Discover the latest information on UK Visa Application Fees and Entry Requirements for Sri Lankan citizens in 2023. This comprehensive guide covers the London or England tourist visa price, UK student and spouse visa fees, priority visa services costs, and the UK visa processing time in Sri Lanka for various categories such as visit, study, and work applications.
Table of Contents
I. UK Visa Fees and Entry Requirements for Sri Lankans 2023: An Overview
It’s essential for Sri Lankan citizens to apply for a visa to visit, work, study, or settle in the UK. The specific UK visa requirements for Sri Lankans depend on the type of application, such as visit or tourist visas, which need to fulfill the requirements of Appendix V for Visitors, Immigration Rules.
UK Visa Fee in Sri Lanka: How Much Does It Cost?
The UK visa fee in Sri Lanka varies based on the type of application. For example, UK tourist, student, and spouse visa fees in Sri Lanka are US$129, US$467, and US$1,980, respectively.
UK Visa Processing Time in Sri Lanka: How Long Does It Take?
In 2023, the processing time for non-settlement visit, study, and work visa applications in Sri Lanka is typically 3 weeks. Priority non-settlement applications, including visit, study, and work visas, usually take 5 working days, with an additional cost of US$322.
Sri Lankan Spouse Settlement Visa Processing Time
UK settlement visa processing time for spouse, partner, and family applications from Sri Lanka is generally within 12 weeks. The priority settlement visa processing time for Sri Lankan passport holders is 6 weeks, with an additional cost of US$738. However, UKVI has suspended the settlement priority service for new family visa applications in 2023.
Super Priority Visa Processing Time in Sri Lanka
The super priority service fee in Sri Lanka is US$1,231 for processing UK visa applications by the next working day, but this service is not currently available in Sri Lanka.
How Long Can Sri Lankans Stay in the UK?
Sri Lankan citizens can stay in the UK for up to 180 days per visit on a visitor (holiday or tourist) visa. For those on spouse, student, or work visas, the length of stay depends on the visa’s validity. Sri Lankans with valid spouse, work, and student visas can extend their stay by meeting the relevant leave to remain (LTR) requirements. Family and certain work routes, such as Skilled Worker and Innovator, also enable Sri Lankan migrants in the UK to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), Naturalisation, and eventually, British Citizenship.
Documents Required for UK Visa Application in Sri Lanka
When applying for a UK visa from Sri Lanka, applicants need to provide several documents, including:
- A valid passport with at least one blank page for the visa.
- A completed and signed UK visa application form, with supporting documents.
- Proof of payment for the visa application fee.
- A passport-sized color photograph taken within the last six months.
- Proof of the applicant’s financial means and accommodation arrangements in the UK.
- Evidence of the applicant’s intention to return to Sri Lanka after their visit to the UK, such as employment, family, or property ties.
- Any additional documents specific to the visa category being applied for, such as an invitation letter, sponsorship declaration, or Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) for work visas.
- For some visa categories, evidence of English language proficiency may also be required.
Applicants should note that all documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation.
Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) for Sri Lankan Citizens
Sri Lankan nationals who have been granted a UK visa for more than 6 months are required to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) upon arrival in the UK. The BRP serves as proof of the holder’s immigration status, and contains their biometric information, such as fingerprints and photograph.
Applicants will receive a letter with instructions on where and when to collect their BRP after their visa has been granted. BRPs can be collected from the designated Post Office branch or the applicant’s sponsor in the UK, depending on the information provided in the visa application. It is essential to collect the BRP within 10 days of arrival in the UK or before the vignette sticker in the passport expires, whichever is later.
UK Visa Application Centre in Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka, UK visa applications are processed through the UK Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Colombo, which is managed by VFS Global. Applicants can submit their visa application, provide biometrics, and collect their passport from the Visa Application Centre.
UK Visa Application Centre Colombo:
VFS Global Services Pvt Ltd,
4th Floor, 19 1/1, Dharmapala Mawatha,
Visa application services are available by appointment only, which can be booked online through the VFS Global website.
II. UK Travel for Sri Lankans: Visa Requirements and Types
Sri Lankan passport holders can travel to the UK with a valid visa. Sri Lankans with citizenship in non-visa countries, such as the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and the EU, don’t need a visa for visits up to 6 months. However, those with Permanent Residence (PR) in a non-visa country still need a visa for UK travel.
UK Visit Visa Types for Sri Lankans
The standard visitor visa is the most common visa for Sri Lankans visiting the UK. Other visitor visas include marriage, private medical treatment, and permitted paid engagement, depending on the visit’s purpose.
UK Visit Visa Success Rate for Sri Lankans
As of September 2022, 21,481 Sri Lankans applied for UK visitor visas. With 15,834 visas granted and 3,531 applications rejected, the success and refusal rates were 81.42% and 18.16%, respectively.
Standard Visitor Visa
Sri Lankans can apply for the standard visitor visa for tourism, visiting family, business meetings, short-term study (up to 6 months), and other permitted activities. Short-term (6 months) or long-term (2, 5, or 10 years) standard visitor visas are available, with multiple entry rules being the same for all types. Sri Lankans can stay up to 180 days per visit on a standard visitor visa.
UK Visit Visa Fees in Sri Lanka
In 2023, the 6-month visit visa fee is US$129. Fees for long-term 2, 5, and 10-year visit visas are US$484, US$862, and US$1,077, respectively. Priority visit visa fees are US$451 for 6 months, US$806 for 2 years, US$1,184 for 5 years, and US$1,399 for 10 years. Super priority visa fees for tourist or visitor visas are US$1,231, with total fees of US$1,360 for 6 months, US$1,715 for 2 years, US$2,093 for 5 years, and US$2,308 for 10 years.
London or England Visa Price in Sri Lanka
The 6-month London or England tourist visa price is US$129 per applicant. Applicants must prove they have sufficient funds for the trip and will leave the UK after their visit. Using false documents may result in a 10-year deception ban.
Child Visit Visa UK Fees from Sri Lanka
Child visitor visa fees for 6 months, 2, 5, and 10 years are US$129, US$484, US$862, and US$1,077, respectively. Infants and children under 5 years of age are not exempt from the application fee.
Other UK Visitor Visas from Sri Lanka
Marriage Visitor Visa
Sri Lankans traveling to the UK to marry or form a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership, need a marriage visitor visa. This visa costs US$129 and allows a stay of up to 180 days.
Private Medical Treatment Visitor Visa
Sri Lankans seeking private medical treatment in the UK for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months need a private medical treatment visitor visa. The UK Private Medical Treatment Visitor Visa Fees in Sri Lanka are US$257. Sri Lankans can stay in the UK for up to 11 months on this visa. Note that family members, friends, or nurses accompanying a visitor for private medical treatment must apply as visitors and satisfy the requirements.
Sri Lankan academics can apply for an academic visitor visa for up to 12 months for research and formal exchange arrangements. The UK Academic Visitor visa cost for Sri Lankans is US$257. Sri Lankan academics (and their accompanying partner or child) can stay in the UK for up to 12 months on this visa.
Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE)
The Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) visitor visa is for Sri Lankan experts coming to the UK to undertake specific paid engagements for up to one month. Eligible professionals include visiting examiners, assessors, lecturers, designated air pilot examiners, qualified lawyers, artists, entertainers, and sportspersons. The UK Permitted Paid Engagement visit visa fee for Sri Lankans is US$129.
Parent of a Child Student Visa
Sri Lankans can apply for a Parent of Child Student visa for up to 12 months if their child is attending an independent fee-paying day school in the UK. The Parent of Tier 4 Child Student visa cost in Sri Lanka is US$684.
Transit visas are for Sri Lankans transiting the UK en route to another country outside the Common Travel Area (CTA), entering the UK for up to 48 hours, and crossing the UK border unless Appendix Visitor: Transit Without Visa Scheme applies. Sri Lankan citizens with valid standard, marriage, or medical visitor visas can transit the UK without a transit visa.
Transit Visa Fees in Sri Lanka
The cost of a Direct Airside Transit (DATV) visa is US$45. The application charges for ‘Visitor in Transit’ and for ‘Joining a Ship or Aircraft as a Member of Crew of that Ship or Aircraft’ are US$82.
III. UK Student Visa Fees and Requirements for Sri Lankan Citizens
As of October 5, 2020, the UK student visa under Immigration Rules Appendix Student has replaced the Tier 4 (General) Student route.
Sri Lankans can apply for a Short-term Student (English language) visa to study English Language in the UK. If they intend to study a course for 6 months or less in the UK, they can do so on a visitor visa.
Student Visa (aka Tier 4)
Sri Lankans need to apply for a Student Visa as per Immigration Rules Appendix Student if they intend to study with a UK sponsor on a course of further or higher education, a pre-sessional English course, a recognized foundation program, or take an elected post as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer.
UK Student Visa Success Rate for Sri Lankans
In the year ending September 2022, a total of 8,970 Sri Lankans applied for a UK student visa. 8,911 applications were resolved, 8,837 student visas were granted to Sri Lankans, and 58 applications were rejected. Therefore, the UK student visa success and refusal rates for Sri Lankans are 99.17% and 0.65%, respectively.
UK Student Visa Fees in Sri Lanka
The UK student visa fees in Sri Lanka are US$467 to study in London or elsewhere in England or Britain.
Student dependents (spouse, partner, children) visa UK fees in Sri Lanka are also US$467.
The UK student visa processing time in Sri Lanka is usually 3 weeks.
Priority Student Visa Fee in Sri Lanka 2023
To accelerate the processing time within 5 working days, the cost of priority student visa UK in Sri Lanka is US$789, i.e., the application fee US$467 plus priority service charges US$322.
Super Priority Student Visa Fee in Sri Lanka 2023
Sri Lankans can use super priority (premium) service to expedite student visa processing by the next working day.
The cost of super priority student visa UK in Sri Lanka is US$1,698, i.e., the application fee US$467 plus super priority service charges US$1,231.
IHS Fees for UK Student Visa Sri Lanka
The study visa Immigration Health Charge (aka Immigration Health Surcharge or IHS) requirements for Sri Lankan students are @ £624 per year for each year of stay in the UK.
IHS for student dependent visa from Sri Lanka is also @ £624 per year for each year of stay in the UK.
Can Sri Lankan Students Work in the UK?
Sri Lankan students on degree-level courses in the UK can work for 20 hours per week during term-time.
Sri Lankan students on below degree-level courses in the UK can only work for 10 hours per week during term-time.
During semester break, Sri Lankan students on degree or below degree courses can work full-time.
The dependent spouse of a Sri Lankan student studying below degree level courses cannot work in the UK. However, a dependent spouse of Sri Lankan students studying degree-level courses can work (including self-employment and voluntary work) in the UK.
Does UK Give Post Study Work Visa to Sri Lankans?
Yes, under the Graduate route, Sri Lankan students who have completed a bachelor’s degree or above in the UK can apply for a 2-Year post-study work visa.
If Sri Lankans have completed a PhD in the UK, they can get a 3-Year post-study work visa.
Short Term Student (English Language) Visa
Sri Lankans need to apply for a Short-term Student (English language) visa if they intend to study the English language in the UK for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months at an accredited institution.
The English Language study visa fees requirements for Sri Lankan students are US$257.
If Sri Lankans intend to study a course for 6 months or less without a student sponsor but with an accredited provider, they can apply under Appendix V for Visitor.
Therefore, if the English Language course is up to 6 months, the application charges are US$129.
IV. UK Family Visa Fees and Requirements for Sri Lankans 2023
The family route is for those Sri Lankans 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.
UK Family Visa Success Rate Sri Lankans
In the year ending September 2022, a total of 1,244 Sri Lankans applied for family settlement visa UK. 735 applications resolved, 667 family settlement visas granted to Sri Lankans, and 63 applications rejected. Therefore, the UK family (spouse) settlement visa success and refusal rate from Sri Lanka are 90.75% and 8.57%, respectively.
Spouse of Partner Visa UK for Sri Lankans
In terms of Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, Sri Lankans can apply for spouse (partner) visa under the 5-year route.
If Sri Lankans meet the spouse visa requirements under the 5-year route, then get entry clearance as spouse, civil, unmarried, same-sex partner for an initial period of 33 months with no recourse to public funds.
After 30 months Sri Lankans need to make spouse visa extension application for a further leave to remain in the UK.
Sri Lankans may qualify for ILR (indefinite leave to remain) after completing 60 months (5 years) in the UK under the family settlement route Appendix FM.
ILR under the 5-year route is for those who meet all the suitability and eligibility requirements of the Immigration Rules at every stage.
If Sri Lankan spouse fails to meet the financial, English language or lawful immigration status requirements then cannot apply for settlement under the 5-year route.
If exceptional circumstances under Appendix FM apply, then Sri Lankans may be considered for settlement under the 10-year route.
How much is UK Spouse Visa Fees in Sri Lanka?
In 2023, UK spouse, civil, unmarried, or same-sex partner visa fees in Sri Lanka are US$1,980.
To fast track UK spouse settlement visa within 6 weeks the fee in Sri Lanka is US$2,718 i.e. application cost US$1,980 plus the priority settlement service charges US$738.
Can Sri Lankans Apply for Fiancé(e) Visa?
Sri Lankans 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, Sri Lankans can apply for leave to remain as a spouse or civil partner.
Fiancé(e) visa fee in Sri Lanka is US$1,980.
DEPENDANTS JOINING OR ACCOMPANYING
The ‘joining or accompanying’ route is for those Sri Lankans 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 Sri Lanka under Dependant Joining or Accompanying route are US$1,980.
Other Family Visas for Sri Lankans
Parent of a British Child Visa
Sri Lankans 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.
Parent of British Child visa application charges are US$1,980.
Adult Dependant Relative
Sri Lankans can apply for Adult Dependant Relative Visa if they are 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.
UK Adult Dependant Relative visa fees in Sri Lanka are US$4,184.
Sri Lankans may be able to live permanently in the UK as a ‘returning resident’ if they were previously settled in the UK.
UK visa application cost in Sri Lanka for Returning residents is US$684.
EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit
In terms of Appendix EU (Family Permit), Sri Lankans 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 Sri Lanka.
Due to Brexit, the EEA family permit route under EEA Regulations 2016 has ended on June 30, 2021.
V. UK Work Visa Fees and Requirements for Sri Lankans 2023
The most popular route for getting a job in the UK from Sri Lanka is the Skilled Worker visa.
Sri Lankans can also apply for other types of UK work visa such as Innovator, Startup, Global Business Mobility, Health and Care Worker etc.
UK Work Visa Success Rate for Sri Lankans
In the year ending September 2022, a total of 4,973 Sri Lankans applied for work visa UK. 4,805 applications resolved, 4,680 work visas granted to Sri Lankan nationals, and 111 applications rejected. Therefore, the UK work visa success and refusal rate from Sri Lanka are 97.40% and 2.31%, respectively.
Skilled Worker (aka Tier 2 General)
If Sri Lankans are sponsored to do a specific skilled job for a Home Office licensed sponsor, then can apply for Skilled Worker visa.
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. Therefore, Sri Lankan citizens can move to UK from Sri Lanka through the Skilled Worker visa route.
How Much is Skilled Worker Visa Fee in Sri Lanka?
UK Skilled Worker visa fees depends on the duration of the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) for main applicant and dependants.
If the COS is for 3-years or less, then the UK Skilled Worker Visa Fees in Sri Lanka are US$805.
If the COS is for 3-years or more then the fee is US$1,590.
Skilled Worker (Shortage Occupation) Visa UK Fees for Sri Lankans
Skilled Worker Shortage Occupation visa fees depends on the duration of the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS).
If the COS is for three years or less, then the fee is US$617.
If the COS is for three years or more then the fee is US$1,214.
Health and Care Work Visa UK
If Sri Lankans are sponsored to work in the UK as a qualified doctor, nurse, or allied health professional for Home Office licensed sponsor, then can apply for Health and Care Visa.
Health and Care work visa route for skilled workers can lead to permanent settlement (ILR) in the UK. Therefore, Sri Lankan citizens can move to UK from Sri Lanka through Health and Care Worker visa route.
How Much is Health and Care Visa UK Fee in Sri Lanka?
The UK Health and Care visa fees depends on the duration of the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS).
If the COS is for 3-years or less, then application cost is US$318.
If the COS is for 3-years or more, then application charges are US$617.
Global Business Mobility Visa UK from Sri Lanka
Global Business Mobility Visa route consists of several new sponsored categories for businesses to establish presence in the UK, transfer overseas staff, or come to the United Kingdom for a specific business purpose.
The five sub-categories to Global Business Mobility Visa UK are:
- Senior or Specialist Worker
- Graduate Trainee
- UK Expansion Worker
- Service Supplier
- Secondment Worker
Sri Lankans can get the Global Business Mobility visa if the UK employer sponsor the worker to come to the UK for specific job.
The Global Business Mobility visa is points based.
Sri Lankans need to score 40 to 60 points depending on the sub-category of Global Business Mobility Visa UK.
All five sub-categories of Global Business Mobility visa do not lead to settlement (ILR) in the UK. Therefore, Sri Lankan citizens cannot emigrate (permanently move) to UK from Sri Lanka through Global Business Mobility route.
Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
This route is for senior managers or specialist employees who are assigned to a UK business which is linked by common ownership to the overseas employing company.
Senior or Specialist Worker visa has replaced the Intra-company Transfer route.
Senior or Specialist Worker visa fees in Sri Lanka depends on the duration of application.
If the application is for 3-years or less, then the fees are US$805.
If the application is for three years or more then the fee is US$1,590.
This route is for workers on a graduate training course which leads to a senior management or specialist position and who are required to undertake work placement in the UK.
Graduate Trainee visa has replaced the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route.
UK Graduate Trainee visa fees in Sri Lanka are US$333.
UK Expansion Worker
Sri Lankans can apply for Expansion Worker visa if they are specialist or senior employees who are assigned for business expansion in the UK.
UK Expansion Worker visa has replaced the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business route. However, the Sole Representative visa will remain open for Media Representatives and those already on Sole Representative visa extending or applying for ILR in the UK.
UK Expansion Worker visa fees from Sri Lanka are US$333.
The Service Supplier Visa is for overseas workers coming to the UK to provide a service that is in line with UK trade commitment.
UK Service Supplier visa fees in Sri Lanka are US$333.
Service Supplier visa has replaced contractual service providers and independent professional persons in the T5 Temporary Worker – International Agreement route.
The UK Global Business Mobility Secondment Worker Visa is new route.
Secondment Worker route is for those Sri Lankan workers who are seconded to the UK as part of a high value contract or investment by their employer overseas.
Secondment Worker visa fees in Sri Lanka are US$333.
Other Work Visas for Sri Lankans
If Sri Lankans intend to set up an innovative business for the first time in the UK, then can apply for the Start-up visa.
UK Start-up Visa Fees in Sri Lanka are US$487 for main applicant and dependants.
Please note, Start-up visa has replaced the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur route in March 2019.
Successful applicants may get up to 2-year leave. Start-up is not a route to settlement. However, Sri Lankan may be eligible to move permanently to UK if they progress from start-up to innovator, which is a route to settlement.
If Sri Lankans intend to do innovative, viable, and scalable business in the UK then can apply for the Innovator visa.
UK Innovator visa fees in Sri Lanka are US$1,334 for main applicant and dependants.
Please note, Innovator visa has replaced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route in March 2019.
To apply for innovator visa UK (aka tier 1 or t1 business visa), Sri Lankan usually need to have an endorsement letter, £50,000 of investment funds, B2 level of IELTS or equivalent for proving English language ability and at least £1,270 for maintenance funds.
The initial duration of innovator visa is 3 years. After 3 years, Sri Lankan on innovator visa route can apply for an ILR i.e. permanent settlement in the UK. Therefore, if Sri Lankan businesspersons or entrepreneurs intend to emigrate (move permanently) to UK from Sri Lanka then Innovator route is a workable option.
Investor visa is for high value Sri Lankans, who intend to make an investment in the UK.
UK Investor Visa fees in Sri Lanka are US$2,109.
High Potential Individual (HPI)
High Potential Individual visa is for Sri Lankan graduates from the top-50 Universities across the world who wish to come to the UK to undertake full-time employment or self-employment work or seek employment opportunities.
The High Potential Individual visa fees in Sri Lanka are US$920.
Sri Lankan citizens having Bachelor’s or Master’s degree will get a 2-year non-extendable High Potential Individual Visa UK. Applicants having a PhD qualification can get a 3-year High Potential Visa.
Sri Lankan need to meet the English language and financial requirements for scoring 70 points. High Potential Individual Visa route does not lead to settlement (indefinite leave to remain – ILR) but Sri Lankan citizens can switch to other routes if they intend to work, emigrate, or move to UK.
The Scale-up visa is those Sri Lankans who have a sponsored job offer from an authorised UK scale-up company to qualify for a ‘fast-track visa’.
Scale-up Visa UK Fees in Sri Lanka are US$920.
Sri Lankan citizens will initially get a Scale-up Visa for 2-years – the first six months of which they need to work for the sponsor. Afterwards, Sri Lankan citizens may be eligible to extend the Scaleup visa in the UK for up to 3 years.
Sri Lankan migrants in the UK on a Scale-up visa can apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain – ILR) after a period of 5 years. Therefore, Sri Lankan citizens can emigrate (permanently move) to UK from Sri Lanka through Scale-up visa route.
Sri Lankans can apply for Global Talent visa if they are a leader or potential leader in academia or research, arts and culture, and digital technology.
Global Talent visa UK fees in Sri Lanka are as under:
- Approval Letter from a competent body in respect of an initial application US$587
- Main Applicant – where Approval Letter is required US$215
- Main Applicant – where Approval Letter is not required US$802
- Dependants US$802
Please note, Global Talent visa has replaced the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route.
T2 Minister of Religion
The T2 Minister of Religion route is for those Sri Lankan Citizens who intend to undertake preaching and pastoral work, Missionary, or Member of a Religious Order in the UK.
The T2 Minister of Religion visa fees in Sri Lanka are US$805.
The T2 Sportsperson route is for an elite Sri Lankan sportsperson or coach whose employment will make a significant contribution to the development of sport at the highest level in the UK.
T2 Sportsperson visa fees depends on the duration of the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS).
If the COS is up to 12 months, then application charges are US$333.
if the COS is for more than 12 months then application cost is US$805.
T5 (Temporary Worker)
T5 (Temporary Worker) visa is for:
- Seasonal Worker
- Religious Worker
- Charity Worker
- Creative and Sporting Worker
- Government Authorised Exchange Worker
- Youth Mobility Scheme.
The T5 (Temporary Worker) visa fees in Sri Lanka are US$333 for main applicant and dependants.
VI. How to Apply for UK Visitor Visa from Sri Lanka?
The visa application process starts with the purpose of visiting the UK and ends with passport collection.
Sri Lankans can apply UK visa online and no paper application form is required.
Sri Lankans can apply UK visitor visa 3 months prior to the intended visit.
For instance, if a Sri Lankan passport holder wishes to visit the UK for tourism from Feb 15, 2023, to 5 March 2023, then can apply from Nov 15, 2022, onwards.
Sri Lankan nationals usually submit a UK visitor visa application 4-6 weeks prior to the scheduled visit as the processing time for most of the applications from Sri Lanka is within 15-30 working days!
Purpose of Visiting the UK from Sri Lanka
The first step is to specify the purpose of visiting the UK and start gathering supporting documents.
Sri Lankans can travel to the UK for holidays, short term study, limited business activities or family visits.
Sri Lankans visiting the UK can do following permitted activities:
- Tourism and leisure
- Private medical treatment
- Permitted Business Activities such as attending conference, seminar, meetings etc.
- Conversion of a civil partnership into a marriage
- Short Term Study
- Participation in an exchange program
- Educational visit
Can Sri Lankans Work on Visiting Visa in the UK?
Sri Lankans visiting the UK are not allowed to do work.
Sri Lankans travelling on a visitor visa needs to abide the conditions of stay in the UK.
If the Home Office finds a visiting Sri Lankan breaching their conditions of stay, then may cancel the visitor visa with a re-entry ban.
Fill Online Application Form for Visiting the UK
Sri Lankans can read questions in languages other than English but can only fill the online visa application form in English.
After selecting a language for reading the questions, applicants need to select Sri Lanka as the country of application if an applicant is applying from inside Sri Lanka.
If a Sri Lankan passport holder is applying from some other country, then needs to select that country. And need to provide the details of the permission to reside in that country.
After reviewing and finalising the online application, Sri Lankans can select the service type (standard or priority) and schedule an appointment at UKVACs in Sri Lanka.
How to pay for UK visa fee in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lankans for UK visa from Sri Lanka need to pay the online application cost in US Dollars. Accordingly, Sri Lankans can pay for UK visa fee online by a debit or credit card. after completing the application form.
Required Documents UK Visit Visa from Sri Lanka
Sri Lankans need to upload/submit the required supporting documents for UK visit visa such as:
- Print out of the UK visa online application form
- Current valid Sri Lankan passport
- Previous Sri Lankan passport, if applicable
- Translation of documents, which are not in English/Welsh
- Invitation letter, if applicable
- A UK address for staying during the visit
- Residential address in Sri Lanka
- Telephone or mobile number
- Marriage certificate, if applicable
- Family certificate, if applicable
- Business/Employer details
- Tax registration certificate
- Tax returns
- Bank statements
- Salary slips (for employed persons)
- Conveyance/Mortgage Deed or Rental Agreement of the address in Sri Lanka
- Evidence of assets
Please note, this is not an exhaustive checklist of UK visit visa supporting documents from Sri Lanka, as the actual supporting documents may differ due to the personal circumstances of an applicant.
Sri Lankans can provide UK sponsor’s supporting documents for visit visa application.
If Sri Lankans provide false or forged supporting documents, then may get a 10 Year Deception Ban under General Grounds for UK visa refusal.
Identity Verification (Biometrics) UK Visa from Sri Lanka
Sri Lankans are not eligible to use the Immigration App to verify their identity. Therefore, for biometrics and application submission they need to book an appointment at UK Visa Application Centre (UKVAC) in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Staff of the application centre takes electronic photograph and biometrics (scanning of fingers + thumbs).
If the application is successful British HC or Embassy uses the electronic photograph taken at UKVAC for visa vignette.
Visit Visa UK Waiting Time in Sri Lanka 2023
The UK visa processing time from Sri Lanka for all the short and long-term visitor visa application is usually within 10-15 working days i.e. 2 to 3 weeks.
Priority visitor visa processing time from Sri Lanka is normally within 5-7 working days.
At times tourist visa processing time for Sri Lankans may escalate up-to 12 weeks due to documents verification, interview, administrative bottlenecks etc.
UKVI Decision Email for Sri Lankans
Once applicants visit application centre in Sri Lanka to prove their identity, then UK visa processing time starts from the appointment day after biometrics (fingerprints and a photograph).
The UK visa processing time ends when Sri Lankans receive email from UKVI.
UKVI’s decision email usually states that visa application has been processed and the application centre (TLS Contact) will inform the applicant when passport is ready from collection.
Once the UKVI makes the decision on the application then the UKVAC will inform the applicant for passport collection.
If application remains unresolved even after 12 weeks or sixty working days, then applicants may need to contact UKVI.
How to know if the UK visa is approved from Sri Lanka?
Sri Lankans only come to know about the UK visa approval (or refusal) after passport collection.
How to Track UK Visa Application in Sri Lanka?
A few years ago, Sri Lankans were able to track UK visa application after biometrics. However, now it is not possible to track UK visa application after biometrics from Sri Lanka.
If for any reason Sri Lankans intend to know the application status, then can contact UKVI by phone or email:
Telephone: +44 (0)300 790 6268 – select option 1 – If you cannot contact UK 0300 numbers, use +44 (0) 203 875 4669.
Monday to Friday, 24 hours
Calls cost US$1 per minute on top of your standard network charges.
Email enquiries cost US$4. You will not be charged for any follow-up emails about the same enquiry.
Please note, Sri Lankans may contact UKVI for:
- general queries about applying for a visa to come to the UK
- questions about the progress of their UK visa application from Sri Lanka
- technical problems with their UK visa application
- a mistake in their online application
- problems logging into their account or with their password
- problems with making a payment to UKVI online or pending payments
However, UKVI contact centre staff cannot give advice to Sri Lankans about their personal circumstances
What Sri Lankans can do if UK Visit Visa is Refused?
Sri Lankans can either reapply or file Judicial Review after UK visitor or tourist visa rejection.
There is no right of appeal or administrative review against UK visitor visa denial.
If Sri Lankans have applied for UK visa on human rights grounds, then can file appeal after refusal.
Please note, common reasons for visitor or tourist visa refusal for Sri Lankans includes but not limited to doubtful intentions and large unexplained transactions in the bank statement.
In summary, Sri Lankan citizens planning to visit, work, study, or settle in the UK need to apply for the appropriate visa type. The UK visa fees, processing times, and requirements vary depending on the visa category and the applicant’s specific circumstances. By understanding the process and following the guidelines outlined in this overview, Sri Lankan nationals can increase their chances of a successful visa application. For more detailed information, consult the relevant visa category sections and the official UK government website.