Visa application procedure UK

The entry requirements for the United Kingdom are strict and therefore the visa procedure is very complex. An overview of the application  proceedure for a visa for the has been explained and can be found under:

Where are the visa centers for UK visa application?

The TLS Contact visa centers are currently located in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Munich. The visa centers are officially  involved in the overall visa process taking  fingerprints, scanning documents, entering the visas and returning passports on the behalf of the UK Goverment. Visiting a visa center is mandatory and  only possible by appointment after a visa application has been fully processed.

Do I have to apply for the visa in person?

The visa application process is divided into two steps. The first step is the processing of your visa application and the transmission of all visa relevant data to the UK visa authority UKVI. Adittionally, each must  applicant personally attend an appointment at the  UK visa center in Düsseldorf, Berlin or Munich. An appointment for the visa center will be arranged between you and Visas United. Applicants must visit the UK visa center in person for each application even in the case of of repeated visa applications. The visa photo and fingerprints are taken at the TLS Visa center, which means that a personal appearance is mandatory.

Can I apply for the visa by post?

It is not possible to apply for a UK visa by post!

Visas United advance payment regulation

When applying for a visa, we  offer our applicants two forms of payment options, credit card and bank transfer. Credit  card payments allow the team to start the processing once receiving your order, on completion of the application processing , our team will charge your credit card. Should you select bank transfer,  you will receive a payment request before the processing starts. A "payment in advance” is required to ensure a cost recovery guarantee for the non-refundable consular fees which are forwarded to the respective authority for processing of the visa application.

Visa application costs

The fee structure for visas for the  United Kingdom consists of  various charges . Firstly, there are the fees charged by the  UK authorities for processing your visa application = consular fee. In addition, there are fees for the British visa center TLS Contact, which dutifully accepts applications for a UK visa on behalf of the UK government. The visa center charges a so-called visa center fee and additional services such as the return of the passport after issuance of a visa. Finally, the processing fee charged by Visas United for processing your order = service fee. In general, the fees charged by the UK travel visa authority are considerably higher compared to other countries.

Processing times for a UK visa

Processing times are set by the UK visa authority (UKVI). However, it is generally estimated at three weeks for the standard visa process and one week for the Priority visa process. In addition to the processing time of the UKVI visa authority, the waiting time for an appointment at the TLS Contact visa center must also be taken into account, which is mandatory for the submission of biometric data. This can take a few days and up to two weeks, depending on the season and appointment workload. Short-term changes in processing times are possible at any time and are beyond the control of Visas United. Depending on the input of the customer and the selected service type, the processing of applications in our office can take a few working days and up to one week.

Do I have to complete a visa application for each person?

Every applicant who requires a visa must complete a visa application. If our team supports you,  we will of course ensure this is done. You will receive a questionnaire in German, which we will transfer to the UK visa system UKVI. We will also check that the information you provide is accurate, which is paramount in the decision making of visa officers to avoid a visa refusal.

EEA Family Visa (Family member of an EU national)

The EEA Family member route, allowing non-European nationals to enter to the UK with their European family member or to apply for the gratis EEA Family Visa, has expired with BREXIT. All non-European visa nationals will therefore always need a visa to enter the UK in the future. Even if the European spouse is traveling with them and even if the traveler is in possession of a permanent/temporary residence permit for the EU/BRD.

Family/spouse visa = marriage in UK

If you are planning to marry in the UK, all travelers, regardless of EU citizenship or not, need a visa to enter and marry in the UK.

Marriage Visit = you travel to the UK to mary and return to  Germany or your home country.

Marriage Fiancé Visa = You travel to the UK within six months of the visa being issued to marry and remain permanently in the UK.

Renewing an expired visa

If the UK visa you applied for has expired, you require a new visa to re-enter the UK. Unfortunately, there is currently no facilitated procedure for travelers making subsequent visa applications. It is also necessary to visit TLS Contact visa center again.

Can I apply directly for visa for 2, 5 or 10 years

For a Standard Visitor Visa (Tourist/Business), visas with a validity of six months, two years, 5 years or 10 years can be applied for. If you are applying for a visa for the UK for the first time, we strongly advise you to apply for a visa for six months only. If you wish to apply for a long term visa after you have been issued a visa for the first time and have already entered the UK, this should not be considered a problem. Of course, travelers who have close family in the UK or can prove in writing that multiple and long-term trips to the UK are necessary, can also apply for a visa with longer validity, for example, if a business relationship can be proven. In rare cases applications  for 2,5 or 10 years may be approved by the visa officer but for a shorter duration, unfortunately the “overpaid” fees are not refunded.

Do I need to have booked a trip to apply for a visa?

You do not need to have a confirmed booking to apply for a UK visa. It is generally sufficient to have the intention to visit the UK or to travel to the UK. However, if you have already booked a trip to the UK, you can of course submit the relevant supporting documents with your visa application and these will support your visa application.

Few days to UK, why visa for six months?

Even if you intend  to travel to the UK for only a few days, you will be issued a standard  six-month visa by the visa office. Ther is no option to apply for a visit visa for less than 6 months.

How far in advance can a visa for UK be applied for?

The earliest you can apply is three months before your planned departure. However, since your visa application  must be completed in advance and an appointment must be booked for the visa center , contact us at least four months before your planned departure to the UK.

When is the best time to apply for a visa for the UK?

A visa application for UK can be submitted three months before planned departure. After that, the actual processing time of the visa authority applies. From the date of issue, the visa is then valid according to your chosen period of validity. Late visa applications are usually problematic or associated with high express fees charged by the visa authority.

Which documents are required for the visa application?

The documents required to apply for a UK visa vary depending on your personal circumstances, reason for travel and the visa category you are applying for. In the course of processing your visa application, we will inform you in detail and about the necessary documents that should be submitted to apply for a  UK visa.

Fastest possible processing in UK

If you are planning to enter the UK at short notice, UKVI offers a so-called Priority visa application procedure. Depending on the availability of appointments at the visa centers and the actual processing times of the UKVI, it is possible to obtain a visa within one to two weeks. Please note, however, that Priority applications are not guaranteed to be processed faster and that the availability of Priority applications is sometimes limited. Furthermore, Priority applications are associated with significantly higher additional fees set by the visa authority!

Trip to Scotland, Ireland...

All visas for travel to United Kingdom (Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland) are issued by the visa authority UKVI. For more information about the visa application support provided by Visas United and the different visa categories, please visit:

Insofar as you will be traveling to Southern Ireland (Dublin area), separate visa requirements apply - unfortunately we do not provide support here! Further information under:

How can I contact the visa center or book an appointment there?

If you have applied for your visa independently and not with the support of Visas United, your direct contact is the Visacenter TLS Contact. Unfortunately, there is no way to contact the visa center by phone or email. Please ask all necessary questions at your personal appointment on site. If you are applying yourself you can book an appointment only after you have submitted your visa application in full on the UKVI  website and paid the consular fees by clicking on the green button "PROVIDE DOCUMENTS AND BIOMETRICS".

Should  Visas United be providing support in processing your application, we will book a  suitable date for the visa center which is  convenient for you , after consultation with you. We will take care of the complete order processing and can also contact the visa center at any time in case of problems.


Travelling to the UK with an EU Identity card

European nationals must be in pocession of a valid passport when travelling to the UK, ID cards are no longer valid for entry.

Blue or grey passport

Travelers with a Federal Republic of Germany travel document  that is either grey or blue in color may NOT enter the UK with this passport without a visa. These passports are issued under special circumstances and are not the same as the red German national passport. Please apply for a visa if you have a grey or blue passport and wish to travel to the UK.

Visa despite settlement permit

Travellers who are Non-European visa nationals or pocess a red/grey FRG passport (Federal Republic of Germany) require a visa to enter the UK even with a temporary/permanent EU residence permit. Any exemptions that may have existed prior to BREXIT no longer remain valid. Also the EEA family visas and EU  VanDerElst visas are no longer issued by UKVI.

Cruise Ship - Stopover in British Territory/Ports

All travelers who have booked a cruise ship trip and are planning a stopover in the UK require a visa if they have non-European passports and are visa nationals. The visa is also required if you have a (spouse) partner with European nationality or if you have a temporary/permanent  residence permit for the EU/BRD. In this case, the Standard Visitor Visa is usually considered. Please note the actual processing times and apply for the visa in well in advance before your departure.

Transit at the airport as EU/non-EU citizen

You are planning a flight via the  UK? If you are a German or EU national, you do not need a visa but only a valid passport - an identity card is no longer sufficient. If you are a non-European national or are in pocession of a  blue/grey travel document  issued by FRG ( Federal Republic of Germany) , you require  a visa to  transit through the UK. You can choose to apply directly for a visitor visa (Standard Visitor Visa) or a transit visa. However, there are also a few exceptions which have to be clarified individually with your airline. If you qualify under the so-called TWOV program (Transit Without Visa), you do not need a visa for air travel that continues immediately after you land, even if you are a visa national. However, whether your airline will transport you to the UK without a visa must be inquired individually. If you are accepted, please print out the necessary document in any case. Which we have made this available on the transit visa page:

I need to enter UK as a lorry driver/bus driver

Lorry drivers as well as bus drivers entering the UK with their vehicle and not holding EU passports require a business visa = Standard Business Visitor Visa for entry. When applying for the visa, please make sure that the residence permit for the EU is valid for a longer than the reqursted visa duration and not only for a few months. As a rule, a six-month visa should be applied for. However, if it is foreseeable that due to the order situation there will be trips in the next few years, a longer-term 2, 5 or 10 year visa can be applied for. It is important that the employee has already completed the probationary period. EU citizens, on the other hand, can enter with a valid passport and do not need a visa. Check your Residence Permit validity and apply as soon as possible.

Family visit, do I still need visa and invitation?

If you are visiting a family in UK and you do not have a European passport, a visa is required. In addition, the person you will visit in UK should issue an invitation. We will inform you about the exact documents you require from the family member in UK, during the visa application process via Visas United.

I want to move permanently to UK because my spouse lives in UK!

If your spouse is going to live in the UK for some time, e.g. because he/she has been transferred by his/her employer or has been assigned to carry out a project in the UK, you can accompany the spouse for the duration of their stay. If the spouse has been granted a Senior or Specialist Worker ( Global Business Mobility- previously known as the T2 -Intra Company Transfer) visa, one can apply for a Skilled Workder Dependant Visa  as a dependant. Altenatively, if the spouse will be living permanently in the UK, a lengthy and very complex Settlement Visa must be applied for. Unfortunately, due to the complexity, the Visas United team is unable to assist with Settlement Visas.

Attending a concert or sporting event in the UK

If you are entering the UK to attend a concert, performance or sporting event (e.g. Champions Leauge match), a visa is required unless you have EU nationality. It is sufficient to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa. A visa must also be applied for by all persons who have a residence permit for the EU but do not have European nationality. Also persons with  grey or blue FRG travel documents must apply for a visa. EU citizens can enter the UK without a visa and only need a valid passport - entry with ID card is not possible!

Death/ Accident in UK (Compassionate Case)

You have to travel urgently to the UK  due to an emergency or visit a family member who is seriously ill or has passed away? In such cases you can apply for an Priority visa at the TLS visa office. You are welcome to contact our team immediately in such situations so that we can start the visa application process without delay. In order for a visa to be issued as quickly as possible, you must obtain official confirmation from the UK, e.g. a doctor's letter confirming the severity of the illness or a death certificate in the case of a death. The submission in digital format or in printed/copied form is sufficient.


Working in the UK after BREXIT (see website)

We receive a high number of inquiries on a daily basis regarding the possibilities of working in the UK. We have provided a compact summary of all topics on a separate page for you:

Is it possible to obtain a work permit for the UK without already having an employer?

No, this is not possible. Your employer in the UK must apply for a so-called Certificate Of Sponsorship via the British government. With the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) it is  necessary to complete visa application.

Undertaking an internship in UK

Unfortunately, unpaid internships  in the UK are not possible for either EU natioanls or non-EU nationals  For paid internships, it is necessary for EU nationals and non-EU nationals to apply for a Temporary Worker Visa for the UK. However, the basic requirement is that you have a company which can provide you with an official Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the UK government. All companies that are not allowed to issue or apply for a CAS cannot offer an internship! An overview of the companies can always be found on the website of the British government:

Can I enter and work in the UK as an Au-Pair/Work & Holiday?

The au-pair visa route has been closed due to BREXIT. Therefore, it is not possible for persons to enter the UK to carry out Au-Pair activities. Only a few nationals worldwide are permitted to work as an au-pair in the UK, this is under the Youth Mobility Scheme. These are currently: Australia, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Iceland and limited Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. For more information, please visit the official website of the UK Visa Office at:

Visa for film crew members with non-EU citizenship

I work for a commercial film production company and am currently seeking advice on a possible visa for one of our film crew members. This is a director who has the permanent residence and work permit for the EU, but has a non-European passport.

In this case it is necessary to apply for a Standard Business Visitor Visa. You can find more information below


Semester abroad in UK for EU nationals
  • Your semester abroad (Bachelor/Master) is not longer than six months? Then as an EU national you do not need a visa to enter the UK. Please make sure that you enter the UK with a passport that is valid for the duration of your stay. (an identity card is no longer sufficient for entry into the UK). Additionally, ensure that you take your acceptance letter from your University with you to show at the border.

  • Your stay is planned for several semesters or longer than six months? The first requirement is that your receive an official Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your University. You CANNOT attend a university for long term studies without a CAS. As soon as the CAS is available, as an EU national you can apply for a Student Visa. You can apply for this visa directly via a modern app from GOV UK (UKVI - UK Immigration: ID Check), which is available especially for this purpose. Please take note of the processing times provided on the UKVI website. Should you require an expedited  processing due to your up-coming  travel date, you must apply without the App via the TLS application center where you can select a Priority processing.
Semester abroad in the UK as a NON-EU national

A Student Visa (T4) is required for entry into the UK. The application should be submitted through the regular application process for a UK visa. Please note that you can only apply for a visa and thus attend studies at  a university if your university has provided you with an official Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS).

Compulsory internship as a student in the UK

I am currently a student and would now like to complete my mandatory internship with a company in the UK. For this purpose, I also have the promise of an employer in the UK. Which visa do I need for this?

Unfortunately, unpaid internships in the UK are not possible for EU nationals  or non-EU nationals. For paid internships in the case of studies, it is necessary for EU nationals and non-EU nationals to apply for a Temporary Worker Visa for the UK. However, the basic requirement is that you have a company that can provide you with an official Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from the UK government. Companies that are not allowed to issue or apply for a CoS cannot offer an internship! An overview of the companies can always be found on the website of the British government:

Attending a school or boarding school in UK

EU nationals with a valid passport and a duration of stay of less than six months do not need a visa. All non-EU nationals require a student visa to enter the UK despite having a residence permit for the FRG (or a grey/blue passport from the FRG). Similarly, EU nationals with a length of stay of more than six months require a visa for entry into the UK.

Basic requirement for visa application: The school or educational institution must be able to provide you with an official Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). Without CAS the visa application and therefore the stay in the UK is not possible! EU nationals staying for less than six months do not need a CAS!


Visa for language course as an EU national
  • For language courses for less than six months total duration, EU citizens do not require a visa to enter the UK. Please make sure that you enter the UK with a passport that is valid for the duration of your stay (an identity card is no longer sufficient for entry into the UK).  You must take your acceptance letter from your language school with you  to show at the border.

  • For language courses with a total duration of six to a maximum of eleven months, all travelers require a Short Term Student Visa, which must be applied for through the regular application process. The simplified application via the modern GOV UK app is NOT possible in this case.

  • Language courses with a total duration of more than eleven months are not allowed,


Visa for language courses (non-EU nationals)

A Short Term Student Visa is required for entry into the UK for language courses for more than 6 months. The application is made through the regular application procedure for a UK visa. For language courses for less than 6 months, a standard visitor visa is required

School trip to UK

For school trips there were exclusive regulations before BREXIT, so that a visa was not mandatory. Since the BREXIT, the so-called "School trip list" no longer exists! All European nationals can enter the UK without a visa, but with a valid passport - the identity card is no longer sufficient. All NON-EU NATIONALS ( visa nationals) or persons with a blue or grey travel document issued by the FRG require a visa to enter the UK - Standard Visitor Visa = Tourist Visa.

Visas United maintains an extensive database of entry requirements, visa application documents and information on the respective application and order process. The entry requirements, the consulate application documents and / or authorities are subject to constant changes. All visa information and documents are constantly updated, however, Visas United excludes any liability for the information and documents provided.