UK Visa India: what you need to know before applying? Best Advice

UK Visa Applications from IndiaThis relates to the details of UK visas and immigration from India. Approximately more than half a million applicants every year apply for UK visa from India. Perhaps, more than 80% of applicants apply for UK visit visa from India. However, UK visa refusal India is showing a rising trend. Therefore, the aim of the post is to provide general guidance, especially to those applicants who intend to apply for UK tourist visa from India. And also discusses UK visa appeal, reapplications and immigration judicial review after UK visa refusal India.

UK Visas and Immigration from India 2017: UK Visa Refusal India

In 2017, 594,513 UK visas and immigration applications submitted for entry clearance from India. Accordingly, 592,333 UK visa applications from India resolved during 2017.  525,706 visas granted and 65,357 applications refused.

Overview of UK Visa Applications from India

The details of UK visa application from India in Table below indicates that he number of applications increased from 505,410 (2015) to 594,513 (2017). Moreover, the success rate slightly decreased from 89.90% to 88.75%. Perhaps, the statistical data suggests that usually 7 out of 8 applicants from India gets UK entry clearance visa.

UK Visa Refusal India during 2015-17

During 2015-17, the number of refused applications hovered in the range of 50-70K. Accordingly, UK visa refusal rate from India has increased from 9.91% (2015) to 11.03% (2017). However, the UK visa India refusal rate was highest at 12.89% in 2016. Perhaps, it is quite interesting to note that an increase of a mere 1% refusal rate from India indicates a refusal of approximate 6,000 UK visa applications from India.

Possible Reasons for the Rising Refusal Rate

Economic and Political Instability which induces an immigration officer to think that the applicant may not return to India. Moreover, Stringent Immigration Rules and Assessment Procedure may weed out applicants, who might get the visa under the previous rules. Perhaps, the inability of an applicant to understand the changes in the immigration rules so as to successfully apply for UK visa from India.

Details of UK Visa Application India 2015-17

Year 2015 2016 2017
UK Visa India Applications 505,410 552,889 594,513
Resolved 506,907 551,881 592,333
Granted 455,732 480,004 525,706
Success Rate 89.90% 86.98% 88.75%
Refused 50,211 71,118 65,357
UK Visa India Refusal Rate 9.91% 12.89% 11.03%
Withdrawn 915 715 1,265
Lapsed 49 44 5

UK Visitor Visa India: UK Tourist Visa for Indian Nationals

A total of 367,211, 390,036 and 433,789 Indian nationals get the UK visitor visa during 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively.

UK Transit Visa for Indian Nationals

In 2015, 2016 and 2017, 3,147, 3,168 and 3,563 Indian nationals get the UK Transit Visa, respectively.

Other UK Visa Applications from India

During 2017, 101 applicants from India get the Certificate of Entitlement to Right of Abode (Main apps). And also 688 applicants get Other Temporary UK Visa.

UK Student Visa from India

During 2015, 2016 and 2017, 15,636, 16,251 and 19,956 applicants from India get the UK student visa.

Short-Term Study (previously student visitors) from India

In 2015, 2016 and 2017, 4,476, 4,923 and 5,521 applicants from India get the short term study visa.

Tier 4 UK Student Visa India

In 2015, 2016 and 2017, 11,160,  11,328 and 14,435 students from India get the Tier 4 student visa, respectively.  In 2017, 14,435 students and their dependants from India get the Tier 4 with the following breakup:

  • PBS – Tier 4 General student (Main apps) – 13,613
  • Tier 4 Child Student (Main apps) – 153
  • Non-PBS Students (Main apps) –  1
  • PBS – Tier 4 General student (Deps) – 668

UK Settlement Visa from India

During 2015, 2016 and 2017, 3,673, 3,026 and 3,028 applicants from India get the family visa, respectively. In 2017, 3,028 applicants get the UK family visa from India with the following breakup:

  • Partner i.e. UK visa for Indian husband or wife2,830
  • Partner (for immediate settlement)- 6
  • Child- 0
  • Child (for immediate settlement i.e. UK Citizen Visa for Indian)- 169
  • Other- 2
  • Other (for immediate settlement)- 21

Dependant Joining or Accompanying

Moreover, in 2015, 2016 and 2017, 574, 436 and 454 applicants from India get the UK visa as dependant Joining or Accompanying, respectively. The breakup of 454 visas is as under:

  • Partner i.e. UK visa for Indian husband or wife- 44
  • Child- 409
  • Other- 1

Furthermore, in 2017, 36 applicants also get UK settlement visa under Other Settlement (indefinite leave).

UK Immigration and Work Visa Applications from India

In 2015, 2016 and 2017, 58,504, 59,442 and 59,113 Indians get the UK immigration and work visa. The UK immigration and work visas mostly issued under Tier 1 HS Immigration, Tier 2 Work and Tier 5 Temporary Worker. However, in 2017 apart from PBS, 3,566 applicants from India get the Non-PBS Work Visas with the following breakup:

  • Non-PBS Domestic workers in private h/holds (Main apps)- 3,456
  • UK ancestry (Main apps)
  • Non-PBS Other permit free employment (Main apps)- 25
  • Other permit free employment Non-PBS (Main apps)- 85

Moreover, 2 applicants from India get the UK work visa under Other permit free
employment not allocated (Main apps).

PBS Tier 1 UK Immigration Visa from India

During 2015, 2016 and 2017, 1002, 532 and 451 Indian nationals and their dependants get the Tier 1 visa. The decrease in grants is mainly due to a substantial decrease in the applications by PBS-Tier 1 General (Deps). Accordingly, the number of visa grants for Tier 1 General Dependants has decreased from 592 to 48 during 2015-17.

The Rising Trend of Tier 1 Visa Grants to the Main Applicants

However, the number of Tier 1 visa grants to the Main Applicant from India shows an upward trend. Accordingly, in 2015 only 101 main applicants get the Tier 1 visa; however, in 2017, 169, Indian nationals get the Tier visa under the following categories:

  • Tier 1 Investors (Main Applicants and Dependants)- 7
  • Tier 1 Entrepreneurs (Main Applicant and Dependants)- 83
  • Graduate Entrepreneurs (Main Applicant and Dependants)- 40
  • Exceptional Talent- 39

Apart from 169 Main Applicants, 282 Dependant also get the Tier 1 visa. Therefore, during 2017, 451 Indian nationals and their dependants get the Tier 1 visa

PBS Tier 2 Work Visa and Pre-PBS Equivalent

In 2015, 2016 and 2017, 30,393, 30,466 and 27,715 main applicants get Tier 2 and Pre-PBS equivalent UK work visa from India. Moreover, in the preceding three year period 21,953, 23,140 and 24,854 dependant applicants also get the Tier 2 visa.

In 2017, 27,715 main applicants get the Tier 2 and Pre-PBS equivalent work visa from India under the following categories:

  • Tier 2 General- 4,306
  • Tier 2 Intracompany Transfers- 49
  • Intracompany Transfers -short term- 6,176
  • Intracompany transfers – long-term- 17,098
  • Tier 2 Ministers of religion- 48
  • Work permit holders- 38
  • Tier 2 (Deps)- 608
  • Tier 2 Intracompany transfers – long-term (Deps)- 62

Furthermore, the share of Tier 2 visas in the overall visa grants from India is approx 9.99%. Perhaps, 52,569 visa grants under Tier 2 to Indian Nationals indicates a high level of Indian workforce in the UK. Moreover, it also indicates the desire of young Indian professionals to work in the UK for professional and career development

Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa

In 2015, 2016 and 2017, 1,867, 1,741 and 2,304 applicants from India get the Tier 5 temporary worker visa, respectively. Accordingly, in 2017, 2,304 Indian applicants get the Tier 5 work visa under the following categories:

  • Charity Workers- 57
  • Creative and Sporting- 1,523
  • Government Authorised Exchange- 541
  • International Agreement- 5
  • Religious Workers- 175

Moreover, in 2017, 221 applicants from India also get the UK Tier 5 Dependant visa

Family Members of EEA and Swiss nationals

In 2015, 2016 and 2017, 5,936, 7,003 and 4,978 applicants from India get EEA family permits, respectively.

How to apply for UK visit visa from India?

An applicant can apply online for any type of UK visitor visa. An applicant can read the questions in Hindi; however,  can answer only in English. After selecting a language for reading the questions, one needs to select India as the country for applying for UK visit visa from India.

UK Visa Application Center India

An applicant needs to attend an appointment at one of the UK Visa Application (UKVAC) in India:

  1. Ahmedabad – Ground Floor, Emerald House, Near Parimal Garden Cross Road, Off C G Road, Ahmedabad 380006, India
  2. Bangalore – Global Tech Park, O Shaughnessy Rd, Langford Town First Floor ( Landmark Hockey Ground ) Bengaluru Karnataka 560025
  3. Chandigarh –  SCO 62 63, Sector 8 C, near Hotel Icon and Times of India office, Madhya Marg, Chandigarh 160018
  4. Chennai –  Fagun Towers, Second Floor, No 74, Ethiraj Salai, Egmore, Chennai 600008
  5. Cochin – ST Arcade, Kurisupally Road, Ravipuram, Cochin 682016
  6. Gurgaon – ILD Trade Centre, Fourth Floor, Sector 47, Sohna Road, Gurgaon 122001
  7. Hyderabad – 8-2-700 3rd Floor, Sride Anushka Pride, Opposite to Ratnadeep Super Market, Banjara Hills Road No 12, Hyderabad 500034
  8. Jalandhar – Lower Ground Floor, MIDAS Corporate Park, Plot No. 37, G.T. Road, opposite Jalandhar Bus Stand, Jalandhar 144001
  9. Kolkata – UK Visa application center, Fifth floor, RENE tower, Plot No. AA-I, 1842, Rajdanga Main Road, Kasba, Kolkata 700107
  10. Mumbai North –  Trade Centre, ‘G’ Block, Ground Floor, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (East), Mumbai 400051
  11. Mumbai South – Urmi Axis Building, 1st Floor, Behind Famous Studio, Opp E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi West, Mumbai 400011
  12. New Delhi – Mezzanine Floor, Baba Kadak Singh Marg, Shivaji Stadium Metro Station, Connaught Place, New Delhi 110001, India
  13. Pune – 4th Floor, E core, Marvel Edge, Viman Nagar, Pune 411014
  14. Thiruvananthapuram – T.C 2/2408-3 First floor, Asiatic Business Centre, Attinkuzhy, Kazhakootam, Trivandrum, Kerala 695581
  15. Whitefield Bengaluru – Brigade IRV Centre – Nallurhalli, Whitefield, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560066
  16. Lucknow – Golden Tulip Lucknow, 6 Station Road, Lucknow 226001, India
  17. Jaipur – Manglam Ambition Tower, 1st Floor Agrasen Circle (Malan Ka Chauraha), Subhash Marg C Scheme, Jaipur 302001
  18. Goa – Visa application center, Gera Imperium – I, Office No 301, 3rd Floor, Patto, Panjim, Goa 403001

General Requirements

To apply for a visit visa to the UK, an applicant needs to:

  • fill in the online application form and answer in English
  • pay for the visa fee in Indian Rupees online
  • take a print out of the online application form
  • copy of supporting documents
  • certified translations of any supporting documents that are not in English or Welsh
  • book and attend an appointment at a visa application centre
  • the UK visa timeline India initiates after biometrics and application submission

Purpose of Visiting the UK

The UK visitor visa is usually for tourism, meeting family members in the UK and business. However, there are other purposes of the Standard visitor visa as well. Accordingly, an applicant can apply for the UK visit visa for:

  • tourism, including visiting family and friends
  • business, including sports and entertainment
  • transit through the UK
  • academic visit, including teaching and exchange
  • marriage or civil partnership
  • private medical treatment

Information About the Purpose of Visiting the UK

Moreover, an applicant needs to provide some information relating to the purpose of the trip.

UK Tourist Visa for Indian National

For tourism or leisure, an applicant needs to tell about what he/she intends to visit and do in the UK.

Business Visitor Visa

To do business, an applicant needs to tell about what he/she will be doing, what organisations an applicant will be visiting, and how he/she will be paid.

Medical Treatment

To receive private medical treatment, an applicant needs to tell about the treatment
he/she will be receiving in the UK, how long it will last, how much it will cost. Moreover, an applicant needs to provide the details of the consultant.

Permitted Paid Engagement

To do a permitted paid engagement, an applicant needs to provide details of what an applicant will be doing in the UK and how this relates to his/her current work. Moreover, an applicant needs to provide the details of the inviting organization.

Marriage Visa UK India

To get married or enter into a civil partnership, an applicant needs to tell about the plans, if an applicant has given notice or not, and provide fiancé(e)s name and passport details.

Apply UK Transit Visa India

To apply for UK transit visa from India (either transit or DATV), an applicant needs to tell about the travel plans including flight details in both directions if they are booked, about where an applicant is going to and what visa an applicant has for the destination.

Short-Term Study | UK Visa India Student

To study for a short time, an applicant needs to tell about the course an applicant will take in the UK, including what it is called, how long it will last and who is the course provider.

UK Visa Refusal India: Reapply, Appeal, Judicial Review

After UK visa refusal an applicant can reapply, especially after a UK visitor visa refusal. Moreover, there is no specified time limit for reapplying after refusal. Perhaps, an applicant can reapply even within a week’s time. However, a reapplication should address the refusal reasons and substantiate the reapplication with appropriate evidence. Certainly, there is no point reapplying without proper homework.

Refusal: UK Visa Appeal India and Judicial Review

If the refusal letter provides for a right to appeal then an applicant can lodge an online appeal. Moreover, the IAFT 6 appeal form is for lodging an appeal against entry clearance refusal.  The IAFT 6 appeal form is for filing an appeal against entry clearance refusals such as spouse visa, EEA, human rights and asylum claim refusal.

How to Challenge UK Visitor Visa Refusal from India?

Perhaps, UK visitor visa applications from India accounts for more than 80% of the total visa applications. However, there is no right of appeal against a visitor visa refusal. The right to appeal against a family visitor visa also abolished in 2015. Therefore, apart from a reapplication, the only other alternative is to file a judicial review.

Administrative and Judicial Review for PBS Applications

The points-based applications under Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 4 provide for an administrative review (AR) after refusal. However, AR is a pair group review and chances of overturning a decision are not more than 10%. Therefore, if an applicant thinks that the decision is not appropriate then can opt for a judicial review. Perhaps, unlike a visitor visa application, in case of a PBS application. at times it is not expedient to reapply after a refusal. However, going for reapplication or judicial review entirely depends on the merits of the case and requires specialist legal advice.