You can make an application to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI, formerly the UKBA), either by post or in person.
White Rose Visas offers a complete postal application service, including providing an assessment of your options, answering your questions, completing your application form(s), providing a complete document check, and managing all aspects of the process on your behalf, including biometrics. Do get in touch if you'd like help.
Alternatively, you can make the application yourself, in which case we hope you find the following information useful.
You can find the correct form for your application on the Home Office's Apply Online web page. After submitting your application, you will receive an Acknowledgement Letter from the Home Office, and two to four weeks after that, a Biometrics Invitation Letter.
Postal applications take between three weeks to over six months to be resolved, dependent on the type of application. The UKVI/ Home Office publishes current processing times for some applications on their website. Useful anecdotal information on processing times can also be found on the forum trackitt.com.
Migrants making a postal application can provide their biometrics at selected Post Offices across the UK, at a cost of £19.20 per person. This needs to be done within 15 working days of receiving your Biometrics Invitation Letter. (Or 2 days for Priority Postal.) You do not need to book an appointment to use this service. You must, however, take the bar-coded sheet that the Home Office sent to you: this bar-code will allow your biometrics to be matched with your application on the online system.
When you arrive at your chosen Post Office, a member of staff will assist you by:
Given the typical long delays when posting an application, and the fact that your passport and other important documents will be unavailable throughout this delay, many people decide that it is better to apply in person. See our guide to Premium applications for an overview.
You can upgrade your Postal application to a Premium application by filling out this form.
As an alternative, if you are applying for Tier 2 (only), you are able to make use of the Priority Postal service. Using the Priority Postal service, you are guaranteed a decision within 10 working days.
Postal applications take between 3 weeks to over 6 months to be resolved, depending on the type of application
For current postal processing times, use the guide on the UKVI site