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Excerpted from the United Kingdom Career Guide


The UK has a detailed system for the variety of visa applications and processes. The UK has introduced a number of new immigration, naturalization, visa, work permit and working visa categories.

Visa Exemptions

The UK’s immigration policy permits citizens of certain countries to travel without a visa when they meet certain requirements. As in other European countries, there are some exceptions for EU residents for both visa and work permit requirements.

General Visa Applications Process and Requirement

Foreign national applicants can apply online for UK visas to visit, work, study or join a family member already in the UK. However, if the applicants are from Cuba or North Korea, they must apply in person.

Visa Types

Student Visa

There are different UK immigration categories for students:

1. Tier 4 (Child) student: One can apply as a child student under Tier 4 of the points-based system if between four and 17 years old.
2. Child visitor: One can apply as a child visitor if under 18 years old and planning to come and study in the UK for up to six months.
3. Tier 4 (General) student: One can apply as an adult student under Tier 4 (General) of the points-based system if coming to the UK for post-age 16 education.
4. Student visitor: One can apply as a student visitor if at least 18 years old, planning to come and study in the UK for up to six months and not wanting to work while in the UK.

Business Visa

A key consideration for whether someone can enter the country on a business visa is the types of activities in which he/she plans to engage. UK immigration officers have strict instructions on the activities business visitors are permitted to engage in and may refuse entry to any individual who cannot provide evidence the intended activities are consistent with the laws of the United Kingdom.

Work Employment Visa

The United Kingdom made significant changes to its work permit system in 2008 and closed several immigration categories. In place of those eliminated, a new points-based scheme was introduced.



UK Consulates and Missions Worldwide


UK visa, immigration and citizenship application forms

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete United Kingdom Guide.

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