry to the UK.

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