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Entry clearance procedure - how to apply?

21 June 2010

Once an applicant is satisfied that he meets the requirements of the chosen immigration category, he will then need to apply for an entry clearance. Most Embassies no longer accept in person appointments and the processing time varies according to the British diplomatic post. Migrants can only apply in their country of residence or nationality.  They must submit an online application form and book an appointment at a UK Visa Application Centre (VAC) to have their finger-scans and a digital photograph taken as part of the visa procedure.

The online application will need to be accompanied by the appropriate fee to be paid in local currency. For instance, the current fee for UK Ancestry is £644 and for the Tier 1 General Scheme is £690, while under the Youth Mobility Scheme an applicant will need to pay £128. Finally, the remaining documents in support of the application must be submitted by post or by registered courier to the British Embassy or High Commission.

The Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) will review the evidence submitted with the application and in very rare occasions may call the applicant to be interviewed. The ECO will ask questions regarding the requirements of the rules including previous immigration history. Following the interview the ECO will either confirm the decision or alternatively if further enquiries are needed the ECO may defer the decision pending further investigations. However, most applications will be decided on the evidence submitted.

Please note that with most entry clearance applications, especially those under the Points Based Scheme, there is no right of appeal but only what is referred to as an “administrative review” in case of refusal. Hence, it is vital to get the application right the first time around and avoid any mistake by seeking expert legal advice.

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Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.