Indian travellers hoping to travel to the United Kingdom must take care of a lot of things while applying for the visa. Booking flights to UK from India is a very tiny fragment of the preparations needed to enter the UK.
While Indian splendour is a top draw among Britons, enticing many to book flights to India, there is no denying the fact that heaps of Indians too hope to travel to the United Kingdom. And it has to be said that in comparison to flights to India, a seat on flights to UK is not so easy to come by.
Millions of Indians apply for visa every year. Some are fortunate enough to board flights to the UK later on, others are not so lucky.
Take a look at some of the most relevant and important information that might assist those who are applying for a UK visa and also those who have the visa but need to know of different immigration policies of the country.
Visiting the UK
Visitors booking cheap flights to UK from India are usually allowed to stay for up to 6 months. Indian travellers who intend on a stay longer than 6 months can not be termed as ‘visitors’ and need to apply for a visa accordingly.
Indian visitors to the UK must meet certain requirements before they can be allowed to enter or pass through the country. But before going into that, get yourself acquainted with different categories of visitor to the UK and find out which category is the most suitable for you.
Tourism and visiting friends
Travellers with Indian passports who wish to visit the UK as a tourist or wish to stay with friends in the country can and should apply as general visitors.
If you desire to visit members of your family in the UK, you can apply to visit the country as a family visitor.
Travellers who want to do business in the UK should apply as a business visitor. Business visits include academic visits as well as doctors undertaking clinical attachments.
Visiting to study
Students who wish to travel to the UK for up to 6 months (or up to 11 months in case of studying an English Language course) can apply for student visa. One cannot work in the country on a student visa.
Apart from the above mentioned there are several other types of visits like visit as an entertainer or a sportsperson. Appropriate applications must be made.
In Transit through the UK
Indian travellers who are planning on a transit travel through the UK while travelling to another country must also be aware of certain important information.
There are two sorts of transit travels through the UK – airside and landside.
Indians who arrive from flights to the UK, remain in the arrival lounge of the airport without going through immigration control, and then take off on some other flight from the same airport.
If the passenger from India is arriving from UK bound flight, going through immigration control and the departing from the UK within 48 hours.
Travellers planning to book cheap flights to UK from India and hoping to enter the country must bear in mind that there are certain restrictions on what they can bring into the UK. There are some goods that you can bring with you without paying duty or value added tax (VAT). Some items are also illegal to transport into the UK. Indians must be completely aware of all such rules and regulations before they embark upon the journey.
Visitors’ Rights and Responsibilities
Indian visitors are not permitted to enter or stay in the United Kingdom to receive free medical treatment from the National Health Service (NHS). Apart from treatment given in a medical facility’s accident and emergency unit, one will be charged for any treatment one receives. Visitors must have a comprehensive medical insurance to cover their stay.
After you arrive in the UK, you may be required to register with the police for your stay in the country. If a traveller is indeed needed to register, then this prerequisite will be mentioned in your passport. In such an event, you need to register within seven days of your arrival in the UK.
Indian visitors, who wish to extend their stay in the United Kingdom or need to alter the basis of their stay, can contact the country’s immigration enquiry bureau.
Valuable Tips for Indians Travelling To the UK
It is imperative to make sure travellers visiting the United Kingdom have a hassle free visit. Following tips will help you in doing so.
- Always produce a valid passport or travel document. Travellers with child must keep some sort of proof of your relationship with the child.
- Never provide false or misleading information to a UK Border Agency officer.
- Do not carry counterfeit goods, prohibited drugs, offensive weapons or obscene material.
- Cash of 10,000 Euros or more must be declared by Indian travellers.
- There are rules and restrictions regarding food products that one can bring in the UK from India, even for personal use. Be fully aware of them.
Disclaimer: The information in this article relating to visa/entry requirements is correct at the time of publishing. You must consult the relevant Embassy or Consulate for updated info on visa policies as requirements may change. You should check the up-to-date position in good time before booking/departure.