UK Visa for Indian Citizens 2023: This comprehensive guide details the application process, fees, and entry requirements for multiple UK visa categories specifically tailored for Indian nationals. Whether you’re considering a tourist trip, furthering your education, or joining a family member, this guide outlines the costs and timelines. For example, UK Visa Fees in Indian Rupees 2023 for 6-month tourist visa is ₹10,660, while student and spouse visas cost ₹38,694 and ₹163,944 respectively. An additional ₹26,649 is required for priority services. Average processing time is around 3 weeks following biometric submission.
Table of Contents
For latest information on application fees, please refer to UK Visa Fees in Indian Rupees updated Aug 2023.
1. UK Visa from India 2023
Can Indians Travel to UK?
Indian citizens who intend to visit, work, or study in the UK must secure the proper visa. Visa requirements differ based on the visa type.
Visa Fees for UK from India
The cost of a UK visa for Indian citizens varies according to the visa type. Specifically, tourist visas cost ₹10,660, student visas ₹38,694, and spouse visas ₹163,944.
UK Visa Processing Time in India
In 2023, standard processing times for non-settlement visas such as tourist, study, and work visas typically range around 3 weeks. Opting for priority service can reduce this time to 5 working days for an additional ₹26,649.
The standard processing time for spouse, partner, or family settlement visas post-biometrics is up to 12 weeks. Priority service is available, reducing processing time to 6 weeks for an added priority visa UK fees India of ₹61,079.
The super priority visa UK fees India for next-working-day processing is ₹101,906, although this service is currently unavailable in India.
Cost of Travel to UK from India
Traveling from India to the UK requires a budget ranging from ₹150K to ₹450K per individual for a 7-15 day trip. Main costs include:
- Visa Fee: Starts at ₹10,660 for a short-term visa.
- Priority Service Fee: Optional, approximately ₹26,649.
- Flight Cost: Typically between ₹60K and ₹100K.
- Living Expenses: Budget for accommodation, meals, and internal travel within the UK.
- Travel Insurance: Costs vary based on the level of coverage.
For solo travelers, the estimated expenses are between ₹150K and ₹450K. Couples can expect costs ranging from ₹300K to ₹900K, while families of four might spend anywhere between ₹600K and ₹1,800K. These figures are for reference and should be verified for current pricing. Currency exchange rates between the Indian Rupee and British Pound will also impact your budget.
How long can an Indian stay in the UK?
Visitor visas permit Indians a stay of up to 180 days per UK visit. For other visa types like spouse, student, and work visas, the length of stay corresponds with the visa’s validity. Extensions are possible by meeting Leave to Remain (LTR) requirements. Pathways such as the Skilled Worker and Innovator visas can lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), eventually progressing to British citizenship.
Get Expert Guidance for All Types of UK Visa and Immigration Applications, Reapplications, Refusals, and Appeals.
2. UK Tourist Visa for Indian Citizens 2023
Can Indians Visit UK?
Indians must apply for a visa to enter the United Kingdom. The only exception is for Indians with dual citizenship from visa-exempt countries like the USA, Australia, New Zealand, or EU Member States.
Standard Visitor Visa from India to UK
The standard visitor visa allows Indians to engage in various activities, including tourism, family visits, business engagements, and short-term studies. Understanding the eligibility criteria is crucial before submitting an application.
Essential Criteria: UK Visitor Visa Requirements for Indian Citizens
UK immigration officials assess multiple factors such as the purpose of the visit, financial stability, and plans for accommodation and departure.
In the year ending September 2022, a total of 466,629 Indians applied for a UK visitor visa. Out of 436,460 resolved applications, 383,083 visit visas were granted to Indian nationals, and 50,421 applications were rejected. Therefore, the UK visitor visa success and refusal rates from India are 87.77% and 11.55%, respectively.
UK Visitor Visa Fees from India 2023
In 2023, the UK visa application fees from India are categorized as follows: ₹10,660 for a 6-month visa, ₹40,080 for a 2-year visa, ₹71,419 for a 5-year visa, and ₹89,221 for a 10-year visa. All these visa categories limit your stay to a maximum of 180 days per visit.
The standard visitor visa processing time is approximately three weeks. However, applicants can opt for expedited services. A one-week priority service is available at a charge of ₹26,649, and the next working day super priority service is priced at ₹101,906.
UK Tourist Visa from India
The application process for a UK tourist visa involves completing online application form, paying the visa fee, and submitting biometric data at a visa application center. Additional supporting documents are also required.
Required Documentation for Tourist Visa to UK from India
- Proof of intent to return to India, supported by employment or educational commitments
- Bank statements verifying adequate funds for the stay
- A detailed travel itinerary and proof of accommodation, such as hotel reservations
For further details, please refer to Tourist Visa Requirements from India.
Show Money for UK Tourist Visa for Indian Citizens
Applicants must prove they have sufficient funds—typically between GBP 3,000-5,000—to cover all expenses for the UK trip. The required amount varies depending on the number of travelers and the trip’s duration.
Can My Indian Girlfriend Visit Me in the UK?
A Standard UK Visitor Visa is required for your Indian girlfriend to visit the UK. The process involves an online application, payment of the visa fee, and biometric data submission.
London Visa for Indians
The standard visitor visa is suitable for trips specifically to London. The procedure involves completing an online form, document verification, and biometric data submission.
Other Visit Visa from India to UK
- Marriage Visitor Visa: If you intend to marry or register a civil partnership in the UK, the Marriage Visitor Visa is your go-to option. UK Visa Fees in Indian Rupees 2023: ₹10,660. Duration: Up to 180 days.
- Private Medical Treatment Visa: Should you be traveling to the UK for private medical treatment lasting between 6 and 11 months, you’ll need to apply for a Medical Treatment Visitor Visa. UK Visa Fees in Indian Rupees 2023: ₹21,319. Note: Attendants must apply as visitors.
- Visiting Academics: Indian academic professionals planning to engage in research or educational exchange can opt for a 12-month Academic Visit Visa. UK Visa Fees in Indian Rupees 2023: ₹21,319.
- Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE): For specific short-term paid tasks like lecturing or assessing, the PPE visa is available for up to 30 days. UK Visa Fees in Indian Rupees 2023: ₹10,660.
- Parent of Child Student Visa: For parents whose children are enrolled in fee-paying day schools in the UK, a 12-month Parent of Child Student Visa is available. UK Visa Fees in Indian Rupees 2023: ₹56,602.
- Transit Visas: For brief transits through the UK en route to another country, a transit visa is needed. Airside Transit Fee: ₹3,731; Visitor in Transit: ₹6,822.
Note: Holding a standard, marriage, or medical visitor visa negates the need for a separate transit visa.
3. Study in UK from India 2023
Can Indian Students Study in UK?
The UK Student Visa permits Indians to pursue a range of educational opportunities in the UK, from higher education to Student Union roles.
Key Requirements: Student Visa from India to UK
For a successful UK Student Visa application, Indians must satisfy specific criteria. These include a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from a UK institution and proof of English language proficiency, commonly through an IELTS exam. Financial solvency for tuition and living costs is also mandatory.
Different visa types like Child Student Visa and Short-term (English Language) Visa have distinct requirements. Adherence to the rules for each visa type is crucial.
In the year ending September 2022, a total of 163,608 Indians applied for a UK student visa. Out of 162,844 resolved applications, 160,970 student visas were granted to Indians, and 1,674 applications were rejected. Therefore, the UK student visa success and refusal rates for Indians are 98.85% and 1.03%, respectively.
UK Student Visa Fees in Indian Rupees 2023
The standard UK Student Visa fee is ₹38,694, with a processing time of around 3 weeks. Expedited service is available for an additional ₹26,649.
All students must also pay the Immigration Health Charge (IHS) at £624 annually.
Short-term English Language Visa from India to UK
The short-term study visa is designed for Indians studying English in the UK for 6-11 months, costing ₹21,319. A 6-month course costs ₹10,660.
Work Rights for Indian Students
- Students on degree-level courses can work up to 20 hours per week during term and full-time during breaks.
- For sub-degree level courses, the limit is 10 hours per week.
- Dependents of degree-level students can work; however, those of sub-degree students cannot.
Post-Study Work Opportunities
Indian graduates can avail a 2-year post-study work visa. PhD holders can get a 3-year visa.
4. Family Visas for the UK 2023
UK Visa for Indian Citizens under Appendix FM
The family route is for those Indians 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.
Key Criteria: Family Visa from India to UK
Applicants must satisfy essential requirements, such as a genuine relationship with a UK resident, financial stability, and English language proficiency. An Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is also mandatory for all applicants.
Family Visa Statistics
In the year ending September 2022, a total of 4,188 Indians applied for a family settlement visa in the UK. Out of 2,829 resolved applications, 2,576 family settlement visas were granted to Indians, and 203 applications were rejected. Therefore, the UK family (spouse) settlement visa success and refusal rates from India are 91.06% and 7.18%, respectively.
UK Spouse Visa Requirements from India
- Criteria: Applicants must follow the Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. UK Spouse Visa Requirements include proving a genuine relationship, financial stability, secure housing, and English proficiency.
- Duration & Progression: The visa is initially granted for 33 months and can be extended after 30 months. Applicants can seek Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after 5 years, provided they continuously meet all conditions. An exceptional 10-year route to settlement is possible if specific criteria like financial stability or English proficiency aren’t fulfilled.
- Fees: The base UK visa fee India for spouse applications is ₹163,944. For expedited 6-week processing, an additional fee of ₹61,079 is required.
Other Family Visa from India to UK:
- Fiancé(e) Visa: For Indians planning to marry or engage in a civil partnership in the UK. The visa lasts 6 months. After marrying or forming the partnership, they can switch to a spouse or civil partner visa. UK Visa Cost from India 2023: ₹163,944.
- Parent of a British Child: For Indians with sole guardianship of a British child. UK Visa Cost from India 2023: ₹163,944.
- Adult Dependent Relative: For Indians needing extended care from a UK relative. UK Visa Cost from India 2023: ₹346,436.
- Returning Residents: Indians who were previously settled in the UK and wish to return. UK Visa Cost from India 2023: ₹56,602.
5. UK Work Visa for Indian Citizens 2023
UK Entry Requirements for Indian Citizens: Work Visas
The primary route for Indians seeking UK employment is through the Skilled Worker Visa. Other options include visas like Innovator, Startup, Global Business Mobility, and Health and Care Worker.
Essential Criteria: Work Visa Requirements for Indian Citizens
To secure a UK work visa, Indians need to meet varying requirements based on the type of work visa they are applying for.
For most employment-based visas like the Skilled Worker visa, obtaining a job offer from a UK employer registered with the Home Office is crucial. The employer then provides a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). Additional standard prerequisites include passing an English language test and providing evidence of adequate financial resources. However, for business-oriented visas such as the Innovator Founder Visa, a job offer is not required; instead, applicants must secure an endorsement from an approved endorsing body and present a viable business plan. Regardless of the visa type, demonstrating a genuine intention to work or conduct business in the UK is essential.
In the year ending September 2022, a total of 132,169 Indians applied for a UK work visa. Out of 129,939 resolved applications, 127,987 work visas were granted to Indian nationals, and 1,532 applications were rejected. Therefore, the UK work visa success and refusal rates from India are 98.50% and 1.18%, respectively.
Skilled Worker Visa
Indians can work in the UK under the Skilled Worker Visa. This visa is for those sponsored by a licensed Home Office sponsor for specific skilled roles. It offers a path to permanent UK settlement. The UK work permit visa fees in Indian Rupees stands at ₹66,622 for up to three years and ₹131,646 for longer durations.
Skilled Worker (Shortage Occupation) Visa
This is a specialized category of the Skilled Worker Visa with reduced fees. The cost is ₹51,059 for up to three years and ₹100,520 for durations longer than three years.
Health and Care Work Visa
This visa is specifically designed for qualified doctors, nurses, or allied health professionals from the India who are sponsored by a licensed Home Office sponsor. It also provides a route to permanent UK settlement. The UK Work Visa for Indian cost for this category in 2023 is ₹26,329 for up to three years and ₹51,059 for more extended periods.
Global Business Mobility Visa
A brief overview of UK work visas available for Indians under the Global Business Mobility category, along with their 2023 fees.
- Senior or Specialist Worker: For high-level managers or specialists transferring to a UK branch. UK Visa Fees from India 2023: ₹66,622 for up to three years, ₹131,646 for over three years.
- Graduate Trainee: For individuals in graduate programs leading to specialist roles in the UK. Fee: ₹27,608.
- UK Expansion Worker: For specialists or senior personnel expanding a business into the UK. Fee: ₹27,608.
- Service Supplier: For individuals providing services as per UK trade commitments. Fee: ₹27,608.
- Secondment Worker: Specifically for Indians seconded to the UK for high-value contracts or investments. Fee: ₹27,608.
Quick Guide to Other Work and Business Visas:
Below is a brief overview of various UK visa categories along with their associated fees for Indians looking to work or do business in the UK.
- Start-Up Visa: For Indians starting an innovative business in the UK. Fee: ₹40,293.
- Innovator Visa: For Indians with innovative, viable, and scalable businesses. Fee: ₹110,433. Requirements include an endorsement, £50,000 investment, and B2 IELTS level.
- Innovator Founder Visa (Introduced April 2023): Replaces older Innovator and Startup visas. Streamlined for international entrepreneurs with endorsement-based approval. Leads to potential permanent UK residency for family members. Endorsement Fees: GBP1,000, Application Fees: ₹110,433
- Investor Visa: For high-value Indians investing in the UK. Fee: ₹174,604.
- High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa: For Indian graduates from top-50 global universities seeking employment in the UK. Fee: ₹76,216.
- Scale-Up Visa: For Indians with a job offer from an authorised UK scale-up company. Fee: ₹76,216. Leads to potential UK settlement after 5 years.
- Global Talent Visa: For Indians who are leaders or potential leaders in academia, research, arts, or digital technology. UK Visa Fee India vary: ₹48,608 (Approval Letter for initial application), ₹17,802 (Main Applicant with Approval Letter), ₹66,409 (Main Applicant without Approval Letter and for Dependants).
- T2 Minister of Religion Visa: For Indians intending to undertake preaching and pastoral work. UK Visa Fees from India 2023: ₹66,622
- International Sportsperson Visa: For elite Indian sportspersons or coaches contributing to UK sports. UK Visa Fees from India 2023: ₹27,608 (up to 12 months COS) or ₹66,622 (more than 12 months COS).
- T5 (Temporary Worker) Visa: For Indians in various sectors, such as seasonal, religious, or creative workers. UK Visa Fees from India 2023: ₹27,608.
6. UK Visa for Indian Girlfriend 2023
Entry Requirements for Girlfriend Visa UK
If the purpose is tourism, then the pertinent UK visa for Indian girlfriend is the standard visitor visa. However, if the intentions are to get married then an Indian girlfriend needs to apply for UK marriage visitor visa. Nevertheless, if the intentions are to live permanently together and settlement in the UK then a Indian girlfriend needs to apply for fiancé or spouse/civil partner visa.
UK Visa for Indian Girlfriend Cost
The cost of UK visa for Indian girlfriend depends on the type of the application. If the Indian girlfriend is applying for tourist or 6-month visit visa, then the cost of UK visa is US$129. However, if the Indian girlfriend is applying for spouse visa, then the UK visa cost is US$1,980.
Can My Indian Girlfriend Work in the UK?
Indian girlfriend cannot work in the UK on a visitor or tourist visa. However, if Indian girlfriend is on a family settlement visa, then can work in the UK. Moreover, for working in the UK Indian girlfriend can apply for work visas such as Skilled Worker, Health and Care Worker, Global Business Mobility etc.
UK Visa Invitation Letter for Girlfriend
Writing an invitation letter for a UK visa for a girlfriend involves outlining the purpose of the visit, relationship details, and support assurances. Below is a sample letter to guide you.
[Your Full Name]
[Your Full Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]
[UK Visa Application Centre Address]
To Whom It May Concern,
Re: Invitation Letter for [Girlfriend’s Full Name], Passport No: XXXXXXX
I am writing to confirm that I wish to invite my girlfriend, [Girlfriend’s Full Name], to visit me in the United Kingdom for [length of the visit, e.g., 2 weeks] to [purpose, e.g., spend holidays and engage in tourist activities]. She will be staying with me at my residence for the duration of her visit. I am a [Your Nationality] citizen and a [Your Occupation].
We have been in a genuine relationship for [length of your relationship, e.g., 2 years]. I am financially stable, earning an annual salary of [Your Salary], and am fully capable of accommodating and supporting her during her stay in the UK.
[Girlfriend’s Full Name] will be staying at my residence located at [Your Full Address].
I will bear all financial responsibilities for her stay, including the round-trip airfare, internal travels, accommodation, and her daily expenses.
I am providing the following documents to support this invitation:
- Photocopy of my passport and UK residence permit.
- Bank statements for the last 3 months.
- Proof of address (utility bill or lease agreement).
- Return flight booking confirmation for [Girlfriend’s Full Name].
Her travel details are as follows:
- Arrival: [Arrival Date]
- Departure: [Departure Date]
- Flight: [Flight details]
I earnestly request you to grant her the necessary visa to visit me in the United Kingdom.
[Your Full Name]
Please note that this is a sample letter and you might need to tailor it according to your own circumstances. Attach all supporting documents to substantiate the facts stated in the letter.
7. How to Apply for UK Visa from India?
UK Visa Requirements for Indian Citizens
A comprehensive guide tailored for Indians outlining the steps to apply for a UK visa. Follow this guide from determining your visa type to getting ready for your UK trip. Note: The estimated cost is based on a UK visitor visa, and priority service could shorten the process to 15 working days from 30.
Total Time: 30 days
Step 1: Determine the Visa Type
Firstly, ascertain the specific visa category that aligns with your reason for traveling from India to the UK.
Step 2: Create an Online Account
Proceed to the official UK government website focused on visas and immigration. Register an account on the UK Visas and Immigration platform.
Step 3: Fill Out the Application Form
Complete the relevant online application form, making sure that all details align with your supporting documents.
Step 4: Pay the Application Fee
Once you’ve completed the form, the system will navigate you to the online payment gateway to finalize your application fee.
Step 5: Assemble Your Supporting Documents
Depending on the type of visa, collect key documents such as your Indian passport, proof of financial status, and UK accommodation details.
Step 6: Schedule a VAC Appointment in India
Indians are not qualified to use the Immigration App for identity verification. As a result, it’s vital to book an appointment at a UK Visa Application Centre (UKVAC) in India.
Step 7: Attend the VAC Appointment
Arrive at the Visa Application Centre with all your supporting documents and undergo the biometric verification as per your appointment guidelines.
Step 8: Await Visa Decision
Post-submission, your application enters the processing stage. You will be informed once the decision is made.
Step 9: Passport Collection or Delivery
You can either collect your passport with the visa from the VAC or opt for a courier service for delivery.
Step 10: Prepare for Your UK Journey
With your visa secured, plan your UK travel and familiarize yourself with the terms of your visa.
Estimated Cost: 129 USD
- Application form
- Valid Indian Passport
- Recent passport-sized photos
- Invitation letter (if applicable)
- Payment for visa fee in USD
- Proof of UK accommodation
- Internet access
- Indian Passport
- Financial documents
Materials: Photocopies of original documents, Printed application confirmation, Postal envelope (if mailing documents)
UK Visa Application Centres in India (VFS Global Services Pvt. Ltd.)
- New Delhi: Mezzanine Floor, Baba Kadak Singh Marg, Shivaji Stadium Metro Station, Connaught Place, New Delhi 110001, India
- Mumbai North: Trade Centre, ‘G’ Block, First Floor, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (East), Mumbai – 400 051.
- Mumbai South: Urmi Axis Building, 1st Floor, Behind Famous Studio, Opp E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi West, Mumbai 400011
- Kolkata: UK Visa Application Centre, Fifth and Fourth floor, RENE tower, Plot No. AA-I, 1842, Rajdanga Main Road, Kasba, Kolkata 700107
- Chandigarh: Elante Offices, Entry from Gate No. 2, Unit no. C-313, Third Floor, Office Block B, Plot no. 178- 178A, Industrial & Business Park, Phase – I, Chandigarh (UT) 160002
- Other Locations: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Goa, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Park Plaza Ludhiana, Pune, Radisson Blu Amritsar, Radisson Noida, Radisson Red Mohali, The Gateway Hotel Visakhapatnam, Vivanta Bengaluru, Vivanta Mangalore
For further details please refer to find a visa application centre.
8. VFS Document Checklist UK Visa
UK Visa Supporting Documents Checklist from India
- Valid Passport: Must be valid for the duration of your UK stay.
- Application Form: Completed on the UK Visas and Immigration portal.
- Proof of Accommodation: Details of your UK stay.
- Financial Proof: Evidence of financial capability.
- Travel Itinerary: Outline of travel plans.
- Proof of Ties to India: To show intent to return.
- English Language Proficiency: When required, generally via an accredited test.
Note: The list outlines essential primary documents for all UK visa categories. Check specific guidelines for additional requirements based on your visa type.
Documentation Based on Visa Type
- Work Visas: Includes employment offer and Certificate of Sponsorship.
- Study Visas: Requires Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
- Family Visas: Requires relationship proofs.
- Tourist Visas: Additional trip details may be necessary.
For UK-Based Sponsors
Providing documents from a UK sponsor can enhance your visa application, particularly for sponsorship-required visas like family or work visas.
- Letter of Invitation
- Sponsor’s Immigration Status
- Financial Documents
- Accommodation Proof
- Relationship Evidence
Remember: Sponsor documents are supplementary; meeting the primary visa criteria is crucial.
9. Frequently Asked Questions
UK Visa for Indians 2023: Key Points
Can I extend my UK visa while in the UK?
It is possible for to extend certain types of UK visas while you are in the UK, such as student or work visas, provided you meet the eligibility criteria. However, tourist visas (Standard Visitor visas) typically cannot be extended unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as a medical emergency or unexpected travel disruption. If you wish to extend your visa, you must apply before your current visa expires and follow the appropriate application process.
Can I work or study on a tourist visa?
No, you cannot work or engage in any paid or unpaid employment while on a tourist visa in the UK. Additionally, you cannot undertake a course of study lasting longer than 30 days on a Standard Visitor visa. If you intend to work or study in the UK, you must apply for the appropriate work or student visa.
How long does it take to process a UK visa from India?
The processing time for a UK visa from India can vary depending on the type of visa and the time of year. On average, it takes 15 working days for a Standard Visitor visa, but it may take longer during peak travel seasons. Priority and Super Priority Visa services are available to expedite the process. Priority Visa service aims to process applications within 5 working days, while Super Priority Visa service aims to process applications within 24 hours. Keep in mind that processing times are not guaranteed and may be affected by individual circumstances or application volume.
How much is the UK Priority Visit Visa fee in India?
UK priority visit visa fees in India is INR26,649. Moreover, the super-priority service cost in India is INR101,906.
Can I convert my tourist visa to a work visa while in the UK?
No, you cannot convert a Standard Visitor visa (tourist visa) to a work visa while you are in the UK. If you wish to work in the UK, you must return to India and apply for the appropriate work visa from there. It is essential to plan ahead and apply for the correct visa type based on your intended activities in the UK.