UK Visas for Sri Lankans 2023: Essential Information on Fees and Processing Time for Sri Lankans. The standard tourist visa to London or England for Sri Lankans in 2023 is priced at US$145. For those applying for student and spouse visas from Sri Lanka, the fees are set at US$619 and US$2,332, respectively. Sri Lankans can opt for an optional priority service for visit, student, and work visas by paying an additional US$632. After biometric verification, the typical processing duration for these visa categories in Sri Lanka stands at around 3 weeks.
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1. UK Visa from Sri Lanka 2023
Sri Lankan nationals planning to visit, work, or study in the UK are required to obtain an appropriate visa. The visa requirements vary depending on the type of visa being applied for.
UK visa fees differ depending on the visa category. To illustrate, tourist visas cost US$145, student visas are priced at US$619, and spouse visas have a fee of US$2,332.
In 2023, the typical timeframe for processing non-settlement visas, including tourist, study, and work categories, is about 3 weeks. However, applicants can opt for a priority service at an additional US$632 to shorten the processing time to 5 working days.
The typical processing period for spouse, partner, or family settlement visas, following biometric submission, can take up to 12 weeks. There is an option to use a priority service, which shortens this timeline to 6 weeks at an extra charge of US$632.
The super-priority service for next-working-day processing comes with a fee of US$1,263 but is not currently available in Sri Lanka.
The cost of traveling to the UK from Sri Lanka can vary widely, ranging from US$1,750 to US$5,225 per person for a 7-15 day stay. For couples, costs can go from US$3,500 to US$10,500, and families of four may spend between US$7,000 and US$21,000. Note that these figures are approximate and should be confirmed for current rates.
To migrate to the UK from Sri Lanka, the primary routes are through work, family, study, or investment. The UK offers visas for skilled workers with a job offer, student visas, family visas for those with close relatives in the UK, and visas for investors and entrepreneurs such as Innovator Founder visa. Each route has specific requirements and criteria. It’s essential to identify the most suitable pathway for your circumstances and ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for that particular visa category.
Visitor visas allow Sri Lankans to stay in the UK for up to 180 days per visit. For other visa categories like spouse, student, and work visas, the duration aligns with the visa’s validity. Extensions are possible by fulfilling Leave to Remain (LTR) requirements. Certain pathways, such as the Skilled Worker and Innovator visas, enable applicants to seek Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and eventually British citizenship.
2. UK Visit Visa from Sri Lanka 2023
Visiting the UK requires Sri Lankans to obtain a visa, unless they have dual citizenship with countries that are visa-exempt, such as the USA, Australia, New Zealand, or EU Member States.
Standard Visitor Visa for UK from Sri Lanka
The Standard Visitor Visa enables Sri Lankans to participate in various activities like tourism, visiting family, attending business meetings, and short-term studies. Familiarizing yourself with the eligibility criteria is essential before applying.
The qualification for a UK visitor visa hinges on multiple aspects such as the reason for the visit, proof of financial means, and confirmed plans for accommodation and return.
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.
As of 2023, the UK visa application fees for Sri Lankans are as follows: US$145 for a 6-month visa, US$505 for a 2-year visa, US$974 for a 5-year visa, and US$1,217 for a 10-year visa. All these categories restrict your stay to a maximum of 180 days per visit.
Sri Lankan citizens should plan for a visitor visa processing time of roughly three weeks. For faster processing, a one-week priority service is available at US$632, and a next working day super priority at US$1,263.
Tourist Visa for UK from Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan individuals applying for a UK tourist visa need to complete an online application form, pay the visa fee, and submit biometric data at a local visa application center. They must also provide additional supporting documents.
- Evidence of intent to return to Sri Lanka, such as employment or educational commitments
- Bank statements confirming adequate financial resources for the trip
- Detailed travel plans and proof of accommodations, like hotel bookings
Applicants must verify they hold enough financial resources, usually ranging from GBP 3,000 to 5,000, for their UK visit. The specific amount required will depend on the trip’s length and the total number of travelers.
The Standard Visitor Visa covers travel specifically to London or any part of England. The application process involves online form submission, document verification, and biometric data collection. From Oct 4, 2023, the London visa price in Sri Lanka is US$145.
Other Visit Visa for UK from Sri Lanka
- Marriage Visitor Visa: Suitable for marriage or civil partnership registration in the UK. UK Visa Fees from Sri Lanka 2023: US$145. 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 from Sri Lanka: US$253. Note: Attendants must apply as visitors.
- Visiting Academics: Sri Lankan academic professionals planning to engage in research or educational exchange can opt for a 12-month Academic Visit Visa. UK Visa Fees from Sri Lanka 2023: US$253.
- 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 from Sri Lanka 2023: US$145.
- 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 from Sri Lanka 2023: US$805.
- Transit Visas for Sri Lankan Citizens: Sri Lankans transiting through the UK on their way to another country are required to have a transit visa. The fee for an Airside Transit Visa is US$44, while the Visitor in Transit Visa costs US$81
3. Student Visa UK from Sri Lanka 2023
The UK Student Visa enables Sri Lankans to engage in various educational activities in the UK, such as higher education and Student Union involvement.
To qualify for a UK Student Visa, Sri Lankans are required to meet specific conditions. Among these are a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from a UK educational institution and evidence of English language skills, typically via an IELTS exam. Financial stability to cover both tuition and living expenses is also essential.
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.
For a standard UK Student Visa, the fee is US$619 with an estimated processing time of 3 weeks. An additional US$632 can be paid for faster processing.
Additionally, students are required to pay the Immigration Health Charge (IHS) of £624 annually.
The short-term study visa is tailored for Sri Lankans intending to take English language courses in the UK for 6-11 months. The fee for this visa is US$253, while a 6-month course is priced at US$145.
- Students pursuing degree-level courses have the privilege to work for up to 20 hours per week during term time, with the option to engage in full-time employment during vacation periods.
- For sub-degree courses, the work limit is set at 10 hours a week.
- Dependents of degree-level students can work; however, those related to sub-degree students are not permitted to work.
Sri Lankan graduates are eligible for a 2-year post-study work visa. For those holding a PhD, a 3-year visa is available.
4. Family Visa for UK from Sri Lanka 2023
The family visa pathway enables Sri Lankans to apply for UK residency due to their relationship with a British citizen or a person settled in the UK. This encompasses various types, such as spouse settlement visas, adult dependent relatives, and parent of a British child visas.
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 or Partner Visa Requirements for Sri Lankan Citizens
- Eligibility: Applicants must comply with Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. The requirements for the UK Spouse Visa entail demonstrating a bona fide relationship, financial stability, adequate accommodation, and proficiency in the English language.
- Validity & Extensions: The initial visa duration is 33 months and can be renewed after 30 months. After 5 years, applicants can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain under 5 year route if they continue to meet all conditions. An alternative 10-year path to settlement is available under special circumstances.
- Fee Structure: The standard fee for spouse visa applications from Sri Lanka is US$2,332. An additional US$632 is required for expedited 6-week processing, bringing the total to US$2,964.
Other Family Visa from Sri Lanka to UK:
- Fiancé(e) Visa: For Sri Lankans intending to marry or form a civil partnership in the UK. Valid for 6 months. UK Visa Fees Sri Lanka 2023: US$2,332.
- Parent of a British Child: For Sri Lankans who are the sole caregivers of a British child. UK Visa Fees Sri Lanka 2023: US$2,332.
- Adult Dependent Relative: For Sri Lankans requiring long-term care from a UK-based relative. UK Visa Fees Sri Lanka 2023: US$4,106.
- Returning Residents: Sri Lankans who have previously been settled in the UK and wish to return. UK Visa Fees Sri Lanka 2023: US$805.
5. Work Visa for UK from Sri Lanka 2023
The main pathway for Sri Lankans seeking employment in the UK is via the Skilled Worker Visa. Other notable options are the Innovator, Startup, Global Business Mobility, and Health and Care Worker Visas.
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 Migration to UK from Sri Lanka
Sri Lankans can opt for the Skilled Worker Visa to work in roles sponsored by a licensed Home Office employer. This visa can lead to permanent settlement in the UK. In 2023, the cost for Sri Lankans is US$908 for up to three years and US$1,794 for more extended stays.
The Skilled Worker (Shortage Occupation) Visa comes with lower fees. In 2023, the cost is US$696 for durations up to three years, and US$1,370 for terms extending beyond that.
Health and Care Work Visa for UK from Sri Lanka
Designed for qualified health professionals from Sri Lanka, this visa also offers a pathway to permanent UK residency. The 2023 fees are US$359 for up to three years and US$696 for longer durations.
Global Business Mobility Visa to UK for Sri Lankans
A comprehensive guide to UK work visas available for Sri Lankan citizens under the Global Business Mobility category, with details on their fees for 2023.
- Senior or Specialist Worker Visa: Suitable for high-level managers or specialists from Sri Lanka relocating to a UK branch. Fees for Sri Lankan applicants in 2023: US$908 for up to three years, US$1,794 for durations exceeding three years.
- Graduate Trainee Visa: Designed for Sri Lankans in graduate training programs aimed at specialist roles in the UK. Fee: US$377.
- UK Expansion Worker Visa: For specialists or senior staff from Sri Lanka planning to expand a business into the UK. Fee: US$377.
- Service Supplier Visa: For Sri Lankans offering services in accordance with UK trade commitments. Fee: US$377.
- Secondment Worker Visa: Specifically for Sri Lankans seconded to the UK for high-value contracts or investments. Fee: US$377.
Quick Guide to Other Work and Business Visas:
A concise guide to other visa categories for Sri Lankans aiming to work or establish a business in the UK:
- Start-Up Visa: For Sri Lankans starting an innovative business in the UK. Fee: US$550.
- Innovator Visa: For Sri Lankans with innovative, viable, and scalable businesses. Fee: US$1,505. Requirements include an endorsement, £50,000 investment, and B2 IELTS level.
- Innovator Founder Visa (2023): For Sri Lankan entrepreneurs, takes over from older Innovator and Startup visas. Simplified endorsement-based process, leading to possible UK family residency. Fees: Endorsement US$1,263, Application US$1,505.
- Investor Visa: For high-value Sri Lankans investing in the UK. Fee: US$2,380.
- High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa: For Sri Lankan graduates from top-50 global universities seeking employment in the UK. Fee: US$1,039.
- Scale-Up Visa: For Sri Lankans with a job offer from an authorised UK scale-up company. Fee: US$1,039. Leads to potential UK settlement after 5 years.
- Global Talent Visa: For Sri Lankans who are leaders or potential leaders in academia, research, arts, or digital technology. UK Visa Fee Sri Lanka vary: US$662 (Approval Letter for initial application), US$243 (Main Applicant with Approval Letter), US$905 (Main Applicant without Approval Letter and for Dependants).
- T2 Minister of Religion Visa: For Sri Lankans intending to undertake preaching and pastoral work. UK Visa Fees Sri Lanka 2023: US$908
- International Sportsperson Visa: For elite Sri Lankan sportspersons or coaches contributing to UK sports. UK Visa Fees Sri Lanka 2023: US$377(up to 12 months COS) or US$908 (more than 12 months COS).
- T5 (Temporary Worker) Visa: For Sri Lankans in various sectors, such as seasonal, religious, or creative workers. UK Visa Fees Sri Lanka 2023: US$377.
6. How to Apply for UK Visa from Sri Lanka?
This comprehensive guide is tailored for Sri Lankans detailing the steps to apply for a UK visa. Follow this guide to understand everything from choosing the right visa type to preparing for your trip to the UK. Estimated processing time is 30 days. However, opting for priority service could expedite this to 15 working days.
Total Time: 30 days
Determine the Visa Type
Identify the visa category that matches your purpose for traveling from Sri Lanka to the UK.
Create an Online Account
Visit the official UK government site for visas and immigration and create an account on the UK Visas and Immigration platform.
Complete the Application Form
Enter your information in the online application form accurately, ensuring it corresponds with the details in your supporting documents.
Pay the Application Fee
Once you have finished the form, the system will guide you to an online payment portal where you can pay your application fee.
Assemble Supporting Documents
Collect essential documents like your Sri Lankan passport, proof of financial resources, and details of your UK accommodation.
Schedule a VAC Appointment in Sri Lanka
Sri Lankans cannot use the Immigration App for identity verification. Schedule an appointment at a UK Visa Application Centre (UKVAC) in Sril Lanka.
Attend the VAC Appointment
Be present at the UKVAC with all your documents and complete the biometric verification process.
Await Visa Decision
Your application enters the processing phase post-submission. You will be notified upon decision.
Passport Collection or Delivery
Choose between collecting your visa from the VAC or receiving it via courier service.
Prepare for Your UK Journey
With the visa in hand, make necessary preparations for your UK travel and review your visa’s terms.
Estimated Cost: 145 USD
- Application form
- Valid Sri Lankan Passport
- Recent passport-sized photos
- Invitation letter (if applicable)
- Visa fee payment in USD
- Proof of UK accommodation
- Internet access
- Sri Lankan Passport
- Financial documents
Materials: Duplicate copies of essential documents, Printout of application confirmation, Envelope for postal submission.
- No -75, Arnold Ratnayake Mawatha, Colombo 10, Postal Code – 01000 Sri Lanka
For further details please refer to find a visa application centre.
7. UK Visa Documents Checklist Sri Lanka
This section serves as a comprehensive checklist of the necessary documentation Sri Lankans must gather when applying for a UK visa.
- Valid Passport: Ensure it is valid throughout your UK stay.
- Application Form: Filled out via the UK Visas and Immigration portal.
- Proof of Accommodation: Information about your UK lodging.
- Financial Proof: Documents showing financial capability.
- Travel Itinerary: Planned travel activities and schedule.
- Proof of Ties to Sri Lanka: To confirm intent to return to Sri Lanka.
- English Language Proficiency: Required for certain visas, usually verified by an accredited test.
Important: The documents listed here are fundamental for all visa categories. Always check the specific visa requirements for any extra documentation needed.
- Work Visas: Job offer and Certificate of Sponsorship are necessary.
- Study Visas: Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is required.
- Family Visas: Documents proving relationship status.
- Tourist Visas: Additional details about the trip may be required.
Should your visa category necessitate sponsorship, or if you think having a sponsor will strengthen your application, consider including these documents from a UK-based sponsor:
- Invitation Letter
- Sponsor’s Immigration Status
- Financial Documents
- Proof of Accommodation
- Evidence of Relationship
Essential Reminder: Sponsor documents can contribute positively to your application, but it’s essential to primarily focus on satisfying the core visa requirements.
8. FAQs: UK Visas for Sri Lankans 2023 Fees and Requirements
What are the UK Visa Fees in Sri Lanka?
The cost of a UK visa in Sri Lanka varies according to the visa category. Specifically, tourist, student, and spouse visa fees are US$145, US$619, and US$2,332, respectively.
How Long Does It Take to Process UK Visa in Sri Lanka?
In 2023, the typical processing period for non-settlement visas, including visit, study, and work categories, is around 3 weeks. The UK also provides a priority service option, which can expedite processing to just 5 working days for an extra fee of US$632.
What is Super Priority Visa Processing Time in Sri Lanka?
The super-priority service fee in Sri Lanka is US$1,263, aimed at processing applications by the next working day. However, this service is currently not available in Sri Lanka.
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.
How to pay for UK visa fee in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lankans need to pay the UK visa fee online in US Dollars. Accordingly, Sri Lankans can pay for UK visa fee online by a debit or credit card. after completing the application form.
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 a UK visitor visa denial for Sri Lankans. 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.