Applying for any one of the United Kingdom’s multiple visas can be a difficult process, but an immigration consulting agency called Breytenbach has several tips to help ensure that your application process goes smoothly.
Breytenbach focuses on immigration to the United Kingdom from South Africa and helps potential visa applicants with the process of travelling or moving to the UK.
Here are a few points of advice it offers:
1. Be aware of expiry date on current UK visa
South African nationals living in the UK are reminded to update their UK visas and be aware of the expiry dates. Applications for a new visa must be done in advance as the process does take an extended period of time.
2. Passport must be valid and current
If your passport expires before you submit your application or has already expired it will not be considered. Applicants are advised to apply for a new passport before applying for a UK visa as some applications require a longer validity date than others.
3. All original documents must be kept safe
The majority of UK visa applications require original documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, degree certificates, and more. Not having these documents readily available will hinder the application process.
4. Know the rules of current UK visa
Travellers or South African nationals in the UK must be knowledgable about their visa or permit rules as each one has a unique set of regulations. Breytenbach warns that breaking the rules could influence a person’s future UK visa applications, saying, “Should you break any immigration rules attached to your UK visa, it might jeopardize a future extension application.”
5. Maintain being a ‘good citizen’
Potential applicants are reminded of the ‘good character’ requirement, which analyses whether applicants have proven themselves law-abiding citizens by paying their taxes and national insurance contributions among other things.
“Criminal convictions and bankruptcy might also jeopardize your citizenship application.”
6. Be aware of the application costs
Visa applications are not cheap and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) attached to the process are costly. The payment for a IHS must be done separately to the Citizenship and Indefinite Leave to Remain (IRL) applications.
7. Seek professional help if unsure
Due to the large number of requirements to fulfill an application, it can be daunting. However, immigration consultancies are there to provide advice and aid if you are struggling with the process.