Apply for a UK visa from the United States
- Choose the type of visa you need. There are different types of UK visas, each with its own requirements. The most common types of visas for US citizens are:
- Tourist visa: This allows you to visit the UK for tourism, business, or medical treatment.
- Student visa: This allows you to study in the UK.
- Work visa: This allows you to work in the UK.
- Family visa: This allows you to join a family member who is already living in the UK.
- Gather the required documents. The required documents for a UK visa will vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for. However, some common documents include:
- Your passport
- A completed visa application form
- A recent passport-sized photograph
- Proof of financial support
- Proof of onward travel
- A letter from your employer or school, if applicable
- Pay the visa application fee. The visa application fee varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for.
- Book a biometric appointment. You will need to attend a biometric appointment at a visa application center (VAC). This appointment is where you will have your fingerprints and photograph taken.
- Submit your application. You can submit your application online, by mail, or in person at a VAC.
- Attend your visa interview. You may be required to attend an interview if you have a complex application.
- Receive your decision. The decision on your visa application will be made within 15 working days for standard applications, or 5 working days for priority applications. Please refer to the latest waiting times.
Here are some additional tips for applying for a UK visa from the United States:
- Start your application early. The processing time for UK visas can vary, so it is important to give yourself plenty of time to apply.
- Be honest and accurate in your application. The UK government takes visa fraud very seriously, so it is important to be honest and accurate in your application.
- Provide all of the required documents. The UK government will not be able to process your application if you do not provide all of the required documents.
- Attend your biometric appointment. This is a mandatory part of the application process.
- Be prepared for your visa interview. The visa interview is your chance to convince the consular officer that you are eligible for a UK visa. Be prepared to answer questions about your travel plans.
Coronavirus advice for entering the UK
If you are applying for a UK visa from the United States, you should be aware of the latest coronavirus travel advice. As of August 2023, all travelers entering the UK must have a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours of departure. You can also choose to take a rapid lateral flow test instead, but this must be taken within 24 hours of departure.
You will also need to complete a passenger locator form before you travel. This form will ask you for your contact details and travel history.