UK Tourist Visa 2020: how to fill the online application form?

This guidance relates to UK Tourist visa 2020. And explain: how to apply and fill the UK tourist and family visit visa online application form. Moreover, provides the tour details and UK tourist visa online application form supporting documents requirement. Accordingly, the post covers the following topics:

  1. UK Tourist Visa online application form requirements: FAQs
  2. UK Tourist Visa Online Filled Application Form Example
  3. What are the UK tourist visa supporting documents requirements?

Moreover, for case processing and representation contact specialist UK visa and immigration solicitors for appeals, administrative review, judicial review and reapplications.

1) UK Tourist Visa online application form: FAQs

UK tourist visa application requirements
Is the UK visit visa online application form really difficult?

No, apparently, the online UK tourist visa application form is fairly simple. If an applicant has done homework then it may not take more than 1-2 hours to fill and finalize the online application form. Therefore, it is important to gather and finalize supporting documents before completing the online application form.

How to get a GWF number?

In fact, a GWF number is an automatically generated number by the UK visa and immigration (UKVI) online application system once an applicant initiates an online application. However, if an applicant fails to finalize the application within 30 days, the application automatically lapses.

Is an invitation letter necessary for UK tourist visa?

No, a sponsor letter is not a requirement for a UK tourist visa application. However, for a UK tourist visa application, it is expedient that an applicant furnishes a trip itinerary to justify the purpose of visiting the UK. Certainly, it is crucial for the UK tourist visa applicant to establish genuine intentions of returning to the home country. And also to provide evidence of maintenance funds for the trip.

Can a third party sponsor the trip cost?

Yes, in case of family or business visits, a third party can sponsor the applicant. If a third party is sponsoring the trip costs than an applicant needs to provide the name, address and copy of the British passport (or residence permit), bank statements, accommodation details of the sponsor. And importantly the reason why the third party is bearing the trip cost.

Is the cover letter really necessary?

Well, it is optional. Perhaps, a cover letter is only recommended for complex applications, which are not straightforward.

What is a UK tourist and family visit visa?

When an applicant applies the UK standard visitor visa for the purpose of tourism then it is commonly known as a tourist visa application. And when an applicant applies standard visa for meeting a family member in the UK then it is commonly known as a family visit visa application.

What are the chances of getting a UK tourist visa?

The decision is an outcome of the assessment process, which evaluates the overall credibility of an applicant. Perhaps, establishing this overall credibility determines the chances of getting a UK tourist visa!

Is it important to fill the UK tourist visa form correctly?

Perhaps, it is quite important to fill the online application form correctly because it asks for pertinent information, which is critical for decision making.

In fact, an applicant can meet the UK tourist and family visit visa requirements by carefully filling the application form. And also gathered relevant documents to explain and support the online application form.

Accordingly, an applicant needs to clearly explain in the application form that he/she is well settled in his/her country of residence. Therefore, has no intentions of not returning to the home country after the proposed trip. Moreover, have ample funds to meet the trip costs without recourse to the public funds!

Is proper documentation critical for success?

Yes, perhaps, the UK visit visa application outcome greatly depends on the presentation of the personal circumstances in the application– i.e. how accurately an applicant fills the online application form. And how accurate are the supporting documents to justify the purpose and explaining the personal circumstances of an applicant?

Accordingly, to substantiate the personal credentials, ability to maintain during the visit and bearing the cost of a return journey, an applicant needs to submit evidence such as marriage or civil partnership certificate, family form, bank statements, income and tax certificates and returns. However, there is no need for submitting meaningless supporting documents such as credit card statements.

Is a trip itinerary (tour details) required for the UK tourist visa?

Yes, perhaps if an applicant is applying for UK tourist visa then it is expedient to provide a trip itinerary. However, there is no need for providing tour details for a UK family visitor visa application. Apparently, a 15-day trip itinerary for UK tourist visa application may include the following activities:

Day 1, 2, 3, 4- Glimpses of London
Trafalgar Square (Charing Cross Station)
James’ Gardens
Buckingham Palace
Westminster- Church, Parliament Buildings and Big Ben
London Eye (Ride)
Boat ride on the Thames
Downing Street
Tower of London (Inside)
Day 5, 6, 7, 8- Museum Days
Natural History Museum
Science Museum (South Kensington Station)
Victoria and Albert Museum
British Museum
Tate Gallery
Leicester Square/Oxford Circus
Day 9, 10, 11- Gardens Days
Kew Gardens (whole day)
Sherlock Holmes Museum
Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum
Planetarium
Hyde Park (Walk)
Day 12 and 13 – Shopping and Glimpses of London

What information is provided in the online UK tourist visa form?

Evidently, the finally filled UK standard visitor visa online application form (PDF) usually has the following sections:

  1. Summary information
  2. Travel information
  3. Personal information
  4. Passport details
  5. Spouse/partner details
  6. Dependant details
  7. Parent details
  8. Employment, Income and expenditure sections
  9. Accommodation details in the UK
  10. Travel history (UK)
  11. Travel history (other countries)
  12. Other history
  13. Convictions and other penalties
  14. Medical treatment
  15. Extra information
  16. English language
  17. Documents
  18. Payment
  19. Declaration

Do applicants need a passport-size photo for UK tourist visa?

Certainly not! For the last 3–4 years there is NO NEED of TAKING a Passport Size Photo with the application at the UKVAC. Certainly, the staff of the application centre takes an electronic photo of the applicant, in tandem with the biometrics i.e. scanning of fingers + thumbs. In case of a successful assessment/decision, the British HC or Embassy use the electronic photo for visa vignette.

Can an applicant use an immigration consultant or a lawyer?

Yes, the consultant or the lawyer can help prepare the application. However, can’t submit an application at the application centre on behalf of an applicant.

How long it takes to get the UK tourist visa decision?

The UKVI’s Service Standard is to process 90% of UK tourist visa applications within 15 working days or 3 weeks. If a person has purchased the priority service (costs £220 from March 29, 2019) then the priority tourist visa processing time is 5 working days or 1 week. The super-priority service (costs £956 in addition to visa application fee) is also available in a few countries. And select centres enable processing of applications within 24 hours.

How to know the UK tourist visa application status?

In fact, an applicant can take an update on the UK tourist application status by either writing an email or calling the UKVI’s International Contact Centre. The cost of  Email Service (per query) is £5.48 and that of Telephone Helpline is £1.37 per minute.

2) UK Tourist Visa Online Filled Application Form Example

In order to explain how to fill UK tourist visa online application form, we take an example of Mr Arun Kumar. Arun intends to apply for a UK tourist visa from New Delhi, India. Moreover, Arun is a self-employed agriculturist. And is applying for UK tourist visa with his family members viz.:

  1. Kiran Kumar (spouse)
  2. 12-year-old dependant child Amit Kumar
  3. 9-year-old dependant child Madhuri
  4. 2-year-old infant Rekha Kumar

UK Tourist Visa Application Form: Summary Information (1/19)

Apparently, this section of the filled UK tourist or family visit visa application PDF form is based on the options and information provided by the applicant. In the case of ARUN KUMAR, the Summary Information Section of the final online application form provides the following details:

APPLICANT NAME: Arun Kumar
GWF NUMBER: GWF041163715
PASSPORT NUMBER: HF51441XY
COUNTRY OF NATIONALITY: India
DATE OF BIRTH: 29 February 1976
GENDER: Male
DATE OF APPLICATION: 29 July 2019 09:23 British Summer Time (BST)
TYPE OF VISA / APPLICATION: Visitor visa
SERVICE OPTION: Priority service
DURATION OF VISA: 6 months
TOTAL FEE: 29,808.00 INR
SUBMISSION METHOD: Online
ISSUING OFFICE: New Delhi
PAYMENT REFERENCE: 3030003150731
CONTACT EMAIL: arunkumarexample@gmail.com
CONTACT LANGUAGE: Hindi

How country risk perception affects the decision?

The country risk means the overall political, economic and security conditions of an applicant’s country of residence. In fact, an ECO has the necessary information relating to the situation of an applicant’s country of residence. Accordingly, during the assessment process, may raise questions such as:

  1. is the applicant’s home country politically unstable?
  2. is the applicant’s country of residence in a conflict zone?
  3. are there imminent risks that the country will become politically unstable in the near future?

Accordingly, these macro signals could lead to doubt the intentions of an applicant to leave the UK. Therefore, applicants applying from countries where there is social and political turmoil needs to prove their credential in a much more precise and robust manner than nationals of those countries where there are relatively better and stable economic, political and social conditions.

What is the meaning of the overall degree of non-compliance?

In the light of the empirical and statistical data, the ECO also assesses an application against the overall noncompliance to the Immigration Rules by the nationals/citizens of a country from which an applicant is making an application. Accordingly, this means that applicants belonging to countries that have a higher rate of non-compliance are more likely to go through a rigorous assessment.

Why UK visa refusal rate higher in some countries?

Perhaps, the disparity in the refusal rates is due to the Security Risk perception of the respective countries. However, on an individual level, it is the level of documentation that matters. Perhaps, this means if an individual is earning but there is no proper documentary proof. Accordingly, in such cases, there is no plausible evidence available for establishing the earnings/income of the applicant. Moreover, the level of economic development has a correlation with the UK Visa Refusal Rate. 

In fact, applying for the UK tourist and family visit visa from a politically stable and economically developed country such as Singapore is much easier and usually successful. An applicant due to a well documented economic system can readily fulfil UK tourist and family visit visa requirements. Accordingly, establishing income and employment through bank statements, income tax returns, suppliers’ contracts, rental agreements, salary slips etc are robust and authentic. Moreover, nationals of politically stable high-income countries are certainly not likely to live illegally in the UK.

UK Tourist Visa Application Form: Travel Information (2/19)

Arun has firmed up a 13 days trip itinerary and has also booked tickets. Therefore, for meeting the requirements of this section, he needed the following supporting documents:

  1. Trip itinerary (tour details) to explain the purpose and activities during the planned vacations
  2. Ticket booking to explain the exact dates of the arrival and departure from the UK

However, if instead of the tourist visa, Arun was applying for UK family visitor visa then for completing this section, he would only be required to have a ticket booking.

Date you will arrive in the UK: 18 August 2018
Date you will leave the UK: 31 August 2018
Calculated duration of visit: 13 days
What is the main reason for your visit to the UK? Tourism, including visiting family and friends
Will you be travelling to the UK as part of an organised group? No
Will you be travelling to the UK with someone who is not your partner, spouse, or dependant? No
What is the main reason for your holiday visit to the UK? Tourist
Give details of the main purpose of your visit and anything else you plan to do on your trip. See tourist and short stays for more information. For holidays and sightseeing with family – trip itinerary attached

What is a credible reason for visiting the UK?

Perhaps, this means whether the reasons for visiting the UK correspond to an applicant’s personal, family, economic and social background or not. For instance, a family member such as parent applying for the UK visit visa to meet their son or daughter is a credible reason. Likewise, an avid traveller applying for a visa to see the sights and sounds is also a credible reason. However, an unemployed person with weak ties, applying for tourism is not a credible reason. Accordingly, in the assessment process, the ECO carefully scrutinises whether the information provided, especially the reasons stated for either visiting or extending stay by an applicant are credible. Therefore, if the ECO finds reasonable grounds to judge that the information provided by an applicant is incongruent with the applicant’s background then it is quite a sufficient condition for a refusal decision.

What if the information and reasons for visiting are not credible?

If the information provided or the reason(s) stated in an application or interview are prima facie not logical and reliable then this will surely lead to a refusal decision.

Is it expedient to stay for a prolonged duration?

Many visitors have a habit of extending their visits beyond the originally planned duration. For instance, a visitor’s family in the UK may request to prolong the stay. Perhaps, the applicants should certainly be mindful of the cumulative time period of their UK visit. And also the time spent in the UK during the preceding 12 months before making a new application. Certainly, spending time beyond the stated time duration leads to doubting the intentions. Accordingly, the decision-maker may become doubtful whether an applicant has made the UK the ‘de-facto’ residence or not.

How long can a visitor stay in the UK?

Certainly, an applicant cannot remain for more than 180 days per visit. For instance, if a holder of 10-years visit visa enters on Jan 1 then needs to leave the UK on or before June 29. Usually, a long-term visit visa issued to those applicants who have a good immigration history. And also have a credible purpose of frequently visiting the UK.

Is it important to justify the frequency of visits?

Perhaps, it is not normal to visit the UK for tourism on a very frequent basis and staying in the UK for a long duration. Certainly, this indicates that a person has not much to do in his/her home country. And also may indicate weak ties to the home country. Therefore, it is not expedient to reapply within a short span of time. 

For instance, if one has visited the UK during the summer holidays in August then can apply in November for Christmas and new year. However, immediately applying for a UK tourist visa in September to visit as a tourist in October may not reflect positively on the overall credentials and intentions of an applicant.

When applying for a long term visa is a better choice?

Perhaps, if a person has a good travel history and personal credentials, then instead of 6-months applying for a long term 2, 5 or 10-year multiple entry visa is a more logical choice as such applicants can justify the purpose of frequently visiting the UK for tourism.

Is it possible to book a flight without paying first?

Yes, it is quite possible. Perhaps, an applicant can ask a travel agent to book a return ticket or can also book a flight directly from any suitable online website. Usually, quite a few airlines provide for online ticket booking without payment for a certain duration. However, there is no need for purchasing the ticket as it would not increase the balance of probability of granting a UK tourist visa. Please note: it is quite a normal practice to provide the booking of the flights. Therefore, any travel agent can provide a travel booking without payment. However, once an applicant gets the UK tourist visa then may proceed to shop around for purchasing a return ticket!

Personal Information (3/19)

To fill the Personal Information section of the UK standard visitor visa online form, Arun needed to have the following supporting documents:
1. Residential property documents
2. National ID card
3. Marriage certificate
4. a telephone number

Family name: Kumar
Given names: Arun
Are you now or have you ever been known by another name? No Residential address: House # 20XYZ, Street 25C, Greater Kailash II, New Delhi, 110048, India
Telephone number: +01145557907
How many days, weeks, months or years have you lived at this address? 17 Years
What is the ownership status of your home? I own it
What is your gender, as shown in your passport or travel document? Male
What is your relationship status? Married or a civil partner
Country of nationality: India
Date of birth: 16 February 1976
Place of birth: Mumbai
Country of birth: India
Do you have a national identity card? Yes
National identity card number: 1111-0000-1111

What is the meaning of weak ties to the country of residence?

In the context of UK tourist and family visa, weak ties mean that an applicant has only a limited number of family, economic, social, professional and business ties to the country of residence. For instance, an applicant with most of his/her near and dear family members living in Britain with no full-time employment/study status in the country of residence may be deemed to have weak ties with the home country.

Passport Details (4/19)

To meet the requirements of the Passport section of the UK standard visitor visa application form, Arun needed the following supporting documents:
1. Current passport (this is a mandatory document)
2. Previous passport (optional, if available)

Passport number or travel document reference number: JXXXXXX2
Place of issue: New Delhi
Issue date: 23 May 2013
Expiry date: 22 May 2023
Do you have another passport or travel document? Yes
Passport number or travel document reference number: JXXXXXX1
Place of issue: New Delhi
Issue date: 9 May 2008
Expiry date: 8 May 2013

Spouse/Partner Details (5/19)

Apparently, for meeting the requirements of the Spouse/Partner section of the UK standard visitor visa application form, Arun needed the Current passport of the wife viz. Kiran Kumar.

Given names: Kiran
Family name: Kumar
Date of birth: 9 December 1986
Nationality: India
Do they currently live with you? Yes
Will they be travelling with you to the UK? Yes
Their passport number: J1234567

Dependant Details (6/19)

Quite clearly, for completing the Dependant section of the UK standard visitor visa application form, Arun required the Current passport of the children viz. Amit Kumar, Madhuri Kumar and Rekha Kumar.

Does anyone rely on you for financial support? Include both those travelling with you and those who are not.

Given names: Amit
Family name: Kumar
Date of birth: 26 February 2007
Does this person currently live with you? Yes
Is this person travelling with you to the UK? Yes
Country of nationality: India
Passport number: J7654321
Given names: Madhuri
Family name: Kumar
Date of birth: 31 January 2009
Does this person currently live with you? Yes
Is this person travelling with you to the UK? Yes
Country of nationality: India
Passport number: J6543217
Given names: Rekha
Family name: Kumar
Date of birth: 17 March 2016
Does this person currently live with you? Yes
Is this person travelling with you to the UK? Yes
Country of nationality: India
Passport number: J6543277

UK Tourist Visa Online Application Form: Parent Details (7/19)

Perhaps, for completing the Parent section of the UK tourist visa application form, Arun required the national ID cards or passports of his parents viz. Kishore Kumar (father) and Lakshmi Kumar (Mother).

What is this person’s relationship to you? Father
Given names: Kishore
Family name: Kumar
Date of birth: 1 January 1940
Country of nationality: India
Have they always had the same nationality? Yes
What is this person’s relationship to you? Mother
Given names: Lakshmi
Family name: Kumar
Date of birth: 1 January 1946
Country of nationality: India
Have they always had the same nationality? Yes

Employment, Income and Expenditure (8/19)

Indeed, for meeting the requirements of the Employment, Income and expenditure section of the UK tourist visa application form, Arun needed the following supporting documents:

  1. Business or Tax Registration Certificate
  2. Annual Tax Returns for the last 3 years – to compute the average annual income and monthly expenditure
  3. Bank Account Maintenance Certificate
  4. Bank Account Statement for the last 6 months
  5. Agricultural land ownership documents
  6. Lease agreement for the cultivation of agricultural produce
  7. Agreement for the purchase of agricultural produce with wholesalers and mills

What is your employment status? Self-employed
What is your job? Landlord- decision making and managerial
How much do you earn from this job in a year? 53886.00 GBP
Do you have another income or any savings? Savings
How much money do you have in savings (in GBP)? 61348.00 GBP
How much money are you planning to spend on your visit to the UK? 12500.00 GBP
What is the total amount of money you spend each month? 3718.00 GBP
Will anyone be paying towards the cost of your visit? No

What is the meaning of circumstances of an applicant?

Perhaps, in terms with paragraph V 4.2, an applicant needs to prove the ability to meet the trip cost. And also to maintain and accommodate him/herself during the trip without recourse to public funds.

Please note: the ECO carefully evaluates the evidence relating to the stable income and savings of an applicant. And also assesses an applicant’s ties to the country of residence. Perhaps, to evaluate whether the applicant will return to his/her home after completing the journey.

What is the meaning of changes in the circumstances?

Quite clearly, a repeat visitor is a person who has already travelled to Britain in the past on one or more than one occasions.

Therefore, in case of a repeat application, it is necessary for the decision-maker to look for changes in the circumstances of an applicant since his/her last trip to the UK. Certainly, the decision on a repeat application is on the principle of balance of probabilities. And there is no room for giving the benefit of doubt to the applicant.

Accordingly, the ECO carefully considers and evaluates all the relevant information before reaching an appropriate decision. Therefore, it is quite common that a UK tourist or family visit visa application for a repeat visa gets refused if the applicant is not able to prove his/her circumstances that may necessitate a grant of a visit visa. Likewise, a reapplication after a refusal may become successful, if an applicant is able to prove his/her credibility.

Accommodation Details (9/19)

For completing the Accommodation details in the UK tourist visa application form, Arun needed the Hotel Booking for 2 adults and 3 children. Please note: Arun has no close relatives or friends living in the UK, so he is staying at a hotel. However, if Arun was applying for a UK family visitor visa, then instead of the hotel booking would be furnishing the accommodation details of the sponsor.

Do you have any family in the UK? No
Do you have an address for where you are going to stay in the UK? Yes
Where are you planning to stay in the UK? Stylotel
Enter the address for where you are staying: 160 Sussex Gardens Paddington Westminster Borough London
When will you arrive there? 18 August 2018
When will you leave there? 31 August 2018

UK Tourist Visa Application Form: Travel History (UK) (10/19)

For completing the Travel history (UK) section of the UK tourist visa application form, Arun needed his passports and refusal letters. Please note: an applicant needs to provide the travel history for the past 10 years. And also needs to disclose past refusals.

Have you applied for leave to remain in the UK in the past 10 years? No
How many times have you been to the UK in the last 10 years? 2 to 5 times
What was the reason for your visit? Tourism
Date of visit: December 2016
Number of days, weeks, months or years: 9 days
What was the reason for your visit? Tourism
Date of visit: June 2016
Number of days, weeks, months or years: 7 days
Have you ever been: Yes
– refused a visa for the UK
– deported from the UK
– removed from the UK
– required to leave the UK
– refused entry at the UK border

Give details of what happened: An application for a UK tourist visa was refused Date: October 2014
Give more details of what happened: Post Reference 1234567 dated Oct 16, 2014. The issue was addressed in the subsequent UK tourist visa application in July 2015. And all my family members visited London (England), Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow (Scotland), Cardiff (Wales) and Belfast (Northern Ireland) for tourism and sightseeing in July-Aug 2015

How important is the immigration and travel history of an applicant?

Perhaps, if an applicant has no or limited travel history then the chances of getting a favourable decision are quite slim, especially if the purpose is tourism. Certainly, travel history provides useful information about the credibility of an applicant. However, an applicant’s travel and immigration history is not the only consideration.

Is compliance of the UK Immigration Rules important?

Yes, perhaps, for repeat visitors, a pattern of previous visits to the UK may indicate that an applicant has complied with the UK Immigration Rules. If an applicant has not breached any Immigration Rules then this surely increases the chances of getting a UK tourist or family visitor visa.

What if an applicant is making the UK home?

For repeat visitors to the UK, the assessment process takes into account the past trips of the applicant to the UK. Accordingly, the ECO scrutinises the frequency and duration of past visits. Perhaps, this evaluates: whether a repeat visitor is making the Britain his/her main home or not. Moreover, for assessing frequency and duration, the decision-maker may consider the following aspects:

  1. the purpose of visiting the British Isles
  2. the intended duration of stay stated in the application form and the actual duration of stay during the previous visits
  3. the number and length of visits made during the preceding twelve (12) months
  4. the time period elapsed since the last visit
  5. is an applicant spending more time in the United Kingdom than in his/her home country?
  6. what is the purpose of the return journey that an applicant is making to his/her home country? Is this nothing more than just to seek re-entry to the United Kingdom?
  7. the ties of an applicant to the home country such as:
    • is an applicant is registered with the tax authorities of his/her home country?
    • are the children of the applicant attending schools in Britain?
  8. the information on previous applications. For instance, if the previous application to settle through the family route has been refused. And an applicant merely intends to enter so as to join the family in Britain.

Does the previous history of deception undermine an applicant’s credibility?

Yes, the credibility of an applicant may becomes doubtful if an applicant or his/her sponsor (in case an applicant is applying for a UK family visitor visa) or sponsor’s/applicant’s immediate family members have used deception or have attempted to use deception in any of the previous applications – for entry clearance, leave to remain or leave to enter – submitted to HM’s Home Office.

Travel history (other) (11/19)

For completing the Travel history (other) section of the UK tourist visa application form, Arun required his passports. And also his refusal letter for Germany (Schengen visa).

How many times have you visited the following places in the past 10 years? 2 to 5 times
– Australia
– Canada
– New Zealand
– USA
– Schengen area
Which country did you visit? Schengen Area
Which country in the Schengen area? Germany
What was the reason for your visit? Tourism
Date of visit: August 2017
Number of days, weeks, months or years: 17 Days
Which country did you visit? Schengen Area
Which country in the Schengen area? Italy
What was the reason for your visit? Tourism
Date of visit: August 2016
Number of days, weeks, months or years: 10 Days

Have you visited any other countries in the past 10 years? Yes

Which country did you visit? Turkey
What was the reason for your visit? Tourism
Date of visit: June 2016
Length of visit: 2 days
Which country did you visit? Turkey
What was the reason for your visit? Tourism
Date of visit: July 2015
Length of visit: 4 days
Which country did you visit? Singapore
What was the reason for your visit? Tourism
Date of visit: January 2015
Length of visit: 2 days
Which country did you visit? Malaysia
What was the reason for your visit? Tourism
Date of visit: January 2015
Length of visit: 8 days
Which country did you visit? United Arab Emirates
What was the reason for your visit? Tourism
Date of visit: December 2012
Length of visit: 9 days
Which country did you visit? Malaysia
What was the reason for your visit? Tourism
Date of visit: February 2011
Length of visit: 5 days

Have you ever been refused a visa for any country other than the UK: Yes

– deported from any country other than the UK
– removed from any country other than the UK
– required to leave any country other than the UK
– refused entry at the border of any country other than the UK
Give details of what happened: An application for a visa was refused
Country: Germany
Date: May 2015
Give more details of what happened: In the summer of 2015, I intended to travel to Turkey, Germany and other European Countries. Accordingly, after getting the Turkish Visit Visa, applied for Schengen Visa through Germany. However, due to the failure of the travel agent to make accommodation bookings as per the satisfaction of the Embassy, I was unable to get the visa. However, since then I have travelled twice to the Schengen Countries in Aug 2016 and 2017.

Do trips to other countries impact the UK tourist visa decision?

Yes, travels to other countries such as the USA, Schengen Countries, Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Ireland, etc. increases the balance of probabilities of getting a UK tourist visa. And helps in establishing that an applicant is a genuine visitor. Moreover, a clean travel history also indicates that an applicant is a law-abiding person.

What if an applicant has failed to comply with Immigration Laws?

Perhaps, if an applicant has failed to comply with any other country’s immigration laws in the past then this may negatively impact the UK tourist visa decision. For instance, if an applicant has been either removed from another country or refused entry to another country, this may lead to doubt an applicant’s intentions. However, it is not an automatic and sufficient condition for refusal but may reduce the balance of probabilities for getting a UK tourist or family visitor visa.

Does the duration of foreign trips impact the UK visa decision?

Certainly, the duration of past trips is an important consideration. Perhaps, the length of time, along with frequency, gives an indication of the purpose of visiting. And also the strength of ties with the home country.

Moreover, for repeat visitors, the decision-maker may check for discrepancies between the formerly stated length of stay and actual details (from an independent source) of an applicant’s journey to the UK. If there are discrepancies then this may not necessarily yield a refusal decision. However, may raise questions about the overall credibility of an applicant.

UK Tourist Visa Online Application Form: Other History (12/19)

Perhaps, like most of the applicants, Arun did not require any document to complete this section of the UK tourist visa application form.

In either peace or wartime have you ever been involved in, or suspected of involvement in, war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide? No
Have you ever been involved in, supported or encouraged terrorist activities in any country? No
Have you ever been a member of, or given support to, an organisation which has been concerned in terrorism? No
Have you, by any means or medium, expressed views that justify or glorify terrorist violence or that may encourage others to commit terrorist or other serious criminal acts? No

Tell us about work for the following types of organisationI have not worked in any of the jobs listed

– Armed Forces (including compulsory national or military service)
– Government (including Public or Civil Administration and compulsory national service)
– Media organisations
– Security organisations (including police and private security companies)
– Judiciary (including work as a judge or magistrate)

Convictions and other Penalties (13/19)

Arun did not require any document to complete this section of the UK tourist visa online application form.

At any time have you ever had any of the following, in the UK or in another country?  No, I have never had any of these
– A criminal conviction
– A penalty for a driving offence, for example, disqualification for speeding or no motor insurance
– An arrest or charge for which you are currently on, or awaiting trial
– A caution, warning, reprimand or other penalty
– A civil court judgment against you, for example for non-payment of debt, bankruptcy proceedings or anti-social behaviour
– A civil penalty issued under UK immigration law

Medical Treatment (14/19)

Perhaps, like most of the applicants, Arun did not require any document to complete the Medical Treatment section of the UK tourist visa online application form.

Have you ever been given medical treatment in the UK? No

UK Tourist Visa Online Application Form: Extra Information (15/19)

Apparently, Arun previously applied for the UK tourist visa without family in 2016. Therefore, explained the reason to apply for the UK tourist visa with family in 2018.

If you needed to add more information about your application but were not able to, you can write it here.
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Perhaps, visiting the British Isles for the very first time with my family during July 2015 was a very fulfilling experience. After the first trip, we were intending to revisit the United Kingdom during the Christmas holidays in Dec 2015. However, my wife got pregnant with our 3rd child in Aug-Sept 2015. And we were not able to revisit during Dec 2015. The child Rekha Kumar was born in March 2016. And despite my intentions to apply along with my other family members, I was only able to apply singly for the UK tourist visa.

UK Tourist Visa Online Application Form: English Language (16/19)

Arun is educated but is not very fluent in English. So, he opted for the Hindi language for any expected interview for the UK tourist visa application.

We may have to talk to you about your application. Which language would you prefer to use? Other
Which language would you prefer to use? Hindi

UK Tourist Visa Online Application Form: Documents (17/19)

Evidently, the online application form mentions that an applicant’s passport is a mandatory document. However, an applicant also needs to submit other supporting documents with the application.

Mandatory documents: The passport or travel document for ARUN KUMAR from India

Why passport is important?

Perhaps, a travel document, usually a national passport, is the most critical and mandatory document as it provides the details of the immigration history of an applicant. Most noteworthy: ceteris paribus, applicants with frequent international travels have a much better chance of getting a UK tourist or family visit visa. Certainly, frequent short travel international travels provide a strong signal regarding an applicant’s financial ability and intentions to return home.

But then why frequent travellers get a refusal?

Perhaps, at times, a UK tourist or family visit visa application of an applicant with above-average travel history gets refused due to the inability of an applicant to explain circumstances in a befitting manner. Therefore, it is very important to fill the UK standard visitor visa online application form carefully and correctly. And also to furnish relevant supporting documents.

UK Tourist Visa Online Application Form: Payment (18/19)

Apparently, this is a system-generated section, which confirms the receipt of payment for the UK tourist visa application. Importantly, also state the type of SERVICE i.e. Standard or Priority that an applicant will get!

Length of your visit visa: 6 months
Service: Priority service
ARUN KUMAR’s application for UK Visitor visa: 29,808.00 INR
Total: 29,808.00 INR

How to select UK visa application centre on online form?

If there are more than one application centres in a country then the UK tourist and family visitor visa online application form enumerates a list of all available application centres. For instance, in Lebanon, there is only one application centre. However, in Russia, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, China there are several application centres. Moreover, it also indicates whether priority and super priority visa service are available at a particular application centre.

Can an applicant fact track the UK visit visa application?

Yes, an applicant can fast-track UK tourist or family visit visa application by paying for priority or super-priority service. If an applicant opts for priority or super-priority service then the final application form will highlight SERVICE OPTION: Priority service. And the total fee appears in the UK tourist and family visit visa online application form that will be inclusive of the priority or super-priority service charges.

Example of UK 2-year visa fee with and without priority service

For instance, if an applicant intends to submit a 2-year UK tourist or family visit visa application at UKVAC Chennai, India, then the final application will show SERVICE OPTION: Standard service and TOTAL FEE: INR 35,230.00. However, if the applicant opts for priority service then the final UK tourist and family visit visa application form will show SERVICE OPTION: Priority service and TOTAL FEE: INR 56,569.00. Similarly, a 2-year application with super-priority service at UKVAC Chennai will show a TOTAL FEE: INR 131,458.

What is the purpose of the priority and super-priority service?

Here it is important to note that purchase of either priority or super-priority neither guarantees a favourable outcome nor processing within the requisite time, especially if the application is not straightforward due to adverse travel history and complex personal and professional circumstance, which necessitates additional checks and verifications.

Do applicants use the priority service?

Yes, they do, if they can afford. Apparently, the actual processing times indicate that 15-40% of the UK tourist and family visit visa applications are processed within 3-5 working days.

UK Tourist Visa Online Application Form: Declaration (19/19)

Certainly, this declaration is very important. Therefore, applicants should read it carefully- and try to abide by the declaration in letter and spirit!

By sending this application, you confirm that to the best of your knowledge and belief the following is correct: 
– the information relating to your application
– your supporting documents
Also, the application will be processed according to the privacy policy and terms and conditions.
If false information is given, your application will be refused and you may be banned from the UK and prosecuted.
I confirm that I understand and agree with the above declarations.

When an applicant gets the GWF number with barcodes?

GWF number with barcodes is machine-readable, which is automatically generated once an application is finalized. Therefore, the only method of getting a GWF number with barcodes is to complete the online application form and pay the application fee.

The final UK visit visa application PDF form, with GWF number and Barcodes, is generated automatically by the UKVI online system. Usually, it may take a few seconds or minutes before the final PDF form becomes available for printing and downloading. However, at times due to workload, it may take a few hours before the final form is available for printing and downloading.

How to get the supporting documents checklist?

Moreover, once an applicant finalizes the online application form and pays the fee the system automatically provides for the checklist of supporting documents. Therefore, if some documents are missing then an applicant has an opportunity to add the remaining documents.

Do discrepancies of statements undermine credibility?

Certainly, the credibility becomes doubtful, if there are discrepancies in the declarations of an applicant and his/her sponsor. Perhaps, if the sponsor knows the information then the credibility may become even more doubtful.

What if the ECO is not able to verify the information?

If after several attempts the decision-maker is not able to verify the information provided by an applicant then this will surely create doubts about the credibility of an applicant.

Does baggage search lead to doubt the intentions?

Yes, if an applicant’s baggage search at the border reveals possession of items demonstrating intentions to work or live in the UK then perhaps, a record of such an instance would greatly undermine the credibility of any subsequent UK visitor visa applications.

3) UK tourist visa supporting documents requirements?

In fact, Arun Kumar submitted/uploaded the following supporting documents with his and his family members UK tourist visa application:

  1. Current and previous passports of:
    • Arun Kumar
    • Kiran Kumar
    • Amit Kumar
    • Madhuri Kumar
    • Rekha Kumar
  2. Printout of the 5 final application forms
  3. National Identity cards
  4. 13 days trip itinerary
  5. Ticket and hotel bookings
  6. Family form
  7. Marriage certificate
  8. Birth certificates of the children
  9. School certificates
  10. Residential property documents
  11. Agricultural property documents
  12. Business or Tax Registration Certificate
  13. Annual Tax Returns for the last 3 years – to compute the average annual income and monthly expenditure
  14. Bank Account Maintenance Certificate
  15. Bank Account Statement for the last 6 months
  16. Agricultural land ownership documents
  17. Lease agreement for the cultivation of agricultural produce
  18. Agreement for the purchase of agricultural produce with wholesalers and mills

Accordingly, Arun and his family members attended the appointment at the UKVAC Mumbai for biometrics. The application was processed within 3 working days! And Arun and his family got the UK tourist visa merely by using the online application form to meet the requirements. And also by providing/uploading the necessary UK visa supporting documents!

Related Posts:

  1. UK Visa Processing Time 2019: what’s the timeline for tourists?
  2. UK Priority Visa fast-tracking service: what you need to know?
  3. Spouse Visa Accommodation Requirements: support letter templates
  4. How many British citizens living abroad and migrants in the UK?
  5. Innovator Visa UK 2019: guidance, requirements and faqs!
  6. UK residence card and EEA registration certificate guidance!

Moreover, to know the country-specific details of UK visa applications and priority service please refer to Egypt, Ghana, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE and the USA.