Three common mistakes people make on their UK Visa applications

An application to live/work in the UK is not a matter to be taken lightly. Whether you are applying for a longer-term UK Settlement Visa or Sponsorship Visa - or the more common and shorter-term UK Ancestry Visa or Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa - one small mistake or oversight can be the difference between a successfully approved visa application, and the stress and worry of a swift rejection.

Every UK Visa has a unique set of eligibility requirements and required supporting documentation to go with it. It's super important that you understand the requirements of the visa which you are applying for to ensure that you don't slip up along the way!

Here are the 3 most common mistakes we see, time and time again, that can result in processing delays, or worse yet, rejection of your UK Visa application.

1. Applying too early/late

The timing of your application is crucial to it being processed in good time, and without delay. Furthermore, the timing of the application process is unique to each category of visa.
The timeframe in which to apply for the UK Ancestry Visa, for example, is - at earliest - 3 months before you intend to travel. For the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa - it's 6 months before you travel.
Applying too early can lead to delays - as the UKVI (UK Visas & Immigration) won't be able to post-date your visa by more than is allowable, and they may have to put your application aside to contact you about a more appropriate arrival date that falls within the allowable timeframe.
Apply too late, and you may find yourself running out of time if the UKVI runs into any processing delays. As processing times will vary, and can never be guaranteed (even if you pay for the Priority Service), it's important to get your application lodged as early as possible (or as early as that visa category will allow), to provide the maximum amount of time for processing. This way, even in the event of delays, you won't be closing in on a non-refundable flight booking whilst you are still waiting for your passport and UK Visa to be approved and returned to you.

2. Insufficient Savings (Maintenance Funds)

Most UK Visas come with something called the 'Maintenance Funds' requirement. Effectively, this means that you need to have money in savings in order to support yourself while in the UK if/as needed.

Specific to the UK Youth Mobility Visa, the amount that you need to have in available cash savings is £1890, or equivalent in your local currency.

It's also important to ensure that you calculate the exchange correctly (using the correct online calculator). If you calculate your funds using your own chosen foreign exchange calculator, and you just squeak over the line (of £1890) - this may not wash out quite the same when the UKVI assess your application. Missing this savings mark, even by a few pounds, can be the difference between you booking your flight, or sweating through (and paying for) a new application - not to mention the fact that your departure would now be delayed!

Ensuring that you have the correct amount of maintenance funds, and that you provide sufficient proof of this, is crucial to a successful UK visa application, which brings us to our next point...

3. Incorrect/Incomplete supporting documentation

Perhaps more important that any other point we can make, it's absolutely imperative that you provide all of the correct and required documentation to support your application to live and work in the UK. The reality here is that the UKVI are not very forgiving when it comes to supporting documentation. If you are missing something, or do not provide the proper documents, your application could be rejected without recourse. 

Rejections related to supporting documentation most commonly show up with relation to the maintenance funds requirement.

To show that you meet the savings requirement, you must provide a letter or statement from your bank - but not just any old statement will do. There are certain boxes that this document must check in order to be considered sufficient. Let's say you submit a letter, and it includes everything except that it's not printed on official bank letter-head, this alone could be grounds for rejection (as the UKVI may not feel confident the letter is legitimate).

The importance of your supporting documentation grows even more crucial when you get into the more complicated visa applications, such as UK Settlement Visas and/or UK Sponsorship Visas. Any minor mistakes here can most certainly lead you to a costly re-application.

The best advice we can give here is to ensure that you understand that visa for which you are applying, and that you have a full understanding of all the documentation requirements. The UKVI can be unforgiving when it comes to small mistakes - and small mistakes can be the difference between your successful application, and the need to re-apply and pay a 2nd time.

If you are in doubt, and would like to consider our services to assist you with your application, please don't hesitate to contact us!