From questions about our services, to each individual visa process - this is your one stop resource for essential information for all things UK Visa related.
What happens after I purchase a service from Restless World?
Once you have purchased our services you will receive a confirmation email to let you know that we have received your order. If you have ordered our services during office hours, we will aim to fulfill your order the same day. If your order falls outside of our office hours, you will hear from us on the next business day. First, you will receive an automatic confirmation email outlining the next steps. Next, you will receive our 'Welcome Email' that includes the forms and documents we require to get the process started. One of our lovely staff members will also give a courtesy call to make sure that you have received our documents and a welcome email.
Can I still apply for a UK Visa if I have a criminal conviction?
Yes, you can still apply for a UK Working Visa if you have a criminal conviction. However, you can only apply 12 months after your conviction date. If you have been to jail, please do not apply, as depending on the sentence you may need to wait 10 years, and this may take you over the age limit for a YMS, for example. If you have multiple convictions an Entry Clearance Officer will consider your case and determine if you should be approved. Here at Restless World we are no strangers to criminal conviction cases and once you sign up with us we will give you the right advice and can advise about which documents are needed for your application.
What if I have a traffic offense(s) on record?
If you have a speeding fine but you did not go to court and were not arrested for speeding (and you paid the speeding fine in full), then you will be fine. But if you have a suspension or disqualification, this will need to be disclosed. We can help determine which traffic offences are applicable to your case and the documents needed for your application.
I don’t have an address yet for where I will stay in the UK, what do I do?
This depends on the UK working visa you are applying for. If it’s for a Youth Mobility Visa, you don’t need to have booked accommodation, but you do need to know where you will be once you arrive in the UK. This is where we come in and help! Once we understand your circumstances and the area you are most likely to be as soon as you arrive we will know what to put on your application form. If it is for a UK Ancestry Visa, then accommodation will be important (whether you are staying with family/friends, a hotel/airbnb, or renting). We can discuss your options and ensure that we have the correct information for your visa application.
I bank with an online bank and don’t know how to get my proof of funds?
This is not a problem. Most online banking institutions have a very good customer service department and they should be able to issue you with a bank statement that can be emailed to you.
I don’t have work arranged in the UK yet, is that a problem?
No, but you do need to know what you could do for employment when you arrive. Are you planning to work in a pub? Office administration? Construction? It's best to get clear on your employment options before you arrive in the UK - and if you need advise here, we can help with that too!
Can I book my flights to the UK before my visa is approved?
You can, but we highly recommend that you wait until you have your passport in your hands with an approved visa. Sometimes UK visa applications get delayed due to reasons that are out of our control.
I have a visa for the UK, can I book a one way flight?
Yes, as you have been granted permission to enter the UK and live and work there, you can purchase a one way flight.
What is a vignette?
The vignette is the sticker that is inside your passport and it will say ‘30 day Entry Clearance’ at the top with your photo on the left hand side and information on the visa you applied for. The vignette allows you to arrive in the UK and enter the country. You then need to ensure that you pick up your BRP Card within 10 days of your arrival.
What is a BRP Card?
A BRP Card - called Biometric Residence Card - is your actual UK visa. Not the sticker that is inside your passport. The BRP Card is what you collect from a Post Office allocated to you in the UK. Once you have this in your hands you show this to your employer and upon arrival when you enter back into the UK after a holiday
My passport will expire while I’m in the UK. Will this affect my visa?
No, but it could affect your travel plans. You must make sure that your passport is valid for 6 months or more when you go to visit any other country. You may not be allowed to board the flight with a passport that is valid under 6 months. So make sure you check this carefully!
What is the IHS fee and why is it so expensive?
The IHS fee is the Immigration Health Surcharge, and you pay a particular fee for the amount of time that your visa is valid for. If your visa is for 2 years, then you pay for 2 years even if you are not staying for the whole 2 years. The IHS covers you for particular medical expenses during your time in the UK (for more info, read here: https://www.restlessworld.com.au/blogs/news/the-ihs-doubled).
To find out the calculation of your IHS fee, see this link: https://www.immigration-health-surcharge.service.gov.uk/checker/type
I’m only going to the UK for one year, do I get a refund for my remaining IHS fee?
No, you must pay the IHS for the full term of your UK visa’s validity regardless if you only stayed for 6 months.
I only want to work and live in the UK for 1 year, do I need a visa?
Yes, if you wish to stay in the UK to live and work for 6 months or longer you must apply for a UK working visa such as the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa, Ancestry Visa, Tier 2 Sponsorship visa etc.
What happens at the biometrics appointment?
When you arrive at a biometrics appointment, you should firstly be greeted by a security guard. The security guard will check your appointment slip (Biometrics booking confirmation) to make sure you arrived on the right day and scheduled time slot! You will then take a seat ready to be seen by a Biometrics Officer. The Biometrics Officer will scan every page of your current passport and it will remain with the Visa Application Center (VAC) until a decision has been made by an Entry Clearance Officer based in the UK. The Biometrics Officer will take you into a room where your fingerprints will be taken and a photograph of your head and shoulders. There is no interrogation or interview, they are there to upload documents (if needed) to the UKVI and do your fingerprints and photo. You will then play the waiting game (15 business days) until your passport is ready for collection or it is couriered out to you.
What happens after I attend my biometrics appointment?
After your appointment at the Visa Application Centre, your passport will be taken from you and your uploaded documents are sent to an Entry Clearance Officer in Sheffield, UK. This is when the waiting game begins. It can take up to 15 business days for a decision to be made about your visa application. You will receive an email and/or text from the Visa Application Centre advising that your application has been processed and your passport can be collected or couriered (depending on what you advised at your biometrics appointment). Once you have your passport in your hands, that is when you will know the decision - an approval (yeah!) or refusal (boo!).
I haven’t received my passport back or any correspondence from the UK Visas and Immigration department. What now?
This does happen and there can be a few different reasons for this. If you have not received your passport back by 15-20 business days (do not count the weekends) then it is worth chasing it up. Here are a couple of things to do first... One, if you opted for a courier service, your passport might be with your local post office, you should check in with them to see if it is there. If your passport is not there or you opted to pick it up, you will need to contact the UKVI directly (https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk). This will cost a little bit of money, but if you are a client of Restless World, we will do this for you -- plus we have contacts of our own that can speed up this process!
How long does the visa process take?
Normal processing times with the UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) take around 15-20 business days. However, sometime a decision is made before the 15 day mark. We recommend that you calculate 15 business days and do not count the weekends. If you need a decision faster, the UKVI do a priority service (for extra money of course) and you can receive a decision between 5-7 days.
How do I fast-track my UK visa application?
The UKVI has a priority service which costs around £230GBP. This means the UK Visas andImmigration put your application ahead of the queue and your visa application should be processed between 5-7 business days.
I’m unable to arrive in the UK during my entry vignette 30 day clearance, what do I do?
If you were unable to arrive in the UK during the dates allocated on your vignette sticker inside your passport, you will need to apply for a vignette transfer. A vignette transfer allows you to travel at a later date to enter the UK and you will be given a new vignette sticker showing a new 30 day entry clearance - BUT BE WARNED - your visa expiry date will not change, it will remain at the same!
My UK visa application was rejected... can I apply again?
In most cases, yes - you can apply again - however, dependent upon your individual circumstances, there may be additional steps to take or a waiting period before you can re-apply. We provide advice on re-applications on a case-by-case basis, based on your unique circumstances. We will also ensure that the initial reason(s) for rejection are rectified and addressed so that your re-application is a successful one!
My visa application was approved, but I did not travel to or enter the UK. Can I re-apply for the same visa again?
Yes, you can re-apply so long as you did not enter into the UK at all during the approved time of your visa (this includes entering as a tourist). If not much time has passed, you may also consider applying for a Vignette Transfer.
Can I enter into the UK before my visa starts?
If you must enter into the UK before your visa starts (the entry date printed on your vignette), you must ensure that you are entering as a tourist. You must then depart as a tourist and re-enter the UK on your visa (on or after the entry vignette start date). The border officer may ask you questions, such as why you are arriving early, and may also ask for proof that you will be undertaking tourist activities in the UK. Make sure to have proof and show your tour bookings (Contiki, etc). The rule of thumb is - if you are entering as a tourist at first, make sure you can prove that you are entering as a tourist.
I'm in the UK, but I didn't pick up my BRP card... what do I do?
If you haven't collected your BRP card, please go to your nominated post office as soon as possible to collect it. You will find this address on the letter that was included from the UKVI when you received your passport - or go to your application form (this will have a GWF reference number on it), towards the end and you will find the address there. Do not leave the UK for travel until you have collected your BRP card. For more information on BRP cards, take a look here.
I have an approved UK working visa with the vignette sticker inside my passport, but I can no longer arrive in the UK during my 30-day entry window... what do I do?
Call us! You may need to either apply for a vignette transfer (depending on your circumstances) or we may advise that you should apply again for your visa. This will depend on when the approval was processed and what you have done during that time.
Can I get a refund if I have an approved UK work visa, but did not enter the UK (and no longer wish to travel to the UK at all)?
No, unfortunately not. You will not be able to receive a refund on your visa fee. As far as the UKVI are concerned, they have done their job in processing and issuing your visa.
Am I covered medically when I travel to Europe?
You are covered by the public health care system the NHS while you live and work in the UK. This cover only applies while you are in the UK. Once you travel to other countries within the UK, you will need to purchase travel insurance.
Can I use my UK working visa to work somewhere else in Europe?
Unfortunately you cannot work in any other countries in the UK with your UK work visa. A UK visa only gives you work entitlements for the United Kingdom.
How can I contact the UKVI (UK Visas & Immigration)?
The best way to contact the UK Visas and Immigration is via email. This is a lengthy process, but we have found it to be the cheapest and most efficient. To send an email to the UKVI, just click on this link. You will need to indicate whether you are making contact from within, or outside the UK. We also recommend that you add your GWF number (if applicable) to your email enquiry.
Full Link URL: https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk/y
How can I contact VFS Global?
There is no option to contact VFS Global. If you need to ask a question about your visa application, it is recommended that you contact the UKVI directly (see link above). For frequently asked VFS Global questions, take a look here. There is also an option to lodge a complaint with VFS Global if required.
Why should I use a guaranteed visa service provider like Restless World?
We highly recommend that you apply for your UK work visa through a visa support agency like ours. Your application will be submitted on time and with a visa approval guarantee (in most cases). If anything goes wrong, a visa support agency like Restless World will do all the chasing for you to correct whatever mistake the UKVI has made. This probably happens in 5% of all cases (the UKVI are infamous for making mistakes)!
What are the additional benefits of using a service provider like Restless World?
Here at Restless World, we will take you through our simple step-by-step approach, ensuring we have all the information we need to submit your UK visa application correctly the first time. No delays. No rejections. No worries! UK Visas & Immigration are very particular. Any small error, missing documents, or question answered incorrectly, and your application could be refused without any possibility for a refund. By using our tried and tested process, we can eliminate the small (very) common errors made when doing it yourself, and will confirm you are providing the correct supporting documents - including the very important proof of funds documentation.
Here is what you'll get when you sign up with us:
- We will complete and lodge the official UK Visa application on your behalf
- Create a personalised supporting documents checklist tailored to your specific circumstances
- Book your biometrics appointment at a time and location that suits you
- Provide you with direct contact details for our team of Visa Experts for advice and support throughout the entire process - whenever you need it
- If there are delays, we can follow up on your application directly with our contacts at the UKVI
- FREE UK SIM card on the O2 Network
- FREE international money transfers
- FREE UK bank account AND National Insurance Number assistance!
Youth Mobility Visa (Tier 5) FAQ
I’m 17 years old, can I apply for the Youth Mobility Visa before I turn 18?
Yes, you can apply for a Youth Mobility Visa while you are 17 years of age. However, you cannot arrive in the UK before you turn 18. There are additional documents that you need to provide to meet the requirements. We will be able to advise when you can apply once we know your individual circumstances. We will ensure that you provide the correct documentation to ensure a successful application.
Can I apply for the YMS in any country - or do I have to apply from my home country (country of permanent residence)?
Yes! You can make an application for the Youth Mobility Visa from anywhere around the world, BUT you must be legally allowed to be in that country.
Does my Youth Mobility Visa end/expire once I turn 31?
This is a great question! And luckily, no, your visa does not end or expire once you turn 31. You can apply for your YMS visa the day before you turn 31 and chose a UK arrival date (visa start date) that is 3 months ahead. This means that you are well and truly 31 by the time you arrive in the UK and you will be 33 by the time your visa runs out.
I am about to turn 31 and am worried I might make a mistake on my application... what do I do?
You should call us first, as you will only have the one chance to get your visa right. If you turn 31 while your visa application is in the queue with the UKVI and it comes back with a refusal you will not be able to apply again!
Can I study on the Tier 5 YMS Visa?
Applicants can study full-time on a Tier 5 YMS visa. However, we recommend to apply for a student visa as the Tier 5 YMS visa is a once in a lifetime visa. You might want to use this visa after you have completed your studies.
How far in advance can I apply for the Tier 5 YMS visa?
You can apply up to 6 months before your arrival into the UK.
Are there work restrictions on the YMS visa?
Yes, there are some restrictions on the YMS visa. This is what the guidance says:
YMS visa holders can do any work that complies with UK and European Union laws, directives and regulations with the exception of working as:
- A professional sportsperson, including as a sports coach
- A doctor or dentist in training
Self-employment is only permitted as a YMS migrant if you do not own your work premises (unless it is your home); the total value of the equipment you use in your business must not be worth more than £5000; and you cannot have any employees.
I’m South African, can I apply for the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa?
Unfortunately no, South African nationals are NOT eligible for the Youth Mobility Scheme. If you have a Grandparent born in the UK, you may be eligible for the UK Ancestry Visa.
How many times can I apply for the UK Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa?
You can only have this working holiday visa once! Yep, just the once. So even if you entered the UK, picked up your BRP Card and then left the UK a month later, you will not be able to apply for this visa again. On a good note, if you applied for the visa but did not enter the UK on this visa, you can apply for another - but you will have to pay for the fee again. (If you decided not to come to the UK then we highly recommend that you contact UKVI to cancel your visa so that you can try and receive an IHS refund).
Do I have to have a job lined up in the UK to apply for the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa?
No, you do not need a job or a job offer to apply for this visa. You must be eligible for the visa though (based on the other eligibility requirements).
Will I still get the full two years if I apply when I am 30?
Yes, you sure will. You must apply for the visa before you turn 31 and you will be granted your visa for the full two year period.
UK Ancestry Visa FAQ
How far in advance of my arrival can I apply for the UK Ancestry Visa?
You can apply up to 3 months before your arrival in the UK.
Can I bring my children or my partner with me on a UK Ancestry Visa?
Yes, you can take any dependant children (you must apply for an Ancestry Dependent visa for each child). You can also take your spouse or partner, so long as you have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for 2 years or more (prior to submitting your application).
How old must you be to apply for a UK Ancestry Visa?
You can apply for the UK Ancestry Visa as soon as you turn 17 years old - right up until retirement age, depending on your circumstances.
What can I do on my UK Ancestry Visa? Is this a work visa?
There must be an intention to work. There are no restrictions on the kind of work for those who enter the UK on this visa. You cannot obtain public funds, but you can work in any profession (provided you meet any industry registration requirements) or be self-employed. You can work part-time or full-time, or as a casual, but you must work. You can also study on this visa, but you also must intend to work even if it is casual or part time for a period of time.
I’m 60+ years old and I have a Grandparent born in the UK, can I still apply for an Ancestry Visa?
Yes, you can apply for an Ancestry Visa as long as you intend to work while you are in the UK. We would be happy to assist here and ensure that you meet the requirements for this visa!
Can I apply for a UK Ancestry visa in a different country?
Ideally you should apply for a UK Ancestry from your normal country of residence. You can apply from a different country ONLY if you have a valid working visa for that country.
I don’t have my Grandparents birth certificate... what can I do?
We can help you here! We can provide you with information on how to order a British birth certificate from the Births, Deaths & Marriages register in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Contact us now!
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