Do you need a UK tourist visa to visit your friends and family in the United Kingdom? Or are you planning on doing some business while you're there? Whatever your reason for travelling to the UK, this detailed guide will tell you everything you need to know about applying for a visa.
South African passport holders are required to have a visa in order to enter the UK, and the process can be a little confusing. But don't worry, we're here to help! In this guide, we'll explain how to apply for a tourist visa online, as well as what documents you'll need to provide. The entire process usually takes around 3 weeks, so make sure you start planning ahead!
There are two main types of visas available for South African citizens travelling to the UK: Standard Visitor Visa and Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV).
Standard Visitor Visa
This is the most common type of visa, and it's suitable for anyone wishing to travel to the UK for tourism, visiting family and friends, taking part in events or conferences, doing business activities like meeting clients, conducting research or attending trade fairs. It also covers medical treatments that require a visit to the UK. This visa has a validity period of 6 months.
Planning to do business in the UK?
If so, a standard tourism visa may not be enough. You may need a UK Business Visitor Visa. However, certain business activities like attending conferences, meetings, trade fairs, or any sort of business tourism activities are allowed under the tourist visa, so make sure to double-check before applying.
Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV)
This type of visa is only applicable if you need to go through border control at an airport but don't plan on entering the UK itself. This type of visa is for those who are changing flights and don't have time to go through immigration. The DATV has a validity period of 48 hours.
The cost for a Standard Visitor Visa is R1970 (around £95). DATV visas are slightly cheaper at R750 (£35), but remember that this type of visa has limited validity.
To apply for a UK tourist visa, you'll need the following documents:
- A completed and printed Visa Application Form
- A completed and printed Visa Application FormValid passport (valid for 6 months from departure date, with 2 blank pages)
- A completed and printed Visa Application FormBank statements for the last 3 months
- A completed and printed Visa Application FormConfirmation of salary
- A completed and printed Visa Application FormProof of residence
- A completed and printed Visa Application FormLetter of employment; if self-employed please provide business registration documents.
Visit the official UK government website for an extensive list of supporting documents. Once you've gathered all the necessary paperwork, it's time to submit your application. The entire process usually takes around 3 weeks before you can travel.
Once you've applied for and received your visa, don't forget to get travel insurance for your trip. Allianz Travel provides a wide range of travel insurance options that extend from simple Schengen visa coverage to exclusive annual multi-trip covers.
With Allianz Travel, you'll have the peace of mind knowing that you and your family are covered should anything unexpected happen while traveling.
We hope this guide has been helpful as you prepare for your UK visa application process in South Africa. Good luck!