Have you ever longed to explore the many iconic castles situated around Swansea or the scenic highlands of Inverness? The United Kingdom is filled with many treasures like this! The sovereign nation includes four distinct countries, offering you a diverse cultural experience. Whether it’s London, England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, you’ll have plenty to discover! With this guide on the UK visa application process, you’ll soon be on your way to enjoying an adventure through this incredible nation.

Types of Visas to Apply for:

There are different UK visas depending on what your holiday plans are:
Apply for the Standard Visitor Visa if you’re visiting the UK as a tourist or for business. You may extend the Standard Visitor Visa as long as the total time you spend in the UK is less than six months. If you’re receiving private medical treatment in the UK during your stay, you can apply to extend your visa for a further six months. This is only possible if you have already paid for the treatment, that you can and will pay the remaining costs of your treatment, and that you continue to meet the requirements*.
If you wish to go to the UK to get married or register a civil partnership and then head back to South Africa, you should apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa.
If you have been invited to the UK by a UK-based organisation to do specific paid work, you should apply for the Permitted Paid Engagement Visa. Take note this type of work would be without being sponsored under the points-based visa system, which is part of the 5-tier visa system (see Working in the UK).
If your child attends an independent fee-paying day school in the UK (see Studying in the UK), you can apply for the Parent of a Tier 4 Child Visa. You may extend the Parent of a Tier 4 Child Visa provided you and your child continue to meet the requirements*. You can extend this visa for 12 months at a time until your child reaches the age of 12.
If you are passing through the United Kingdom on your way to another destination, you will need a Transit Visa. There are two types:
  • Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV)
  • Visa in Transit
Apply for a DATV if you’re not leaving the airport and not going through the UK border control when changing flights.
Apply for a Visa in Transit if you need to leave the UK airport. You will also need to apply for this visa if you need to go through Immigration, such as when checking in your luggage with a connecting flight.

Studying in the UK

Should you be doing a short course of study in the UK, apply for a Short-Term Study Visa. Take note that this does not apply to academic visitors (those employed by academic or higher education institutions), who would need to apply for the Standard Visitor Visa.
If you’re 16 years of age and older and a licensed Tier 4 sponsor has offered you a place on a course, you can apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa.
If your child (between the ages of 4 and 17) has a place on a course at an independent school in the UK, he/she can apply for the Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa.

Working in the UK

If you’d like to work in the UK, its government uses a 5-tier visa system. The system is designed for various types of professions and numerous levels of experience. Find out which work visa is suitable for you.
* See UK Visa Requirements.


  • Standard Visitor Visa – 6 months
  • Marriage Visitor Visa – 6 months
  • Permitted Paid Engagement Visa – 1 month
  • Parent of a Tier 4 Child Visa – 6-12 Months
  • Direct Airside Transit Visa – 24 hours
  • Visa in Transit – 48 hours
  • Short-Term Study Visa – 6 months (for any short course, or short period of research if you’re 16 and over) or 11 months (if you’re 16 and over and taking an English language course)
  • Tier 4 (General) Student Visa – 6 months or less (course dependent); more than 6 months (course dependent)
  • Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa – 6 years, 4 months (under 16); 3 years, 4 months (16 or 17)

Due to the potential increase in the volume of applications, processing can take up to 30 days.

Visa Costs:

The costs for these various UK visa types are as follows:
Standard Visitor VisaR 1530.00
Marriage Visitor VisaR 1530.00
Permitted Paid Engagement VisaR 1530.00
Parent of a Tier 4 Child VisaR 8515.00
Short-Term Study VisaR 1600.00 (up to 6 months) or R 3075.00 (to study English)
Direct Airside Transit VisaR 585.00
Visa in TransitR 1065.00

UK Visa Requirements:

For the Standard Visitor Visa, you will need the following documents when visiting the UK visa application centres:
  • Downloaded and completed application form
  • Current passport or other valid travel identification
  • Your passport will need a page that’s blank on both sides for visa stamps
  • Evidence that you can support yourself financially during your trip, such as bank statements or payslips for the last six months
  • Certified translations of documents that are not in English or Welsh
  • The dates you are planning to travel to the UK
For the Marriage Visitor Visa, you will need the same documents as you would for the Standard Visitor Visa, as well as the following:
  • Proof of your future plans for the relationship, e.g. documents to show where you’ll live
  • Details of your accommodation and your travel plans (make sure you get the visa before paying for accommodation and travel)
For the Permitted Paid Engagement Visa, besides the documents mentioned under the Standard Visitor Visa, you will need:
  • Details on where you will stay and your travel plans (make sure to get your visa before you pay for accommodation and travel)
  • A formal invitation from the UK-based organisation or authority you’ll be paid by
  • Proof that the paid engagement relates to your expertise, qualifications and job in South Africa, such as a letter from your employer
If you’re established in the arts, entertainment or sports industry, you will additionally need to supply the following:
  • Publications
  • Publicity material
  • Proof of awards
  • Media coverage and reviews
  • Proof of recent performances
For the Parent of a Tier 4 Child Visa, besides your valid passport, you will need:
  • Tuberculosis test results
  • Proof of permanent home outside the UK
  • Proof that you can support you and your children or have relatives or friends that will support you in the UK
  • Proof that you have booked and can afford to travel to and leave the UK at the end of your stay
For the Tier 4 (General) Student Visa and Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa, besides your current passport, you will need to provide the following:
  • Proof that you can support yourself financially and pay for your course
  • Proof of parental or legal guardian consent
  • Proof of relationship with parent or guardian
  • Tuberculosis test results
For the Tier 4 (General) Student Visa, you will also need to prove your knowledge of the English language, by taking and passing a secure English language test.

Upper East Side, 31 Brickfield Road, Woodstock

275 Jan Smuts Avenue, Dunkeld West

Tshwane Events Centre, Soutter Street, Pretoria

Richfield Institute of Technology, 9 Palm Blvd, Umhlanga

B & E Conference, Kempston Road, Korsten
For Direct Airside Transit Visas and Visas in Transit, you will need:
  • Current passport
  • Travel booking confirmation (email or copy of tickets)
  • Valid visa for the country for which you are departing the UK

Immigrating to the UK

Getting indefinite leave to remain in the UK involves varying requirements, according to certain conditions. Learn what you will need to immigrate to the UK.

Where to Apply:


The earliest you can make your UK visa application is 3 months before your date of departure.
You can apply online for a UK visa.

How to book an appointment

  • Visit’s application page to start your application.
  • Confirm the type of visa you are applying for (see below)
  • If you are applying for a Standard Visitor Visa, Marriage Visitor Visa, or Permitted Paid Engagement Visa, complete the following steps:
  • Fill in the application form.
  • Confirm that you have a valid passport.
  • Fill in the declaration form.
  • Confirm the information you have supplied and the supporting documents you will supply (see below).
  • Confirm the duration of your visa.
  • Follow the online prompts to make your payment via credit/debit card.
  • Once you are finished, you will need to download and print out your form (this should be taken to a UK visa application center).
  • Visit and register on TLScontact’s website to further ensure your application goes smoothly.
  • Make an appointment and visit one of the UK visa application centers (see below) to finalize
    your application. Make sure to have the original versions and copies of the relevant documents when doing so.
For the other types of visas, register on the Visa4UK service to complete your application. You will need to confirm whether you are employed, whether you have funds for your trip, and what your travel plans are. Once you have completed the application, have the application form printed to take to your nearest UK visa application center.
Children under the age of 5 need to apply for their UK visa in person at an application center in order to attend a biometric enrollment appointment. All applicants will need to provide a live-capture digital photograph. This is due to the current rules that govern the collection of biometric data. Parents additionally need to book an appointment at the UK visa application centre for children when applying for their UK visa. Children under the age of 5 do not need to provide fingerprints.

This visa application center is easily reached with transport services. Off-street parking is available should you visit by car. taxis are also available to get you to the application center

You will receive an email that will state your passport is ready for collection at the relevant UK visa application center. When collecting your passport, provide the following documents:
Collecting Your Passport

  • TLScontact checklist
  • Copy and Original of your photo ID document
  • If collected by a representative, an original authorisation form and representative’s valid photo ID document (copy & original) should be added to above documents.

Where to Print Your Documents

All documents for your UK visa application must be original.

What constitutes a business visit?

The following business activities are allowed after a successful application for a Standard Visitor Visa:
  • Attending a meeting or conference
  • Negotiating or signing trade agreements
  • Undertaking fact-finding missions
  • Checking details or goods
  • Conducting site visits
  • Promotional activities


Popular posts from this blog

Preparing for an American embassy visa interview? You must read this.

Top 10 things to do in Cape Verde