UK Visa Success Rate 2021 for Visitor, Work, Student, Family


In this blog post, we meticulously examine the UK Visa Success Rate 2021, categorizing data by visa types such as visitor, family, student, work, skilled worker, and temporary worker visas, and refusal rates by country. This analysis reveals the profound impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on these rates and underscores the resilience of various visa categories during these trying times. Our insights offer a detailed perspective on the UK visa success rate 2021, highlighting significant trends and patterns.

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UK Visa Success Rate 2021

1. Overview of UK Visa Success and Refusal Rates in 2021


In the year ending March 2021, there were 668,979 visas granted, reflecting a 78.42% decrease (2,431,714) compared to the previous year (3,100,693) due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Out of the total visas granted in the last 12 months (ending on March 31, 2021), 26.16% were for visiting, 38.39% for studying, 18.31% for working, 6.86% for family settlement and dependents joining or accompanying, 8.15% for EUSS and EEA Family Permits, and 2.13% for transit and other temporary purposes.

A total of 836,352 individuals applied for a UK visa in the year ending March 2021. With 849,483 entry clearance applications decided, 668,979 visas were granted, and 174,000 applications were rejected. Consequently, the UK visa success and refusal rates for the year ending March 2021 stood at 78.75% and 20.48%, respectively.

Overview of UK Visa Success Rate 2021 by Visa Type

Visa TypeUK Visa Success Rate 2021
Total Work Visas86.71%
High value93.03%
Skilled99.23%
Temporary Worker95.25%
Other Work Visas and Exemptions51.30%
Total Study Visas95.57%
Sponsored Study96.50%
Other Study68.67%
Total Family Visas86.88%
Total Dependent Joining or Accompanying others60.95%
EEA Family Permits32.31%
EUSS Family Permits70.73%
Total Visitor Visas67.29%
Total Transit and Other Visas85.99%
UK Visa Success Rate 202178.75%
Table 1: Detailed Overview of UK Visa Success Rate 2021 by Visa Type


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    UK Visa Success Rates 2021 and Refusal Rate by Country
    Comprehensive Breakdown: Uk Visa Success Rate 2021 And Refusal Rates 2021 Across Various Categories – Visitor, Student, Spouse, And Work Visas

    2. Analysis of UK Visitor Visa Success Rate 2021


    In the year ending March 2021, there were 175,005 visitor visas granted, representing a 92.49% decrease (2,154,507) compared to the previous year (2,329,512) due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    During the same period, a total of 243,774 individuals applied for a UK visitor visa. With 260,079 visit visa applications decided, 175,005 visas were granted, and 82,790 applications were rejected. Consequently, the UK visitor visa success and refusal rates for the year ending March 2021 stood at 67.29% and 31.83%, respectively.

    UK Tourist Visa Acceptance Rate 2021

    The UK tourist visa acceptance rate for 2021 has been approximately 67%, reflecting a balance between stringent application assessments and the UK’s commitment to welcoming international travelers. This rate might fluctuate based on seasonal trends, diplomatic relations, and the overall global economic and health environment.

    How to Improve Chances of Getting UK Visitor Visa?

    To enhance your likelihood of securing a UK visitor visa, consider these tips:

    1. Well-Prepared Application: Ensure your application is complete and accurate.
    2. Necessary Documents: Include all required supporting documents.
    3. Genuine Intent: Clearly show your intent to visit the UK for a permitted reason.

    These steps can significantly boost your visa approval chances.

    UK Visa Success Rate 2021 by Country for Visitor Visa Applications

    NationalityUK Visitor Visa Acceptance Rate by Country 2021
    India70.38%
    Nigeria52.69%
    Pakistan55.43%
    Russia89.89%
    China86.02%
    Ukraine79.72%
    Turkey67.26%
    Egypt69.63%
    Saudi Arabia95.62%
    Albania55.29%
    Bangladesh52.03%
    Ghana43.36%
    Philippines69.06%
    South Africa87.07%
    Algeria39.31%
    Morocco54.43%
    Belarus93.64%
    Thailand79.37%
    Iran57.02%
    Indonesia72.07%
    Other nationalities68.60%
    UK Visitor Visa Success Rate 202167.29%
    Table 2: UK Visa Success Rate 2021 by Country for Visitor Visa Applications

    3. Family Visa Success Rates 2021: Focus on Spouse Visas


    In the year ending March 2021, 37,343 family visas were granted, representing a 33.47% decrease (18,788) compared to the previous year (56,131) due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    During the same period, a total of 41,561 individuals applied for a UK family settlement visa. With 42,982 family visa applications decided, 37,343 visas were granted, and 5,455 applications were rejected. Consequently, the UK spouse visa success and refusal rates for the year ending March 2021 were 86.88% and 12.69%, respectively.

    Factors Influencing the Chances of UK Family Visas

    To boost the probability of getting a UK family visa, focus on:

    1. Comprehensive Application: Ensure your application is thorough and complete.
    2. Required Documents: Attach all necessary supporting documents.
    3. Genuine Relationship: Prove the authenticity of your relationship with the UK-based sponsor, in line with UK immigration criteria.

    These steps can significantly enhance your visa approval prospects.

    UK Visa Success Rate 2021 by Country for Family Settlement

    NationalityUK Family Visa Approval Rate by Country 2021
    Pakistan93.08%
    India91.81%
    United States95.38%
    Bangladesh90.94%
    South Africa94.51%
    Iran91.48%
    Nigeria80.13%
    Nepal72.15%
    Eritrea70.99%
    Philippines90.15%
    Ghana75.70%
    Syria73.63%
    Sudan59.39%
    Afghanistan85.13%
    Turkey90.09%
    Iraq91.59%
    Hong Kong97.01%
    Thailand94.22%
    Sri Lanka88.83%
    China91.77%
    Other nationalities85.88%
    UK Family (Spouse) Visa Success Rate 202186.88%
    Table 3: UK Visa Success Rate 2021 by Country for Family Settlement Applications

    In the year ending March 2021, 256,845 student visas were granted, marking a 38.21% decrease (158,828) compared to the previous year (415,673) due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    During this period, a total of 265,641 individuals applied for a UK student visa. With 268,745 student visa applications decided, 256,845 visas were granted, and 10,766 applications were rejected. As a result, the UK student visa success and refusal rates for the year ending March 2021 were 95.57% and 4.01%, respectively.

    In the year ending March 2021, 250,683 sponsored student visas were granted, which is 15.95% (47,576) fewer than the previous year (298,259) due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    During the same period, a total of 257,786 individuals applied for a UK sponsored study visa. Out of 259,772 student visa applications decided, 250,683 visas were granted, and 8,492 applications were rejected. Consequently, the UK sponsored study (student) visa success and refusal rates for the year ending March 2021 were 96.5% and 3.27%, respectively.

    High Success Rate for Students Despite Covid-19

    Despite Covid-19 challenges, the data shows a high success rate for UK student visas in 2021:

    • Widespread Success: Applicants from various countries achieved high approval rates.
    • Resilience Amidst Pandemic: The overall success rate for student visas stood strong at 96.50%, underscoring resilience during the pandemic.

    UK Student Visa Approval Rates by Country in 2021

    NationalityUK Student Visa Approval Rate by Country 2021
    China99.74%
    India90.88%
    Nigeria94.93%
    Pakistan95.90%
    Hong Kong99.68%
    United States99.22%
    Bangladesh93.54%
    Saudi Arabia96.50%
    Malaysia99.67%
    Kuwait99.80%
    South Korea99.58%
    Canada99.71%
    Russia99.53%
    Taiwan99.53%
    Turkey98.99%
    Ghana85.26%
    Egypt97.99%
    Thailand99.77%
    Indonesia99.53%
    Japan99.59%
    Other nationalities96.86%
    UK Student Visa Success Rate 202196.50%
    Table 4: UK Student Visa Approval Rates by Country in 2021

    5. Examining UK Work Visa Success Rate 2021


    In the year ending March 2021, there were 122,512 work visas granted, which represents a 36.78% (71,265) decrease compared to the previous year (193,777) due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

    During this period, a total of 148,441 individuals applied for a UK work visa, and 141,284 work visa applications were decided. Out of these, 122,512 visas were granted, and 17,575 applications were rejected. As a result, the UK work visa success and refusal rates for the year ending March 2021 were 86.71% and 12.44%, respectively.

    High Success Rate for Work Visas Despite Covid-19

    Despite the Covid-19 impact, the 2021 data reveals:

    • Varied Success Across Nationalities: UK work visa approval rates differed among countries.
    • Steady Overall Success Rate: The overall approval rate for UK work visas was notably high at 86.71%.

    UK Work Visa Approval Rates by Country in 2021

    NationalityUK Work Visa Success Rate by Country 2021
    Turkey29.14%
    India97.90%
    Ukraine99.75%
    Philippines96.70%
    United States98.33%
    Nigeria97.34%
    South Africa99.10%
    Pakistan92.31%
    Egypt97.69%
    Japan98.95%
    Canada98.79%
    Australia93.14%
    China97.49%
    Zimbabwe98.57%
    Russia98.36%
    Korea (South)98.59%
    Hong Kong92.49%
    Poland85.29%
    Sri Lanka95.88%
    Taiwan98.04%
    Other nationalities93.00%
    UK Work Visa Success Rate 202186.71%
    Table 5: UK Work Visa Approval Rates by Country in 2021

    6. UK Skilled Worker Visa: A 2021 Success Rate Analysis


    In the year ending March 2021, there were 76,638 skilled worker visas granted, a 33.41% (38,448) decrease compared to the previous year (115,086) due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

    During this period, a total of 72,168 individuals applied for a UK skilled worker visa. Out of the 77,235 skilled worker visa applications decided, 76,638 visas were granted, and 347 applications were rejected. Consequently, the UK skilled worker visa success and refusal rates for the year ending March 2021 were 99.23% and 0.45%, respectively.

    High Success Rate for Skilled Workers Despite Covid-19

    The 2021 data highlights:

    • Widespread Success for Skilled Workers: High visa approval rates for skilled workers from diverse nationalities.
    • Impressive Overall Rate: An overall success rate of 99.23% for UK skilled worker visas.
    • Resilience Amidst Pandemic: Skilled workers globally maintained high success in obtaining UK visas despite Covid-19 challenges.

    UK Skilled Worker Visa Approval Rates by Country in 2021

    NationalitySkilled Worker Visa UK Success Rate by Country 2021
    India99.49%
    Philippines99.30%
    Nigeria99.00%
    United States99.31%
    Egypt99.89%
    Pakistan98.93%
    Zimbabwe98.98%
    Japan99.42%
    South Africa99.23%
    China99.31%
    Canada99.82%
    Russia99.10%
    Australia98.10%
    Sudan98.38%
    Turkey98.81%
    Ghana98.99%
    Brazil99.51%
    Korea (South)99.30%
    Bangladesh96.71%
    Sri Lanka99.18%
    Other nationalities98.54%
    UK Skilled Worker Visa Success Rate 202199.23%
    Table 6: UK Skilled Worker Visa Approval Rates by Country in 2021

    7. Success Rates of UK Temporary Worker Visas in 2021


    In the year ending March 2021, there were 24,579 temporary worker visas granted, reflecting a 42.89% (18,456) decrease compared to the previous year (43,035) due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

    During this period, a total of 23,443 individuals applied for a UK temporary worker visa. Out of the 25,805 temporary worker visa applications decided, 24,579 visas were granted, and 571 applications were rejected. As a result, the UK temporary worker visa success and refusal rates for the year ending March 2021 were 95.25% and 2.21%, respectively.

    High Success Rate for Temporary Workers Despite Covid-19

    The 2021 data shows:

    • Diverse Approval Rates: UK temporary worker visas had varying success rates across nationalities.
    • Strong Overall Success: A notable overall success rate of 95.25% for these visas.
    • Pandemic Resilience: Temporary workers from various countries successfully obtained UK visas despite Covid-19 impacts.

    Temporary Worker Visa UK Approval Rates by Country in 2021

    NationalityTemporary Worker Visa Approval Rate by Country 2021
    Ukraine99.86%
    India78.68%
    Canada98.71%
    Japan98.35%
    Australia89.69%
    United States96.07%
    Korea (South)98.83%
    Taiwan98.27%
    Russia98.83%
    Hong Kong90.52%
    Moldova100.00%
    China98.81%
    Argentina96.51%
    Pakistan94.09%
    Belarus100.00%
    New Zealand80.79%
    Nepal99.08%
    Sri Lanka96.03%
    Nigeria85.98%
    Egypt99.00%
    Other nationalities91.19%
    Temporary Worker Visa Success Ratio 202195.25%
    Table 7: Temporary Worker Visa UK Approval Rates by Country in 2021

    8. FAQs: Understanding the UK Visa Success Rate 2021


    1. What factors affect the success rate of UK visa applications?

      Factors affecting the success rate of UK visa applications include the applicant’s nationality, the type of visa applied for, the genuineness of the relationship (in case of family visas), meeting financial requirements, submitting all required supporting documents, and individual circumstances. The more complete and accurate an application, the higher the chances of success.

    2. How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted UK visa success rates?

      The Covid-19 pandemic led to a decrease in the number of visa applications and grants in various categories due to travel restrictions and other challenges. However, despite these challenges, the success rates for several visa categories, such as student, skilled worker, and temporary worker visas, remained relatively high.

    3. Which countries have the highest success rates for UK visitor visas?

      In 2021, some of the countries with the highest success rates for UK visitor visas were the United States (96.49%), Australia (95.49%), and Canada (95.45%). However, success rates can vary from year to year and may be influenced by various factors such as changes in visa policies and applicant circumstances.

    4. What can applicants do to increase their chances of obtaining a UK family (spouse) visa?

      To increase the chances of obtaining a UK family (spouse) visa, applicants should submit a comprehensive application, including all required supporting documents, and demonstrate that their relationship with the UK-based sponsor is genuine and meets the requirements set by the UK immigration authorities.

    5. Are student visas more difficult to obtain due to the Covid-19 pandemic?

      Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the overall success rate for UK student visas remained high in 2021, at 96.50%. While the pandemic resulted in a decrease in the number of applications and grants, most applicants from different countries were successful in obtaining their student visas.

    6. What is the difference between a Skilled Worker visa and a Temporary Worker visa?

      A Skilled Worker visa is for applicants who have been offered a skilled job in the UK and meet certain eligibility requirements, such as having a Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK employer, scoring sufficient points in the points-based system, and meeting the English language requirement. A Temporary Worker visa, on the other hand, is for those who want to work in the UK for a short period in specific roles such as creative workers, charity workers, religious workers, or participants in government-authorized exchange programs. The eligibility requirements and duration of stay differ between the two visa categories.

    7. What was UK Skilled Worker Visa Rejection rate in 2021?

      The refusal rate for the UK Skilled Worker Visa in 2021 was notably low, at only 0.45%. Out of the total applications, a staggering 76,638 were successful, with only 347 applications faced refusal. This data illustrates the high acceptance rate for skilled worker visas in the UK for the year 2021.

    8. What was UK Skilled Worker Visa Acceptance Rate in 2021?

      In 2021, the acceptance rate for the UK Skilled Worker Visa was impressively high. Out of all applications submitted, 76,638 were approved, making the acceptance rate 99.23%. This suggests that the vast majority of applicants for this visa category in 2021 met the necessary criteria and were granted their visas.

    9. Does COS guarantee visa?

      No, a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) does not guarantee a visa. It is an essential part of the application process for certain UK visas, such as the Skilled Worker Visa, but obtaining a CoS does not assure visa approval. The applicant must still meet all other relevant requirements and pass the assessment process conducted by UK Visas and Immigration.

    10. What is Sponsorship Visa UK?

      A sponsorship visa in the UK refers to a type of visa that requires the applicant to be sponsored by a UK-based employer or other eligible entity. The sponsor must hold a valid sponsorship license and offer a role that meets specific criteria, such as skill level and salary requirements. Examples of sponsorship visas include the Skilled Worker Visa, Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer Visa, and Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa. The sponsorship visa ensures that the applicant has a legitimate offer and aligns with the UK’s immigration rules and labor market needs.

    For further details, please refer HM Government Immigration Statistics (Year Ending March 2021).