UK Visa from USA for Americans and Green Card Holders

This guidance provides an overview of the UK visa and immigration application statistics, fees, and processing time from the USA. Accordingly, provides the details of UK visa application fees in USD for US citizens, Green Card holder and American residents. Moreover, also explains: how to apply for a UK visitor visa from the USA? And the usefulness of priority service and user-pay VFS Global Gold, Silver, Bronze and Settlement Premium Packages for American Citizens, Green Card Holders, and Foreign Expatriates.

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UK Visa from USA
UK Visa from USA

UK Visa Requirements for US Citizens and Green Card Holders

US citizens or Green Card Holders, who are 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.

The UK visa requirements for US Citizens and Green Card Holders depends on the type of application. Moreover, the UK visa fee in USA depends on the type of application. For instance, UK tourist, student, and spouse visa fees in USA are US$133, US$486, and US$2,126, respectively.

Applicants applying for UK visa from USA need to pay the online application cost in US Dollars. Accordingly, American citizens can pay for UK visa fee online by a debit or credit card. after completing the application form.

UK Standard Visa Fees and Requirements from USA

US nationals, Green Card Holders, or foreign immigrants living, working, or studying in the USA can apply for UK standard visitor visa for tourism, visiting family, or business meetings.

Accordingly, US Citizens, Green Card Holders, and Foreign Immigrants in the USA can apply for a short term (6 months) or a long term (2, 5 and 10 years) standard visitor visa. The UK multiple entry visa rules are same for all types of standard visitor or tourist visa. Therefore, US Citizens, Green Card Holders, and Foreign Immigrants on standard visitor or tourist visa can stay in the UK for up to 180 days per visit.

Exemption

Since US citizens are non-visa nationals and for visiting UK up-to 6 months they don’t require a visitor or transit visa. However, in terms of Paragraph V 1.3 of Appendix V Immigration Rules for visitors, a non-visa national may only need to apply for the UK visit visa, if they are: (a) visiting the UK to marry or to form a civil partnership, or to give notice of this; or (b) seeking to visit the UK for more than 6 months.

If the Green Card Holder is a citizen of a visa national country such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria etc then needs to apply for visitor visa for visiting the UK. However, if a Green Card Holder is a citizen of a non-visa national country, then can get entry clearance for up-to 6 months at the port of entry.

ePassport Gates

Nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, the United States of America (B5JSSK), EEA states and Switzerland can use ePassport gates to enter the UK. If they do so without holding a valid entry clearance they will automatically receive 6 months permission to enter as a Standard visitor and will not receive an endorsement in their passport. Therefore, a US citizen or Green Card Holder, who is a non-visa national, does not require a visa for visiting the UK up-to 6 months.

Standard Visitor Visa UK Fees in USA

From Oct 11, 2021, UK visa fees from USA for 6 months tourist or visitor are US$133, which is commonly known as cost of England or London visa. Frequent travellers from USA to UK can apply for a long-term visitor visa for tourism, visiting family, and permitted business activities. The UK visa fees from USA for long term 2, 5, and 10 years tourist or visitor visa application are US$504, US$914, and US$1,148, respectively.

UK visa fees from USA in 2021 for 6 months, 2, 5, and 10 years child visitor are US$133, US$504, US$914, and US$1,148, respectively.

The UK visitor visa processing time from USA is usually within 3-weeks. The UK priority tourist or visitor visa processing time from the USA is normally within 5 working days.

UK Visa from USA
UK Visa from USA for US Citizens and Green Card Holder 2021

Enquiry Form

    *What happens next?

    Multilingual qualified London based immigration specialists will get back to you, usually within 2-3 working days. If you have not attached any documents, then the UK based Law firm may ask for the relevant Case-Specific Document(s) such as Refusal Letters, Deportation Orders, Application Forms etc. Moreover, after reviewing the papers and information, the legal advisor may advise a course of action and quote the fees for processing the application.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Priority Visa UK from USA

    Americans can use Priority (Non-Settlement), Priority (Settlement), and Super-Priority Service to fast track UK visa application.

    If the focus is to get the decision as quickly as possible, then Americans can use the priority service. The priority service is an optional user-pay service, which are exclusive to the application fee. Priority service enables fast tracking of UK visa processing time by putting an application at the front of the queue. The priority service is for fast tracking a straightforward visa application. A straightforward UK visa application from USA means that the credentials of the applicant are immaculate, without any past refusals and adverse immigration history.

    Please note priority or super-priority service does not guarantee a favourable result. Moreover, payment for priority service does not even guarantee a quick decision.

    After purchasing the priority service applicants need to take a printout of the receipt. And should include the receipt with the application. Moreover, on the outer envelope, the applicant should write ‘priority service’ in large black print and mail the envelope at VFS Services USA Inc, UKVI Scanning Hub, 750 Third Avenue, Suite 946, New York, NY 10017.

    Therefore, in the case of priority service, the final envelope must include the following types of documents:

    1. Print out of the UK visa online application form
    2. A valid passport with at least one-page blank on both sides
    3. Supporting documents of the applicant
    4. Biometric confirmation receipt- Stamped from USCIS ACS
    5. Receipt of priority service from VFS Global
    6. Prepaid electronic shipping label for return shipment of documents

    Priority Visa UK Fees from USA

    From Oct 11, 2021, the UK priority settlement (spouse) and non-settlement (visit, student, work) visa fees in USA are US$800 and US$307, respectively. The cost of UK super-priority visa for tourists and visitors from USA is US$1,335.

    Priority Settlement Visa

    To avail the priority settlement visa service in the USA, applicants can either pay US$746 online or purchase the VFS Global settlement premium service package, which costs US$2,000 and offers six services.

    Super Priority Visa in USA

    US citizens and Green Card Holders can use super-priority service to receive a decision within 24 hours. However, American Citizens and Green Card Holders can only avail UK super-priority visa service by purchasing USD1,900 VFS Gold Premium Package for the following types of applications:

    1. Standard visitor visa for tourism and other short-stay visitor visas
    2. PBS Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
    3. If an applicant has an authority to live in the USA, then can apply for PBS Tier 2 and Tier 5 applicants
    4. PBS Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) and Tier 5 (Temporary worker – Creative and Sporting) if an applicant is in the USA for a similar purpose
    5. PBS Tier 4 student visas – for applicants who are in the USA and are subject to different documentary requirements under the PBS Tier 4 Student route
    6. Settlement in the UK (Immigration Rules Appendix FM: family members) using the settlement premium service (Bronze, Silver and Gold services are not available for settlement applications)

    UK Student Visa Fee and Requirements from USA

    For studying in the UK, American citizens and Green Card Holders need to apply for the student visa, which has replaced the Tier 4 (General) Student as of October 5, 2020. Accordingly, the student route is for US citizens and Green Card Holders to study with a sponsor on a course of further or higher education, a pre-sessional English course, a recognised foundation programme or to take an elected post as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer. If an American intends to study a short term English Language course up to 11 months in the UK, then can do so on a visiting visa.

    UK student visa processing time from USA is usually within 2-3 weeks (10-15 working days). The UK student priority visa timelines time from USA is normally within 5 working days.

    How much is UK Student Visa Fee in USA 2021?

    The UK student visa fees in USA 2021 are US$486 to study in London or elsewhere in England or Britain. Moreover, the UK student visa fees in USA 2021 for dependants are also US$486.

    From Oct 11, 2021, the UK priority and super-priority student (Tier 4) visa fees in USA are US$793 and US$1,821, respectively.

    Short Term Student (English Language) Visa

    If Americans intend to study English language in the UK for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months at an accredited institution, then needs to apply for Short-term Student (English language). However, if Americans intend to study a course for 6 months or less without a student sponsor but with an accredited provider then can apply under Appendix V for Visitor.

    From Oct 11, 2021, the UK Short-term (English Language) student visitor visa fees from USA for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months are US$260.

    The UK Short-term (English Language) student visitor visa processing time from USA is usually within 15 working days.

    How much is IHS for UK student visa in USA?

    The Immigration Health Charge (aka Immigration Health Surcharge or IHS) for student visa from USA is usually @ £624 per year for each year of stay in the UK.

    How much is IHS for student dependent visa in USA?

    The IHS for student dependent visa from USA is usually @ £624 per year for each year of stay in the UK.

    Does UK Student Visa Allow Americans to Work?

    Yes, if an American or Green Card Holder is studying a degree level or below level course in the UK then can work. Moreover, an American student on a Work Placement, Student Union Sabbatical Officer and postgraduate doctor or dentist on a recognised foundation programme can also work in the UK. However, a Child Student under 16 years old cannot work at all during their time in the UK. A Child Student who is aged 16 or above, is allowed to work.

    How Many Hours Can Americans Work on a Student Visa in the UK?

    Americans studying a degree level and a below degree level course on the student visa in the UK can work for 20 hours and 10 hours per week during term-time, respectively.

    Can Americans Work More than 20 Hours on a Student Visa in UK?

    During the semester, American students in the UK, pursuing a degree level or below degree level course can work for 20 hours and 10 hours, respectively. However, during the semester break and before the start of the course, a degree level or below degree level American student can work full time in the UK.

    Can American Spouse Work on Student Dependent Visa in UK?

    A dependent spouse of an American student studying below degree level course cannot work in the UK. However, a dependent spouse of an American student studying degree level course can work (including self-employment and voluntary work) in the UK.

    Does UK Give Post Study Work Visa to Americans?

    Yes, under the New Graduate route American students, who has completed bachelor’s degree or above in the UK, can apply for 2-Year post study work visa. However, if an American has completed a PhD in the UK, then can get 3-Year post study work visa.

    UK Family Visa Fees and Requirements from USA

    The family route is for those Americans and Green Card Holders 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 dependant relative, parent of a British Child visa etc.

    Spouse

    In terms of Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, US citizens and Green Card Holders can apply for a UK spouse or partner visa under the 5-year route. If Americans meet the UK spouse visa requirements under the 5-year route, then get an entry clearance as a spouse, civil, unmarried, same-sex partner for an initial period of 33 months with a condition of no recourse to public funds. After 30 months Americans need to make spouse visa extension application for a further leave to remain in the UK.

    Americans may qualify for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) after completing 60 months (5 years) in the UK on spouse visa. The ILR under the 5-year spouse visa route is for those who meet all the suitability and eligibility requirements of the Immigration Rules at every stage. If an American spouse or partner fails to meet the financial, English language or lawful immigration status requirements then cannot apply for settlement under the 5-year route. However, if exceptional circumstances under Appendix FM apply then an American may be considered for settlement under the 10-year route.

    Spouse Visa UK Fees in USA

    From Oct 11, 2021, the UK spouse visa fees in USA are US$2,126. The UK embassy visa fees in USA are same for civil, unmarried, or same-sex partner. UK settlement priority service cost in USA is US$800 for fast tracking applications within thirty working days. Accordingly, the UK priority spouse visa fees in USA 2021 are US$2,926.

    The service standard of UK spouse visa processing time after biometrics from USA is to decide 98.5% and 100% applications within 12 and 24 weeks, respectively. Moreover, the service standard for UK spouse priority visa timelines from USA is 30 working days or 6 weeks.

    Fiancé(e)

    Americans can apply for fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner visa if the purpose is getting married or entering a civil partnership in the UK. The duration of fiancé(e) visa is six (6) months. After the marriage or civil partnership in the UK, American can apply for leave to remain as a spouse or civil partner.

    From Oct 11, 2021, the UK fiancé(e) visa fees in USA are US$2,126. The UK priority fiancé(e) visa fees in USA are US$2,926.

    Parent of a British Child

    Americans can apply for Parent of a British Child Visa if they have the sole responsibility for or direct access to the child following the breakdown of their relationship with the child’s other parent. From Oct 11, 2021, the UK visa cost in USA for Parent of British Child and dependant child under the family route are US$2,126.

    Adult Dependant Relative

    Americans can apply for Adult Dependant Relative Visa if they are elderly parents (or other adult dependent relatives such as brothers, sisters etc) and need long-term personal care due to illness, age or disability and the UK sponsor is their only relative, who can provide such long-term personal care without recourse to public funds.

    From Oct 11, 2021, the UK Adult Dependant Relative visa fees in USA are US$4,538.

    Dep. joining or accompanying

    The ‘joining or accompanying’ route is for those Americans and Green Card Holders who are applying for visa based on their relationship to another migrant who is not settled in the UK or a British citizen, and who is on a route without a specific visa for dependants.

    The UK spouse or partner visa fees in USA 2021 under Dependant Joining or Accompanying route are US$2,126.

    Returning Residents

    Americans may be able to live permanently in the UK as a ‘returning resident’ if they were previously settled in the UK. From Oct 11, 2021, the UK visa application cost in USA for Returning residents is US$720.

    EEA Family Permit

    Due to Brexit, the EEA family permit route under EEA Regulations 2016 has ended on June 30, 2021.

    EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit

    In terms of Appendix EU (Family Permit), Americans can apply for EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Family Permit as a non-EEA family member such as spouse, civil partner, child, child above 21 years of age, and parent of an EEA national living in the UK.

    There are no application charges for EUSS Family Permit in USA. The EUSS application processing time is 10-15 working days for most of the US nationals.

    Route to Settlement – Refugee Dependant Relative

    From Oct 11, 2021, the UK visa fees in USA for Route to Settlement (refugee dependant relative) are US$542.

    Appendix ECAA Extension of Stay

    There are no application charges for Dependent children under the age of 21 only applying under “Appendix ECAA Extension of Stay”.

    Settlement for current and former members of HM armed forces, and their dependants

    From Oct 11, 2021, the UK settlement visa fees from USA for current and former members of HM armed forces, and their dependants are as under:

    • Former UK Armed Forces US$2,126
    • Indefinite leave to enter the UK as the dependant of a member of the armed forces under Appendix Armed Forces to the Immigration Rules. US$3,335
    • Pre 1997 Gurkhas (outside immigration rules) US$2,126
    • Overage dependant children of pre 1997 Gurkhas US$2,126
    • HM Forces dependants applying under part 4,5,7 or 8 of Appendix Armed Forces US$2,126

    Family Reunion to Join Asylum Seekers

    There are no application fees for Family reunion, under Part 11 of Asylum, Immigration Rules (pre-flight dependants). The UK visa fees in USA for Post-flight dependants are US$2,126. The application fees for Family reunion (other dependent relatives) are US$542.

    UK Work Visa Fees and Requirements in USA

    Americans can apply for UK work visa. The most popular visa in USA for working in the UK is the Skilled Worker (previously Tier 2 General). However, Americans and Green Card Holders can apply for other types of UK work visa such as Innovator, Startup, Global Talent, Health and Care Worker etc.

    How to get a job in UK from USA?

    The most popular route for getting a job in the UK from USA is the UK Skilled Worker Visa. Therefore, if an American is sponsored to do a specific skilled job for a Home Office licensed sponsor, then can apply for the Skilled Worker Visa UK. The Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 General (aka work permit) in 2020. However, unlike Tier 2 General, this new route for skilled workers can lead to permanent settlement (ILR) in the UK.

    On 4 August 2020, the British Government had launched the Health and Care Visa for qualified American doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who have been trained to a recognised standard and who have good working English. Although, the Health and Care visa forms part of the Skilled Worker route; however, there are a few differences between skilled worker and health and care visa UK.

    Global Talent

    Americans can apply for a UK Global Talent visa if they are a leader or potential leader in academia or research, arts and culture, and digital technology. The Global Talent visa has replaced the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa. From Oct 11, 2021, the UK Global Talent Visa Fees in USA are as under:

    • Stage 1 – endorsement application – main applicant US$637
    • Stage 2 – entry clearance application – main applicant US$135
    • Subsequent application US$849
    • Dependants US$849

    Start-up

    If Americans intend to set up an innovative business for the first time in the UK, then can apply for the Start-up visa. The Start-up visa has replaced the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur route in March 2019. The UK Start-up Visa Fees in USA 2021 are US$507 for main applicant and dependants.

    Innovator

    If Americans intend to do innovative, viable, and scalable business in the UK then can apply for the Innovator visa. The Innovator visa has replaced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route in March 2019. The UK Innovator Visa Fees in USA 2021 are US$1,425 for main applicant and dependants.

    Investor

    The Investor visa is for high value Americans, who intend to make an investment in the UK. Innovator visa has replaced the Tier 1 Investor. The UK Investor Visa Fees in USA 2021 are US$2,266 for main applicant and dependants.

    Skilled Worker (aka Tier 2 General or Work Permit)

    If Americans are sponsored to do a specific skilled job for a Home Office licensed sponsor, then can apply for UK Skilled Worker visa. The Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 General (aka work permit) in 2020. However, unlike Tier 2 General, this new route for skilled workers can lead to permanent settlement (ILR) in the UK.

    The UK Skilled Worker visa fees depends on the duration of the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) for main applicant and dependants. If the COS has been issued for three years or less, then the UK Skilled Worker Visa Fees in USA are US$852. However, if the COS has been issued for three years or more then the UK Skilled Worker Visa Fees in USA are US$1,703.

    Skilled Worker (Shortage Occupation)

    The UK Skilled Worker Shortage Occupation visa fees depends on the duration of the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS). If the COS has been issued for three years or less, then the UK Skilled Worker Shortage Occupation Visa Fees in USA are US$648. However, if the COS has been issued for three years or more then the UK Skilled Worker Shortage Occupation Visa Fees in USA are US$1,296.

    Health and Care Worker Visa

    If Americans are sponsored to work in the UK as a qualified doctor, nurse, or allied health professional for a Home Office licensed sponsor, then can apply for Health and Care Visa. This Health and Care visa route for skilled workers can lead to permanent settlement (ILR) in the UK.

    The UK Health and Care visa fees depends on the duration of the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS). If the COS has been issued for three years or less, then the UK Health and Care Visa Fees in USA are US$324. However, if the COS has been issued for three years or more then the UK Health and Care Visa Fees in USA are US$648.

    Intra-Company Transfer

    The Intra-Company Transfer route is for established American workers who are transferred by their business to do a skilled role in the UK. The Intra-Company Transfer visa has replaced the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) route.

    The UK Intra-Company Transfer visa fees depends on the duration of the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS). If the COS has been issued for three years or less, then the UK Intra-Company Transfer Visa Fees in USA are US$852. However, if the COS has been issued for three years or more then the UK Intra-Company Transfer Visa Fees in USA are US$1,703.

    Intra-Company Graduate Trainee

    The Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route is for those American workers who are transferred by their business to undertake a role in the UK as part of a structured graduate training programme. The Intra-Company Graduate Trainee visa has replaced the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Graduate Trainee route. UK Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa Fees in USA are US$673.

    T2 Sportsperson

    The T2 Sportsperson route is for an elite American sportsperson or coach whose employment will make a significant contribution to the development of sport at the highest level in the UK. The T2 Sportsperson visa has replaced the Tier 2 Sportsperson route.

    T2 Sportsperson visa fees depends on the duration of the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS). If the COS has been issued for three years or less, then the UK T2 Sportsperson Visa Fees in USA are US$852. However, if the COS has been issued for three years or more then the UK T2 Sportsperson Visa Fees in USA are US$1,703.

    T2 Minister of Religion

    The T2 Minister of Religion route is for those Americans who intend to undertake preaching and pastoral work, Missionary, or Member of a Religious Order in the UK. The T2 Minister of Religion visa has replaced the Tier 2 Minister of Religion route.

    T2 Minister of Religion visa fees depends on the duration of the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS). If the COS has been issued for three years or less, then the T2 Minister of Religion Visa Fees in USA are US$852. However, if the COS has been issued for three years or more then the T2 Minister of Religion Visa Fees in USA are US$1,703.

    T5 (Temporary Worker)

    T5 (Temporary Worker) Visa is for Seasonal Worker, Religious Worker, Charity Worker, Creative and Sporting Worker, International Agreement Worker, Government Authorised Exchange Worker and Youth Mobility Scheme. The T5 (Temporary Worker) Visa has replaced the Tier 5 Temporary Worker route. T5 (Temporary Worker) Visa Fees in USA are US$341 for main applicant and dependants.

    Other UK Work Visas

    The UK visa fees in USA for other types of work applications are:

    • Graduate Entrepreneur – dependants only US$507
    • Tier 1 Exceptional Talent – dependants only US$849
    • Offshore worker US$720
    • Overseas domestic worker in a private household US$720
    • Representative of overseas business and dependants US$852
    • An employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation US$852
    • Sheep Shearer US$720
    • Ancestry Visa US$720

    Other Visitor Visas

    Apart from standard visa, Americans and Green Card Holders can apply for other types of visitor visas such as marriage, visiting academic, permitted paid engagement (PPE), parent of a child student, and private medical treatment.

    Marriage

    Americans need to apply for a marriage visitor visa if they are travelling to the UK for getting married, forming a civil partnership, or giving a notice of marriage or civil partnership. The UK marriage visitor visa fees 2021 in USA are US$133. Americans can stay in the UK up to 180 days on a marriage visitor visa.

    The UK marriage visitor visa processing time from USA is usually 15 working days.

    Private Medical Treatment

    Americans need to apply for a medical visitor visa if they are travelling to the UK for getting private medical treatment and check-up for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months. The UK Private Medical Treatment Visitor Visa Fees in USA are US$265. Americans can stay in the UK up to 11 months on private medical treatment visa.

    Please note, there is no provision in the Immigration Rules for a family member, friend, or nurse to accompany a visitor, who is coming to the UK for private medical treatment. Therefore, any attendant needs to apply as a visitor and satisfy the requirements.

    The UK medical visitor visa processing time from USA is usually 15 working days.

    Visiting Academic

    For research and formal exchange arrangements, Americans can apply for academic visitor visa UK up to 12 months. The UK Academic Visitor Visa Cost from USA is US$265. American academics (and the accompanying partner or child) can stay in the UK up to 12 months on academic visitor visa.

    The UK Visiting Academic visitor visa processing time from USA is usually 15 working days.

    Permitted Paid Engagement

    The Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor Visa is for experts in their field coming to the UK to undertake specific paid engagements up to one month. Accordingly, as per Appendix 3 of Appendix V of the Immigration Rules, American professionals such as visiting examiners, assessors, lecturers, designated air pilot examiners, qualified lawyers, artists, entertainers, and sportspersons can apply for Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor Visa UK up to 30 days.

    The UK Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor Visa Fees from USA are US$133.

    The permitted paid engagement visitor visa processing time from USA is usually 15 working days.

    Approved Destination Scheme (ADS)

    The ADS visa is only for Chinese nationals for visiting the UK in tour groups through authorized agents. Therefore, Americans cannot apply for ADS visa. However, Chinese citizens in USA can apply for ADS visa up to 30 days- only if they are travelling to the UK in tour groups through authorized agents. ADS visa charges are US$133.

    Parent of a Child Student

    Americans can apply for a Parent of Child Student Visa up to 12 months if their child is attending an independent fee-paying day school in the UK. Parent of Tier 4 Child Student Visa Cost from USA is US$720.

    The parent of Tier 4 child student visa processing time from USA is usually 15 working days.

    Transit

    The transit visa is for those Americans who intend to transit the UK on route to another country outside the Common Travel Area (CTA) and who will enter the UK for up to 48 hours by crossing the UK border unless Appendix Visitor: Transit Without Visa Scheme applies.

    From Oct 11, 2021, the cost of Direct Airside Transit (DATV) Visa UK from USA is US$49. However, the UK visa fees in USA for ‘Visitor in Transit’ and for ‘Joining a Ship or Aircraft as a Member of Crew of that Ship or Aircraft’ are US$89.

    Please note Americans having a valid standard, marriage, or medical visitor visa are allowed to transit the UK, therefore, such passengers do not need to apply for the transit visa.

    The UK transit visa application processing time from the USA is usually within 7-10 working days.

    Other Visas and Services

    The UK Visa Fees in USA for Other Visas and Services are as under:

    • Hong Kong British National (Overseas) for 30 months US$251
    • Hong Kong British National (Overseas) for 5 years US$349
    • Right of abode – certificate of entitlement US$542
    • Vignette transfer (transfer of a valid visa vignette to a new passport or replace a lost/stolen document) US$215
    • Single entry visa to replace a biometric residence permit US$215
    • Registered Traveller (UK only) – adult US$70
    • Registered Traveller (UK only) – child US$34
    • Registration of New documents – Registered Traveller (UK only) US$28
    • Receiving/handling/ forwarding applications on behalf of Commonwealth Countries/Overseas Territories US$197
    • Dependants of exempt international forces applying under Part 10 of Appendix Armed Forces US$720

    Exemptions

    Following types of applicants are exempt from paying UK visa application fees in USA:

    • FCO Strategic performance fund and bilateral projects
    • HM Forces personnel or Member of foreign armed force – exempt from immigration control
    • Diplomatic Posting to the UK
    • Diplomatic Posting to the UK (Dependant)
    • Members of International Organisations on Official Visits
    • Official Transit through the UK
    • Official Visit to the UK

    How to Apply for UK from the USA?

    There are two methods of submitting the UK visa applications from the USA i.e. an applicant can submit the application by the undertaking the biometrics at:

    • USCIS Application Support centre (ASC) or
    • VFS Premium Application Centres in the USA

    US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) ASC

    If an applicant intends to have a biometric appointment at a US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) application support centre (ASC) then needs to under the following steps:

    1. An applicant needs to apply for a UK visa application online and follow the instructions on the online application form to pay the application fee. Moreover, the applicant also needs to book a biometrics appointment (for photo and fingerprints) at any of the USCIS ASC online. And take a printout of the online application form and that of the biometric confirmation receipt.
    2. At the biometrics appointment date, an application needs to visit the USCIS ASC with their current passport, a printout of online application form. And a copy of the biometric confirmation receipt. The staff of USCIS ASC will take the biometrics and stamp the biometric confirmation receipt.
    3. Once the biometric confirmation receipt is stamped then the applicant needs to mail the application to VFS Services USA Inc within 5 days.
    4. Accordingly, an applicant needs to put their UK visa application form, a valid passport with at least one-page blank on both sides, supporting documents and the STAMPED biometric confirmation receipts in an envelope and mail/courier the package at VFS Services USA Inc, UKVI Scanning Hub, 750 Third Avenue, Suite 946, New York, NY 10017.
    5. Moreover, for return shipping of the documents, an applicant needs to furnish a fully addressed prepaid electronic shipping label. Please note: UKVI does not accept ground services and non-electronic waybills. Accordingly, the applicant needs to put the return shipping label and envelope inside the package. And keep a copy of the waybill for his/her record.

    Infants

    Please note, infants/children under the age of 5 applying for a UK visa also need to attend an appointment at a USCIS ASC. However, the staff of the ASC only takes the photograph of the children/infants under the age of 5 and will not take the biometrics of their fingerprints.

    VFS Premium Service Centres in the USA

    An applicant can apply for the UK visa from following VFS Premium Application Centres in the USA:

    1. New York Premium Application Centre – 845 Third Avenue, Floor 6, New York, NY 10022
    2. San Francisco Premium Application Centre – 315 Montgomery Street, Floor 10, San Francisco, CA 94104
    3. Los Angeles Premium Application Centre – 1901 Avenue of the Stars, Floor 2, Los Angeles, CA 90067
    4. Washington DC Premium Application Centre – 1025 Vermont Avenue NW, Floor 2, Washington, DC 20005
    5. Miami Premium Application Centre – 2655 S Le Jeune Road, Penthouse 1A, Coral Gables, FL 33134
    6. Chicago Premium Application Centre – 564 West Randolph St, Floor 2, Chicago, IL 60661
    7. Houston Premium Application Centre – 700 Milam Street, Suite 1300, Houston, TX 77002
    8. Boston Premium Application Centre – 160 Federal Street, Suite #1700, Boston, MA 02110
    9. Atlanta Premium Application Centre – 100 Peachtree Street NW, Floor 22, Atlanta, GA 30303
    10. Seattle Premium Application Centre – 701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 4200, Seattle, WA 98104

    UK Visa VFS Premium Packages in the USA

    To facilitate applications from the USA, VFS offers 4 premium packages. And depending on the service features, the cost of the VFS premium service packages varies from US$410 to US$2,000. Accordingly, the 4 premium service packages are:

    1. Gold Premium Package for US$1,900 with 7 services
    2. Silver Premium Package for US$875 with 5 services
    3. Bronze Premium Package for US$410 with 4 services
    4. Settlement Premium Package for US$2,000 with 6 services

    VFS Gold Premium Package in the USA

    Quite clear, the price of Gold package has increased from US$1,800/- to US$1,900. However, the number of services included in the Gold package has reduced from 9 to 7. Accordingly, at present, the Gold premium package includes the following 7 services:

    1. Super Priority Visa – to get a UK visa decision within 24 hours
    2. Walk-in Without Appointment – to apply for the visa without making a booking in advance
    3. Form Filling Assistance – Personal assistance on the phone or in-person
    4. Application and Document Checks – to ensure that supporting documents are appropriate
    5. Courier Service – passport delivery at an applicant’s home or office address
    6. SMS Service – instant updates on mobile
    7. Health Concierge – free health concierge

    Previously, the Gold package also included the following couple of services:
    Certification – to keep hold of original documents
    Registered Traveller Assistance – to expedite entry clearance at the UK borders

    VFS Silver Premium Package in the USA

    The price of the Silver Premium Package has increased from USD775 to USD875. Although, the number of services included in the package has remained the same. However, the composition of the services i.e. instead of Certification Service, the Silver Package now include the Walk-in Without Appointment Service. Accordingly, the VFS Silver Premium Package includes the following five services:

    1. Priority Visa Service – to put the application at the front of the queue
    2. Application and Document Checks – review of all the supporting documents required by VFS staff
    3. Walk-in Without Appointment – to apply for the visa without making a booking in advance
    4. Courier Service – after the decision, passport delivers directly to an applicant’s home or office
    5. SMS Service – instant visa application updates on the applicant’s mobile phone

    Please note, previously the Silver Package included Certification Service to keep hold of the original documents of an applicant.

    VFS Bronze Premium Package in the USA

    The price of the VFS Bronze Premium Package is US$410/-. And the package includes the following 4 services:

    1. Application and Document Checks – review of all the supporting documents required
    2. Courier Service – delivery of passport directly to either home or office address of an applicant
    3. SMS Service – instant visa application updates sent to your phone
    4. Walk-in Without Appointment – to apply for the visa without making a booking in advance

    VFS Settlement Premium Package in the USA

    Certainly, the price of the Settlement Premium Package has increased from US$1,900/- to US$2,000. This is a rebranding of the VFS deluxe settlement service package, which offered 8 services inclusive of the priority service. Accordingly, the VFS Settlement Premium Package includes the following 6 services:

    1. Priority Visa for settlement or migration service to put an application at the front of the queue
    2. Form Filling Assistance Personal assistance, on the phone or in-person
    3. Application and Document Checks – review of all the supporting documents required
    4. Keep My Passport When Applying – service to retain passport during the processing
    5. Courier Service – delivery of passport directly to either home or office address of an applicant
    6. SMS Service – instant visa application updates sent to your phone

    Please note previously the deluxe settlement service package also included the following couple of services:
    Certification – service to keep hold of the original documents
    Registered Traveller Assistance – help in registering for faster clearance at the UK borders

    UK Visa from USA Statistics

    During 2016-18 the number of UK visa applications made by US nationals is showing an upward trend. Accordingly, the number of applications increased from 36.4K (2016) to 37.6K in 2018. Therefore, the total number of decisions on the UK visa applications from US citizens have also increased from 36.4K (2016) to 37.1K in 2018. In 2018 the number of grants increased to 34.7K from 35.7K in 2016. Moreover, in 2018 the number of refusals decreased to 1.1K from 1.5K (2016).

    UK Visa Success Rate for American Citizens

    The UK visa success rate for US citizens is showing an upward trend. During 2016-18, the UK visa success rate for US citizens has increased from 95.43% to 96.42%. The UK visa refusal rate for US citizens is showing a downward trajectory due to an increase in the number of decisions and grants in tandem with a decrease in the number of refused applications. Accordingly, the UK visa refusal rate for US citizens has decreased from 4.14% to 3.11%.

    UK Visa for US Citizens – Statistics

    Year 2018
    UK Visa Applications from US Citizens 37,613
    Decisions 37,116
    Grants 35,788
    Refusals 1,153
    Withdrawals 172
    Lapsed 3
    UK Visa Success Rate for US Citizens 96.42%
    Refusal Rate 3.11%

    FAQs

    How many American Citizens apply for UK visa?

    Every year more than 36K American citizens apply for a UK visa from the USA. However, the number of applications from the United States far exceeds the number of applications made by US citizens because approx. 13.5 m permanent residents (green card holders) and other foreign nationals working or studying in the USA also apply for UK visa.

    How much is the UK Visa Fees from USA?

    The UK visa fees in the USA is different for several types of applications. The application fee is usually revised once every year. Therefore, the charges in GBP remain the same during the year. However, due to exchange rate fluctuations, the UK Visa Price in USD may vary during the year.

    What is the UK Visa Processing Time in the USA?

    The UK visa timelines from the USA vary on case to case basis. However, the UK non-settlement visa application processing times from the USA processing times are usually 15-30 working days. The UK visa processing time after biometrics from the USA for 30-60% of non-settlement applications is usually within 3-5 days due to the use of priority service. In May 2019, most of the UK visitor, Tier 4 student, and Tier 5 work visa applications from DHS (Department of Homeland Security) for applicant who has used USCIS ASC for biometrics has processed within 15-30 working days. Moreover, 88%, 94% and 100% of the EEA family permit application from DHS VAC, USA, processed within 30, 90 and 120 working days, respectively.

    The UK visa processing time from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, and Washington DC for most of the non-settlement entry clearance applications was within 15-30 working days or 6 weeks.

    UK Spouse Visa Processing Time in the USA

    The UK spouse visa timeline from the USA is usually within 30-90 working days. Quite a few of applicants applying for UK spouse visa from the USA are opting for priority service as 50% of the settlement applications processed within thirty working days. 93% and 97% of the UK spouse settlement visa applications from DHS VAC, USA, decided within 60 and 90 working days, respectively.

    UK Visa Processing Time during Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Due to the ongoing global impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19), disruptions to local travel and courier routes have increased UK visa processing time in some regions and countries. These delays mean that it may take longer than usual for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to assess entry clearance applications. The UK non-settlement visa (such as visit, tourist, work, student) processing time after biometrics during coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic may take more than 15 working days (3 weeks). Moreover, the settlement visa (spouse or family under Appendix FM) processing time after biometrics for applications from outside the UK may take more than sixty working days (12 weeks).

    Delays in UK Visa Processing Time from USA

    At times only a fraction of the applications from US might experience delays in processing. There could be several reasons for delays in UK visa processing.

    What if the UK Visa from USA is Refused?

    Empirically, the UK visa refusal rate from USA is quite low. Nevertheless, after a refusal decision, an applicant can either reapply or challenge a refusal decision by filing an appeal, administrative review, or judicial review. Please note there is no right of appeal against the refusal except on human rights grounds. However, a US passport holder or Green Card Holder has the option of either re-applying or filing an immigration judicial review against the refusal.