UK Visa USA 2023 for US Citizens and Green Card Holders

1. Overview of UK Visa USA 2023


US citizens and Green Card Holders (non-visa nationals) do not require a visa for visiting the UK up to 6 months.

However, American citizens and Green Card Holders need to apply for a visa if they intend to work, study, or settle in the UK.

UK visa requirements for US Citizens and Green Card Holders depends on the type of application.

For instance, if US passport holders are applying for UK visit or tourist visa, they then need to meet the requirements of Appendix V for Visitors, Immigration Rules.

How Much is UK Visa Fee in USA?

The cost of a UK visa in the USA varies depending on the type of application. Specifically, the fees for a UK tourist visa, student visa, and spouse visa are US$145, US$619, and US$2,332, respectively.

How Long Does It Take to Get a UK Visa in the US?

In 2023, non-settlement visit, study, and work visa application processing time in USA is usually 3-weeks. UK priority non-settlement visit, study, and work applications processing time from USA is normally 5 working days. The additional cost of UK priority (non-settlement) visa service from USA is US$632.

Spouse Settlement Visa Processing Time from USA

The UK settlement visa processing time after biometrics from USA for spouse, partner, family applications is usually within 12 weeks. Spouse priority settlement visa processing time for US passport holders is 6-weeks. The additional cost of UK priority settlement visa service from USA is US$632.

Super Priority Visa USA

Super-priority service fee in USA is US$1,263 to process UK visa applications by next working day.

How Long Can US Citizen Stay in UK?

US citizens and Green Card holders can remain in the UK for up to 180 days per visit when traveling on a tourist or holiday visa.

For those on spouse, student, or work visas, the length of stay aligns with the visa’s validity period. Extensions are possible by fulfilling the respective Leave to Remain (LTR) criteria.

Certain visa categories like the Skilled Worker and Innovator Visas provide a pathway for US nationals to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and eventually, British citizenship.

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    How to Apply UK Visa from USA?
    Step-by-step Guide: How to Apply for a UK Visa from the USA

    2. How to Apply for UK Visa from USA?


    This guide outlines the step-by-step UK visa application process for US Citizens and Green Card holders. Note: The time frame for a standard visa process is 30 days, while priority service can shorten it to 15 working days.

    Total Time: 30 days

    1. Eligibility and Visa Type

      Determine the Visa Type

      Choose the appropriate UK visa category based on your travel purpose. Note that Green Card holders from visa-restricted countries like India and Pakistan may face more stringent assessments to confirm genuine intent.

    2. Account Creation

      Create an Account

      Sign up on the UK government’s official visa and immigration website.

    3. Application Completion

      Complete the Application Form

      Fill out the digital application form, making sure all details are consistent with your supporting documents.

    4. Pay the Visa Fee

      Pay the UK Visa Application Fee

      Pay the requisite application fee via the guided online payment system.

    5. Compile Supporting Documents

      Assemble Your Supporting Documents

      Assemble essential documents like your US passport, proof of finances, and UK accommodation details.

    6. Schedule Biometric Appointment

      Schedule a VAC Appointment

      Book your biometric session at a USCIS Application Support Centre (ASC) or VFS Premium Application Centre. Note: Walk-ins are not permitted at the VFS Global UKVI Processing Hub. Opt for VFS Global’s UPS courier service or use your own courier with a prepaid, self-addressed UPS label for document shipping.

    7. Attend Biometric Appointment

      Attend the VAC Appointment

      Go to the biometric appointment and complete the necessary procedures. Additional Services: Post-biometric, you can opt for extra VFS Global services like courier delivery and priority visa options.

    8. Submit Documents

      Assemble Your Supporting Documents

      If not uploading documents online, avail of Document Scanning Assistance. Forward the service receipt and your passport to the UKVI Visa Processing Hub.

    9. Processing Time

      Wait for a Decision

      Processing starts when documents arrive at 128 East 32nd Street, New York, NY, 10016 Fl 4.

    10. Wait for Visa Approval

      Await Visa Decision

      You’ll be notified upon decision finalization.

    Estimated Cost: 145 USD

    Supply:

    • Application form
    • Valid US Passport or Green Card
    • Recent passport-sized photos
    • Payment for visa fee in USD
    • Proof of accommodation in the UK

    Tools:

    • Internet access
    • US Passport or Green Card
    • Financial documents

    Materials: Document copies, Application form confirmation printout, Postal dispatch envelope.

    VFS Premium Application Centres in the USA

    Here’s the requested information about VFS Premium Application Centres in the USA, presented in a two-column table:

    CityAddress of VFS Premium Application Centre
    New York845 Third Avenue, Floor 6, New York, NY 10022
    San Francisco315 Montgomery Street, Floor 10, San Francisco, CA 94104
    Los Angeles1901 Avenue of the Stars, Floor 2, Los Angeles, CA 90067
    Washington DC1025 Vermont Avenue NW, Floor 2, Washington, DC 20005
    Miami2655 S Le Jeune Road, Penthouse 1A, Coral Gables, FL 33134
    Chicago564 West Randolph St, Floor 2, Chicago, IL 60661
    Houston700 Milam Street, Suite 1300, Houston, TX 77002
    Boston160 Federal Street, Suite #1700, Boston, MA 02110
    Atlanta100 Peachtree Street NW, Floor 22, Atlanta, GA 30303
    Seattle701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 4200, Seattle, WA 98104
    VFS Premium Application Centres in the USA

    3. Required Documents for UK Visa from USA


    Primary Documents Required

    • Valid Passport: Maintain validity for your entire UK stay, with a blank page for visa placement.
    • Online Application Form: Fill and authenticate via the UK Visas and Immigration platform.
    • Accommodation Proof: Details of your UK lodging.
    • Financial Capability Proof: Required monetary evidence.
    • Travel Plans: Comprehensive travel agenda.
    • Connection to Home Country: Proof indicating intention to return. English Proficiency: Required primarily via an accredited language test.

    Specialized Documentation by Visa Type

    • Work Visas: Job offer letter, Sponsorship Certificate, and pertinent qualifications.
    • Study Visas: CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) document.
    • Family Visas: Certificates proving familial relationships, such as marriage or birth.
    • Tourist Visas: Additional trip details, as necessary.

    Documentation for UK-Based Sponsors

    Having a UK sponsor can notably boost your visa application. Such documentation is particularly helpful for visas that usually require sponsorship like family or employment visas. Sponsorship-Related Documents May Include:

    • Sponsor Invitation Letter.
    • Sponsor’s Immigration Status Proof.
    • Financial Documents from Sponsor.
    • Sponsor’s Accommodation Evidence.
    • Relation with Sponsor Proof.

    Important: Sponsor documents are supplemental. Meeting primary visa criteria is paramount for application approval.

    UK Visa from USA 2023
    UK Visa USA 2023: Success Rates, Processing Time, and Fees for US Citizens and Green Card Holders

    4. UK Visit Visa from USA for Green Card Holder


    US citizens are non-visa nationals. Therefore, for visiting UK up-to 6 months US citizens don’t require a visa.

    Please note, in terms of Paragraph V 1.3 of Appendix V Immigration Rules for visitors, a non-visa national may only need to apply for visiting visa, if they are:

    • visiting the UK to marry or to form a civil partnership, or to give notice of this; or
    • seeking to visit the UK for more than 6 months.

    In the year ending September 2022, a total of 1,529 US Citizens applied for visitor visa UK. 1,383 applications resolved, 1,224 visit visas granted to US nationals, and 107 applications rejected. Therefore, the UK visitor visa success and refusal rate from USA are 88.50% and 7.74%, respectively.

    Do American Green Card Holders Need Visa to Visit UK?

    If Green Card Holders are citizens of a non-visa country (such as Australia, New Zealand, EU) then can get entry clearance for up-to 6 months at the port of entry.

    If Green Card Holders are citizens of visa national country such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria etc then need a visa for visiting the UK.

    UK Tourist Visa from USA for Green Card Holder

    US nationals and Green Card Holders can apply for standard visitor visas for purposes such as tourism, visiting family, business meetings, or short-term study courses. Visa options include short-term (up to 6 months) and long-term (2, 5, and 10 years).

    UK Multiple Entry Rules

    Standard visitor and tourist visa holders can stay up to 180 days per visit in the UK.

    UK Tourist Visa Requirements for US Green Card Holders

    Essential requirements include a valid passport, a completed online application, proof of accommodation, financial capability evidence, and a detailed travel itinerary.

    UK Tourist Visa Fees from USA

    Visa Duration and ServiceUK Visa Fees from USA 2023
    6 monthsUS$145
    2 yearsUS$505
    5 yearsUS$974
    10 yearsUS$1,217
    Priority ServiceUS$632
    Super Priority ServiceUS$1,263
    UK Tourist Visa Fees from USA

    Other UK Visitor Visas for USA Residents

    Visa Type for US Citizens and Green Card HoldersUK Visa Fees from USA 2023
    Marriage Visitor Visa: For US citizens and Green Card Holders to get married or registering civil partnership in the UK. Duration: Up to 180 days.US$145
    Private Medical Treatment Visa: For US citizens and Green Card Holders to get private medical treatment in the UK lasting 6-11 months. Note: Attendants must apply separately.US$253
    Visiting Academics: For US academic professionals engaging in research or educational exchanges for up to 12 months.US$253
    Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE): For US professionals to perform short-term paid tasks like lecturing or assessing, available for up to 30 days.US$145
    Parent of Child Student Visa: For US parents of children in fee-paying day schools in the UK. Duration: 12 months.US$805
    Transit Visas for US Citizens and Green Card Holder: For brief stops in the UK while transiting to another country. Includes Airside Transit and Visitor in Transit visas. US citizens usually do not require transit visa for transiting through the UK to another countryAirside Transit: US$44
    Visitor in Transit: US$81
    Other UK Visitor Visas for USA Residents

    5. UK Student Visa for US Citizens


    US citizens or Green Card holders looking to pursue education in the UK, including various academic programs or positions like Student Union Sabbatical Officer, need to apply for a Student Visa.

    Application Statistics for 2022

    • Total Applications: 15,639 US citizens applied for a UK student visa.
    • Decisions: Out of 15,711 applications resolved, 15,543 were granted, and 94 were rejected.
    • Success and Refusal Rates: The success rate was 98.93%, and the refusal rate was 0.60%.

    UK Visa Fees from USA for Student Applications

    Application TypeUK Visa Fees from USA 2023
    Standard Student Visa (Processing time usually 3 weeks)US$619
    Dependent Visa (Spouse, Partner, Children)US$619
    Priority Student Visa (Processing within 5 days)Application fee US$619 + Priority service US$632
    Super Priority Student Visa (Next working day processing)Application fee US$619 + Super priority service US$1,263
    UK Visa Fees from USA for Student Applications

    The study visa Immigration Health Charge (IHC), also known as the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), is £624 per year for each applicant.

    Short Term Student (English Language) Visa

    • For English language courses, US citizens and Green Card holders can apply for a Short-term Student (English Language) visa.
    • English Language Study Visa Fee: US$253.

    Note on Short-Term Study: Americans intending to study a course lasting 6 months or less in the UK generally do not require a visa.

    Work Rights for US Students in the UK

    • Degree Level Course: Up to 20 hours per week during term-time.
    • Below Degree Level Course: Up to 10 hours per week during term-time.
    • Semester Break: Full-time work permitted for all students.
    • Dependent Spouse Work Rights: Spouses of degree-level students can work; those of sub-degree students cannot.

    Post Study Work Visa for US Citizens

    • Graduate Route: 2-Year post-study work visa for bachelor’s degree or above.
    • Ph.D. Graduates: Eligible for a 3-Year post-study work visa.

    6. Family Settlement Routes


    The family route is for those US Citizens who can apply for a UK visa because of their relationship to a person settled in the UK or a British citizen. This includes spouse settlement visa, adult dependent relative, parent of a British Child visa etc.

    In the year ending September 2022, 2,717 US Citizens applied for UK family settlement visas. Of the 1,893 resolved applications, 1,752 were granted, and 95 were rejected. Therefore, the UK family (spouse) settlement visa success and refusal rate from USA are 92.55% and 5.02%, respectively.

    UK Spouse or Partner Visa for US Citizens and Green Card Holders

    • Application Criteria for US Nationals and Residents: Those from the USA, including Green Card holders, must adhere to the Appendix FM of the UK Immigration Rules. The UK Spouse Visa necessitates proving a genuine relationship, having financial stability, securing suitable accommodation, and meeting the English language proficiency requirements.
    • Visa Duration and Extension for US Applicants: Initially granted for 33 months, the spouse visa for US citizens and Green Card holders can be extended for an additional 30 months. Eligibility for ILR under the partner route come after 5 years, subject to continuous fulfillment of all visa conditions. In specific cases, a 10-year route to settlement is possible if criteria like financial stability or English proficiency are not met.
    • Visa Fees for Applicants in the USA: The standard fee for a spouse visa application from the USA is US$2,332. For those opting for the expedited 6-week processing, an additional charge of US$632 is required, making the total US$2,964.

    Other Family Visas:

    Visa CategoryUK Visa Fees from USA 2023
    Fiancé(e) Visa
    For Americans and Green Card Holders intending to marry or form a civil partnership in the UK. Valid for 6 months.
    US$2,332
    Parent of a British Child Visa
    For Americans and Green Card Holders who are the sole caregivers of a British child.
    US$2,332
    Adult Dependent Relative Visa
    For Americans and Green Card Holders requiring long-term care from a UK-based relative.
    US$4,106
    Returning Residents Visa
    For Americans and Green Card Holders who have previously been settled in the UK and wish to return.
    US$805
    Other Family Visas for Americans and Green Card Holders

    7. UK Work Permit for US Citizens


    Can I Work in London as a US Citizen?

    Yes, US Citizens can work in London and throughout the UK, but a visa is mandatory. The Skilled Worker Visa is the most common path for Americans seeking employment in the UK.

    Besides the Skilled Worker Visa, US citizens can explore specialized UK work visas such as the Innovator Visa, Startup Visa, Global Business Mobility Visa, and Health and Care Worker Visa.

    For the year ending September 2022, 12,240 US Citizens applied for UK work visas. Out of 12,075 resolved applications, 11,964 were granted, while 32 were denied. The success and refusal rates for UK work visas from the USA stand at 99.08% and 0.27%, respectively.

    Can US Green Card Holder Work in UK?

    Yes, Green Card holders in the United States are not automatically authorized to work in the UK. They will need to secure a suitable UK work visa to be eligible for employment in the United Kingdom, similar to US citizens. Therefore, even if you are a US Green Card holder, you must go through the UK’s immigration process to work there.

    Skilled Worker Visa for US Citizens and Green Card Holders

    US citizens and Green Card holders can work in the UK under the Skilled Worker Visa. This visa is for those sponsored by a licensed Home Office sponsor for specific skilled roles. It offers a path to permanent UK settlement. The cost of the UK Work Visa for US citizens in 2023 stands at US$908 for up to three years and US$1,794 for longer durations.

    The Skilled Worker (Shortage Occupation) Visa fees for US citizens and Green Card Holders is US$696 for up to three years and US$1,370 for durations longer than three years.

    Health and Care Work Visa UK from USA

    This visa is specifically designed for qualified doctors, nurses, or allied health professionals from the USA who are sponsored by a licensed Home Office sponsor. It also provides a route to permanent UK settlement. The UK Work Visa for US citizens cost for this category in 2023 is US$359 for up to three years and US$696 for more extended periods.

    Global Business Mobility Visa to UK from USA

    A comprehensive overview of UK work visas available for US citizens and Green Card holders under the Global Business Mobility category, with details on their fees as of 2023.

    Global Business Mobility Visa CategoryUK Visa Fees from USA 2023
    Senior or Specialist Worker Visa: High-ranking US managers or specialists relocating to a UK branch.US$908 (up to 3 years), US$1,794 (more than 3 years)
    Graduate Trainee Visa: For US citizens and Green Card holders in graduate training programs for specialist roles in the UK.US$377
    UK Expansion Worker Visa: US-based specialists or senior personnel expanding a business into the UK.US$377
    Service Supplier Visa: Americans providing services under UK trade commitments.US$377
    Secondment Worker Visa: US citizens and Green Card holders seconded to the UK for contracts or investments.US$377
    Global Business Mobility Visa to UK from USA

    Quick Guide to Other Work and Business Visas:

    Below is a brief overview of various UK visa categories along with their associated fees for US Citizens and Green Card Holders looking to work or do business in the UK.

    UK Visa Category for US Citizens and Green Card HoldersUK Visa Fees from USA 2023
    Start-Up Visa: For US Citizens starting a business in the UK.US$550
    Innovator Visa: For US Citizens with viable and scalable businesses. Requires endorsement, investment, and English proficiency.US$1,505
    Innovator Founder Visa: For American innovators, leading to potential UK residency for family. Includes endorsement and application fees.Endorsement: US$1,263, Application: US$1,505
    High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa: For US graduates from top-50 universities seeking UK employment.US$1,039
    Scale-Up Visa: For US Citizens and Green Card Holders with a job offer from a UK scale-up company. Potential for UK settlement after 5 years.US$1,039
    Global Talent Visa: For US leaders in academia, research, arts, or digital technology. Fees vary by application type.Approval Letter: US$662, Main Applicant with Letter: US$243, Without Letter/Dependents: US$905
    T2 Minister of Religion Visa: For US Citizens and Green Card Holders intending to undertake religious work.US$908
    International Sportsperson Visa: For elite US sportspersons or coaches. Fees depend on the length of Certificate of Sponsorship (COS).Up to 12 months COS: US$377, More than 12 months COS: US$908
    T5 (Temporary Worker) Visa: For US Citizens in various sectors like seasonal, religious, or creative work.US$377
    Quick Guide to Other Work and Business Visa

    8. FAQs: UK Visa from USA 2023


    1. Can a US Green Card Holder Travel to UK without Visa?

      Generally, U.S. Green Card holders are required to apply for a visa to enter the UK for most purposes, including visit, work and study. However, if the Green Card holder is a non-visa national (such as Australian, Canadian) then can visit UK up to 6 months.

    2. Can US Citizens Work in the UK on Visiting Visa?

      U.S. Citizens are prohibited from working in the UK while on a visiting visa. Breaching these conditions can result in visa cancellation and a re-entry ban.

    3. What is the Typical Processing Time for UK Tourist Visa from the USA?

      The UK visa processing time from USA for all the short and long-term visitor visa application is usually within 10-15 working days i.e. 2 to 3 weeks. Priority visitor visa processing time from USA is normally within 5-7 working days. At times tourist visa processing time for US Citizens may escalate up-to 12 weeks due to documents verification, interview, administrative bottlenecks etc.

    4. Are Priority Services Available for Faster Processing?

      Yes, priority service for visitor visas typically takes 5-7 working days. However, it may extend up to 12 weeks in some cases, due to document verification, interviews, or administrative delays.

    5. What Options Do I Have if My UK Visit Visa Is Refused?

      If your UK visitor visa is rejected, you can either reapply or file for Judicial Review. Note that there is no right of appeal against UK visitor visa denials.

    6. Are There Common Reasons for Visa Rejection?

      Common grounds for UK visitor or tourist visa refusal for U.S. Citizens often include dubious intentions or unexplained large transactions in bank statements.