How to Apply for a UK Visa from the US?

The UK is a great place to visit both for tourism and education. From beach tourism to ecological tourism, it attracts millions. In fact, with 37.7 million visitors, it was among the top 10 visited countries in 2019. A large group of these visitors was from North America. The UK is popular among Americans. In this blog, we will cover all the information and FAQs about applying for a UK Visa from the US.

US citizens may need to get a visa to travel to the UK. It depends on their travel purpose and the country of citizenship.


Do Americans need a visa for the UK?

These US citizens traveling to the UK don’t need a visa:

  • Traveling for business
  • Traveling for tourism
  • Staying up less than six months

If the US citizens want to stay in the UK for up to six months for the above purposes, they don’t need a visa. They have to apply for any visa that does not fall into these categories.


 Applying for a UK Visa from the USA

You have to follow these steps to apply for a UK visa from the US:

  1. Research to know if you need a visa for the UK.
  2. Accomplish the Online UK visa application form.
  3. Arrange an appointment to submit biometrics.
  4. Go to the visa interview.

Accomplishing the Online UK Visa Application form

When you find out you need a visa or not, you can start the application process. To do so, you should complete the online application form. You have to submit right and true information. Then pay the visa application fees.

If your information in the application does not comply with the ones in the documents, it will get rejected.

Gathering the Documents

Green card holders from the US should provide these documents:

  • A completed and ready UK visa application form.
  • Two photographs got taken within the past six months, according to the requirements.
  • A valid passport. It must be valid for more than three months. The expiry date has to longer than the time you will leave the UK. It must be at least one blank page.
  • The receipt for paid fees.
  • The documents must be in English/Welsh. If not, you should have them translated.
  • US status proof. It could be a Green Card or an Original US Visa.
  • Proving you have bought a round trip flight.
  • A letter from your employer. It must confirm:
    •  your employment in the company
    • permission to leave your job for traveling.
  • Evidence of somewhere to stay in the UK:
    • Invitation letter- If you are staying with relatives/friends. It must have the time of your stay, your host contact details, and his/her address.
    • Hotel confirmation- If you want to stay in a hotel, you must provide the evidence for the hotel reservation.
  • Financial statement. You must prove to have enough money to cover your expenses while staying in the UK. If a program/institution covers your expenses, you have to submit the evidence.
  • TB Test Results.
  • Biometric information. If you are staying for more than six months, you have to submit your biometric information.

Fix an Appointment for Biometrics

There are 130+ Application Support Centers (ASCs) throughout the US. You must book an appointment with one of them to submit your biometrics. The ASC will take:

  • a digital photo from you
  • a digital scan of all ten fingers


You should bring these documents to the appointment at the ASC:

  • The print of your application form.
  • Your current passport.
  • A copy of your biometric confirmation receipt.


Under-five children

You should take under-five children to the interview appointment. They don’t need to have their fingerprints taken. But their photo will get taken.

The visa interview at the UK Embassy

When you gathered all the information, put them in an envelope and send them to the British Consulate General in New York:

  • your passport
  • application form
  • other required documents

Remember not to staple any piece of document.

Mailing your application

The receipt for biometric information will get stamped at your appointment. Then, you have five days to mail:

  • Copy of biometric information receipt
  • your application form
  • your valid passport
  • supporting documents

to VFS Services USA Inc. It is an official partner of UK Visas and Immigration. Please remember to write down their address carefully.

If you don’t send your passport, the application will get rejected.


What is the Priority Visa Service?

This is an optional service. You can pay an extra fee to get your application processed sooner than usual. To do this, you have to pay for priority visa service online on the VFS Global website.


What is Super Priority & Premium Visa Services (SPPVS)?

With SPPVS service, you can make a decision on your application within 24 hours.

These services are only available for applicants applying from VFS premium application centers in:

  • Washington DC
  • New York
  • San Francisco
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Boston
  • Atlanta
  • Seattle

You can not get this service through as ASC.

Who Can use Priority, Super Priority, and Premium UK Visa Services?

The applicants applying for one of these visa types can use these services:

  • Short stay and tourists.
  • The Tier 2 and Tier 5 with permission to live in the US.
  • Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme)
  • The Tier 5 (Temporary worker or Creative and Sporting)
  • Tier 4 student visas


Let’s sum up…

In this blog, we explained how to apply for a UK visa from the US.

We explained the question Do Americans need a UK visa, UK visa application process, the priority visa service, etc.

find everything you need to know about a UK visa for Americans in this blog.

To find out more about the visa that suits you, go through the menu of the site. You can find all the UK types of visas at the left sidebar.

You can check Visa Library to find more information about other countries’ visas.

In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences as comments is a great help for applicants.

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