UK Visas and Immigration| UKVI (2023)

If you are looking to live, work or study in the UK, then you will need to apply for the appropriate visa through UK visas and Immigration (UKVI) in order to do so. Trinity College London is here to help you understand which UK visa is right for you.

Page contents:

  • English tests for UK visas
  • Which English test do I need for a spouse/family and live in the UK visa?
  • Which English test do I need for a work visa?
  • Which English test do I need for a study visa?
  • How do I get a SELT test for a UK visa?
  • UK Visas and Immigration FAQs

English test for UK visas

To be able to get a work, study or family visa for the UK, you may need to take an English language test to prove your ability to speak, listen, write or read English. There are different levels of Secure English Language Tests - also known as SELTs - that use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (or CEFR) guidance to assess your abilities. Which SELT test you will need to take will depend on the type of visa you're applying for.

Which English test do I need for a spouse/family and live in the UK visa?

If you’re applying for a spouse or family visa in the form of Further Leave to Remain you will need to take a SELT test depending on whether this is a visa extension or not. The Secure English Language Test (SELT) you’ll need for each are:

Visa type

Visa description

SELT test

Further Leave to Remain

  • Family partner
  • Family parent

For those that are either a partner or family member of a:

  • British national
  • Person settled in the UK (ie a person with ILR)
  • Person with EU Settlement Scheme pre-settled status
  • Person who has UK refugee leave or humanitarian protection
  • Person who has a Turkish ECAA worker or business person visa

GESE Grade 2 (A1)

Further Leave to Remain Visa Extension

  • Family partner
  • Family parent

For those that are either a partner or family member of a:

  • British national
  • Person settled in the UK (ie a person with ILR)

  • Person with EU Settlement Scheme pre-settled status
  • Person who has UK refugee leave or humanitarian protection
  • Person who has a Turkish ECAA worker or business person visa

GESE Grade 3 (A2)


Indefinite Leave to Remain

  • Settlement/ Permanent Residency

If you have lived and/or worked in the UK for 5 years you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

GESE Grade 5 (B1)

British Citizenship

  • Naturalisation

For those that have lived in the UK for 5 years and had one of the following for 12 months:

  • indefinite leave to remain in the UK

  • ‘settled status’ (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme’)
  • indefinite leave to enter the UK (permission to move to the UK permanently from abroad)

GESE Grade 5 (B1)

Which English test do I need for a work visa?

If you’re staying in the UK for an extended period of time to work, then you may need to apply for a work visa; but which one you need will depend on the type of work you’re in the country to do. The visa types along with the Secure English Language Test (SELT) you’ll need for each are as follows:

Visa type

Visa description

SELT test

Representative of an Overseas Business visa

For employees of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the UK.

(Video) Summary Of All The UK Changes from 12th April 2023 | What Is Uk Visa Updates? New UKVI Announcement

GESE Grade 2 (A1)

International Sportsperson visa (T2)

For elite sportspersons or qualified coaches, recognised by their sport’s governing body as being at the highest level of their profession internationally.

GESE Grade 2 (A1)

Skilled Worker visa

For those who are coming to or staying in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer.

ISE I (B1)

Health and Care Worker visa

For medical professionals who are coming to or staying in the UK to do an eligible job with the NHS, an NHS supplier or in adult social care.

ISE I (B1)

Scale-up Worker visa

For those wanting to come to the UK to do an eligible job for a fast-growing UK business (sometimes called a ‘scale-up business’).

(Video) UK To Favor Foreign Students? UK Visa and Immigration Rules Controversy: Education vs Home Office

ISE I (B1)

Minister of religion visa (T2)

For those who have been offered a job within a faith community (for example as a minister of religion, missionary, or member of a religious order) in the UK.


Innovator visa

For those wanting to set up and run an innovative business in the UK - it must be something that’s different from anything else on the market OR those with a business or business idea has been endorsed by an approved body, also known as an endorsing body .


Start-up visa

For those wanting to set up an innovative business in the UK - it must be something that’s different from anything else on the market


Which English test do I need for a study visa?

When applying for a student visa, it’s important to understand not only which SELT test you need to take, but the specific conditions of the university or college you’ve applied to study at. Education providers may require a higher level of English language proficiency than UKVI requests - please ensure you check with your sponsor with regard to their individual requirements.

Visa type

Visa description


SELT test

Study visa - below degree level*

For those aged 16 or over and who have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor.

ISE I (B1)

Study visa - degree level and above**

For those aged 16 or over and who have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor.


Please note that with the above visa types, some study sponsors may require you to take a different type of SELT test on top of the one you need to take for your UKVI. For example:

  • *If you’re coming to the UK to study for qualifications such as GCSE, A-Level, BTEC, diploma, NVQ etc, then your sponsor might need you to take a B2 English test
  • **If you’re coming to the UK to study at university, then your sponsor might need you to take a C1 English test as well as a B1 for your UKVI

For the most up-to-date information on the course you’re looking to study and the visa type you’ll need, it’s best to check the UK Government website. If you’re still unsure which SELT test is the right choice for you, you can speak to the Trinity team at 0333 358 3183 or

How do I get a SELT test for a UK visa?

Getting a Secure English Language Test (SELT) as part of your UK visa application is easy. Book directly with a UKVI approved SELT provider. This also protects your booking should you need to change the date, and allows you to take advantage of other services such as Trinity’s Exam Protect that allows you to retake for free should you not pass your initial exam.

For more reasons to book your SELT test through Trinity, go to Why Choose Trinity.

Why choose Trinity?

UK Visas and Immigration| UKVI (1)

Real-life accredited examiners

Trinity College London uses human examiners to run SELT tests. This allows for more flexibility than computer adapted tests do.

UK Visas and Immigration| UKVI (2)

Convenient locations

With over 20 SELT test centres across the UK, Trinity offers tests seven days a week. You can choose from 100's of slots based on the date, time, and location that works best for you.

UK Visas and Immigration| UKVI (3)

Fast indication of result

Provisional GESE results are sent by 9am the next day and your certificate will be sent to you within 4-7 days of your exam date.

UK Visas and Immigration| UKVI (4)

(Video) British Govt Huge Announcement Over New Visa Policy For Paksitan l How to Get UK Visa?

Trinity Exam Protect

For just£30(on top of your exam fee), Exam Protect will allow you to:

  • Book one retake

  • Reschedule your test once

Available to buy up to 24 hours before your test time

Ready to book a SELT test?

Book your SELT test now


How to answer UK visa interview questions? ›

Answer Yes/No based on your situation. Make sure you are honest while answering these questions. If you have been to the UK before, mention the year of travel along with the basic details such as the purpose of the travel, duration of stay, etc. Do you intend to work in the UK?

What are the chances of UK visa getting rejected? ›

UK visa rejection rate

It's been reported that the rejection rate of UK visa applications is around 15%, with some visa categories witnessing even higher denial rates. For instance, the Tier 1 (entrepreneur) visa has a rejection rate of a staggering 50%.

What message will come if UK visa is rejected? ›

You'll get a letter or an email explaining why your application was refused. Your passport will be returned, if it was kept as part of your application. Your refusal letter will explain if you have the right to either an: administrative review.

Is UK visa interview easy? ›

Interviews are conducted via video link to the UK and usually take place at your local Visa Application Centre. UKVI will use your interview to check that you are a genuine student. The interview is nothing to be concerned about - all you have to do is be confident, honest, and tell the truth.

Can I get UK visa without interview? ›

There are some limited circumstances in which you may be able to apply for a UK visa without an interview, such as if you are a minor or if you are unable to attend an interview due to a medical condition. In these cases, you can submit a written statement or provide other documentation in place of an interview.

How can I avoid UK visa rejection? ›

All documents must be original– and it's better to include a photocopy as well (but never use a photocopy in place of an original). Failure to supply all the necessary documentation for UK visa will result in a UK visa rejection.

Does US rejection affect UK visa? ›

A visa refusal to another country will not automatically lead to a refusal of a UK visa, but a case worker will pay extra attention to your application and documents.

Why are so many people denied UK visa? ›

Failing to present an employment and professional qualification that matches the presented financial situation. Incapacity to provide documents that support the purpose of travel and stay in the UK. The inability to offer unchanging declarations about the purpose of travel and stay.

How can I increase my chances of getting UK visa? ›

  1. Your travel history – The more you travel, the more you position yourself for success in the visaphere. ...
  2. Successfully answering the questions on the minds of the visa officer. ...
  3. Having strong home ties.
  4. A good financial situation.
  5. Ability to read and follow instructions.

Is it hard to get UK visa? ›

It may seem simple when your visa application is granted, but the process of visa approval by the Home Office is strict and rigorous. Each application is being scrutinized thoroughly before approval or rejection. Each year thousands of applications are rejected.

Will I get an email if my UK visa is approved? ›

You will receive a communication from UK Visas and Immigration regarding whether your visa has been approved or denied, typically in the form of a letter, a text message, and/or email. If you are outside of the UK, you will receive a sticker (called a “vignette”) that allows you to travel to the UK.

What is the best answer for immigration interview? ›

Answer all questions fully, succinctly, and truthfully, but do not volunteer information unless asked. If you're unsure of the answer or do not understand a question, you should always say so rather than guess.

How do I get my immigration questions answered? ›

Dial 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833) and ask your question in English or Spanish. The system will answer your question and can send you links to forms and information by email or text.

How long does it take for UK visa to be approved? ›

Visit visas
Categoryprocessing time
Standard Visitor3 weeks
Permitted Paid Engagement3 weeks
Marriage Visitor3 weeks
Chinese tour group3 weeks
1 more row
May 22, 2023

What is the easiest visa to get in UK? ›

Short Term Work Visas
  • Graduate Visa.
  • High Potential Individual Visa.
  • Youth Mobility Scheme Visa.
  • Temporary Work - Creative Worker Visa.
  • Temporary Work - Seasonal Worker Visa.
  • Temporary Work - Charity Worker Visa.
  • Temporary Work - Religious Worker Visa.
  • Temporary Work - International Agreement Visa.
Sep 30, 2022

How long is a UK visa interview? ›

A visa interview is a personal interview that is a part of the UK visa process. Everyone has to attend a visa interview after completing their online application and document submission. It is used to check if you are a genuine applicant. Generally, the interview lasts around 30 minutes.

What to expect during UK visa interview? ›

During the Visa interview, the responsible person will ask about all the essential information related to studying in the UK; i.e your intention, interest, financial capabilities, career plan, and so on.

Can I walk in for UK visa? ›

Walk In Without Appointment*

VFS Global will process your visa application without a pre-booked appointment.

Can you be denied entry to UK? ›

It's not uncommon for travellers to be refused entry to the UK at the border. Even if you are entitled to visa-free travel to the UK, or if have been granted a UK visa in advance of travel, you're not guaranteed entry into the country.

How should I dress for a UK visa interview? ›

Applicants should avoid wearing light-colored clothing instead bright-colored clothing is recommended. Ensure your fingertips are free from any forms of decoration such as mehndi, cuts, abrasions or other markings as these may affect your ability to provide acceptable finger scans.

How long does it take for UK visa to be refused? ›

Appealing UK visa refusals

For applicants who are outside the UK, the time period is 28 days. When the application was refused, you should have received reasons for refusal letter from the Home Office or UKVI outlining why the application was unsuccessful and advising you of the right of appeal and relevant timeframes.

Do I get a refund if my UK visa is refused? ›

Will my visa fee be refunded? No, the fee you have paid for your visa application is for it to be processed and a decision to be made, regardless of the decision itself.

Does UK share immigration information with USA? ›

Yes. As a matter of fact, the UK, the US, AND Canada, Australia, and New Zealand together form “Five Eyes”. They share signal intelligence, human intelligence, and geospatial intelligence. They also share information on border, immigration, and security matters.

What is the most common visa rejection? ›

The Most Common Reasons For A Visa Denial
  • Incomplete or inaccurate forms.
  • Insufficient financial proof.
  • False information or misrepresentation.
  • Lack of ties to your home country.
  • Criminal history.
  • Overstaying your previous visa.
  • Medical or health issues.
Mar 1, 2023

Is UK visa rejection stamped on passport? ›

Does the UK stamp on the passport for the rejection of a visa? Ans: UK embassy doesn't put any stamp on the passport for the rejection of a visa. They will notify you of the reasons for visa rejection. However, the situation can be different if the visa gets rejected for serious issues.

What is the difference between UK visa refusal and rejection? ›

Visa refusal means you did something wrong and that went on your permanent record, leading to visa refusal. While the visa rejection means something is missing from your application and you have to resubmit your paperwork.

What can prevent you from getting a UK visa? ›

If the applicant has been convicted of a crime that warrants an imprisonment term of 4 years or more. Deliberately withholding documentation of a criminal record, if any. Insufficient funds for a trip to the UK. The applicant has overstayed or submitted false documents on a previous trip to the UK.

What are the chances of UK visa approval? ›

In terms of success rates, the UK Skilled Worker visa displayed an impressive 98.45% success rate in 2019, while the success rate for the same visa category in 2020 reached 99.23%. These figures indicate a slightly higher approval ratio in 2020 compared to 2019 (98.45%).

How much bank statement is required for UK visit visa? ›

Evidence that you have sufficient funds for your proposed visit (e.g. at least 3 months' bank statements and/or payslips).

How long does it take to get a UK visa from USA? ›

The UK Visas and Immigration global service standard for processing non-settlement visas is 15 working days and 60 working days for settlement visas.

What is the fastest way to get a UK visa? ›

If you're eligible you can choose the 'super priority service' when you apply. You'll need to pay £800 in addition to the application fee. You'll get a decision: by the end of the next working day after your appointment, if your appointment is on a weekday.

How do I get a UK visa ASAP? ›

If you need your visa in a hurry, you can use UK Visas and Immigration's Priority Visa service for your new visit, study and most work applications. This will ensure the visa decision makers give priority to your application at every stage of the process.

Is it easier to get a visa in USA or UK? ›

And if there is even a hint that you plan to stay in the US permanently, your application will be rejected. The UK is easier on foreign applicants. This is why more students are applying for a UK visa, making the competition much tougher.

How hard is it to get a visa to the US from UK? ›

Applying for a UK to USA Visa can be exhausting and demanding, but when you have a British passport, that's no issue as British citizens are under an American visa-waiver program. If you have a British passport you don't need a specific US Visa for UK citizens to enter the US, you only need an ESTA.

Why is UK visa taking so long? ›

Processing times have recently been affected by COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine. For example, partner visa applications from outside the UK, which usually take 12 weeks to process, are currently taking up to 24 weeks to process from the date of biometric enrolment at a visa application centre.

How do UK visa officers verify documents? ›

Your supporting documents will be scanned at the Visa Application Centre when you attend your biometric appointment, and sent electronically to UK Visas and Immigration.

How do I know if my visa is rejected? ›

You will also be given a letter stating your application has been denied under 221(g) and listing which documents you need to provide. Administrative processing - Further administrative processing of your application is required before a decision can be made regarding your eligibility for a visa.

What to do if visa is rejected? ›

You can appeal the refusal. The appeal must be submitted within 15 days of the receipt of visa refusal to the Consulate that decided to refuse the visa.

What can cause you to fail at the immigration interview? ›

Citizenship Denial Reasons
  • Having a Criminal Record. ...
  • Failing to Provide Child Care and Support. ...
  • Failing to Pay Taxes. ...
  • Committing Fraud on Your Citizenship Application. ...
  • Not Meeting Physical Presence Requirements. ...
  • Failing Your English or Civics Test During the Interview Process. ...
  • Forgetting Selective Service Registration.

What is the most common question in immigration? ›

Have you ever been to the country? If yes, what visa did you apply for? It is one of the most common immigrant visa interview frequently asked questions.

Do I have to answer immigration questions? ›

You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer questions asked by immigration officers if you do not want to answer them. This includes questions about your citizenship status, birthplace or place of residence.

What are some good immigration questions? ›

Green Card and Immigration Basics
  • What is a green card? ...
  • What is USCIS? ...
  • What is a lawful permanent resident? ...
  • What is conditional permanent residence? ...
  • Why would a green card application be denied? ...
  • Can I work in the U.S. while waiting for my green card? ...
  • What is the Visa Bulletin? ...
  • What is a biometric screening?

How many questions did immigrants have to answer? ›

There are 100 questions in the citizenship test. During the interview, the immigration officer will ask the applicant 10 questions out of the 100, and the applicant must answer six correctly in order to pass the civics test.

How many questions can you miss on the immigration test? ›

USCIS requires applicants to answer at least six out of 10 questions from the list of 100 civics questions correctly in order to pass the test.

Can I get UK visa in 15 days? ›

UK visit visa applications to be processed within 15 days

United Kingdom will process the UK visit visa within 15 days. Priority visas will be processed within 5 days.

What is the longest waiting time for UK visa? ›

UKVI Visa Processing Standard Processing Times

Non-settlement visa applications submitted outside the UK: 90% to be decided within 3 weeks; 98% within 6 weeks and 100% within 12 weeks of the application date (where 1 week is 5 working days);

How do I know my UK visa is approved? ›

UK Visa Check 2023: How to Check your UK Visa Progress and Status?
  1. UK visa status check online. Applications made through TLSContact. Applications made through VFS Global. Inquiries via email.
  2. UK visa status check fee.
  3. UK visa application processing time. The UK standard visitor visa. The UK electronic visa waiver. Transit visa.

How can I introduce myself for UK visa interview? ›

How can I introduce myself for a UK visa interview? You can start by stating your full name, where you live, your qualifications, and your professional aspirations. Next, you can mention why you are here at the embassy.

What questions will be asked in UK visa interview? ›

UK Visa Interview Questions by the British High Commission (Sample)
  • Why do you wish to study in the UK and not in the USA or your country? ...
  • How many Universities did you apply to? ...
  • What course are you going for? ...
  • Have you taken any English Tests? ...
  • What does your father do? ...
  • What is your tuition fee? ...
  • What's your career goal?
Dec 11, 2022

How to answer visa interview questions? ›

While answering the questions asked by the consular officer, the applicant needs to answer directly with confidence and also reassure his/her ties to the native country. The applicant needs to stress his/her intentions of coming back to the native country after the completion of the trip.

How can I impress a UK interviewer? ›

How to impress an interviewer
  1. Show your passion. Another important aspect of interviewing is being passionate about the possibility of working at the company. ...
  2. Share relevant, personal anecdotes. ...
  3. Ask questions. ...
  4. Demonstrate your confidence. ...
  5. Bring your resume. ...
  6. Practise a friendly greeting.
Jan 24, 2023

How can I pass my visa interview? ›

Tips For A Successful Visa Interview
  2. ENGLISH. ...
  5. BE BRIEF. ...

How long does a UK visa interview take? ›

A visa interview is a personal interview that is a part of the UK visa process. Everyone has to attend a visa interview after completing their online application and document submission. It is used to check if you are a genuine applicant. Generally, the interview lasts around 30 minutes.

What happens in UK visa interview? ›

A Home Office member of staff generally asks the UK visa interview questions for students. The common questions inquire about details about the course, the subject area of study, and reasons for studying in the UK. The interviews are generally conducted via a video link.

What to expect at UK visa appointment? ›

A UKVI official will take your biometric information. This will involve taking a digital photograph of your face, scanning your fingerprints and asking you to provide a signature. Children under 5 do not have to have their fingerprints taken or provide a signature.

How can I prepare for UK visa appointment? ›

When you go to your appointment, you'll need to bring:
  1. a printed copy of your appointment confirmation document with a QR code.
  2. your passport or travel document.
  3. other supporting documents (unless you've already uploaded them online)

How do I show strong ties to my home country for U.S. visa? ›

Family/Social Ties
  1. Birth certificates of spouse and dependents.
  2. Marriage certificate.
  3. Photos showing a sincere connection to family and friends.
  4. Signed letters from family and friends indicating a close bond.

What not to say in a visa interview? ›

Don'ts During the Visa Interview Process

'Like, Umm, I guess' – Try to avoid using conversation fillers such as 'Like', 'Ummmm', or 'I guess' in a sentence when you are responding to a question. Pay close attention to the questions asked and respond with just the answer. Keep in short and simple.

How do you greet a visa officer in an interview? ›

When your turn for the interview comes, enter the room with a smile, and greet the officer with a warm hello or hi. S/he may ask you 'how are you doing'. Reply politely and thank them for asking. If your visa is granted, thank them politely and leave.

What if I fail in UK credibility interview? ›

If you are invited to take part in a credibility interview and fail to attend without an acceptable reason, your visa application will be refused.


(UK Visa and Immigration Updates)
2. UK Student Visa : New UK Immigration Rules for International Students!! UKVI
(UK Immigration)
3. PTE Home, the stress-free English test for UK Visas and Immigration
(PTE Official)
(UK Immigration)
5. UK Visa Decoded: Application to Decision - Uncover the Timeline & Insider Secrets! Uk VISA 2023
(UK Visa and Immigration Updates)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rubie Ullrich

Last Updated: 19/10/2023

Views: 6685

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rubie Ullrich

Birthday: 1998-02-02

Address: 743 Stoltenberg Center, Genovevaville, NJ 59925-3119

Phone: +2202978377583

Job: Administration Engineer

Hobby: Surfing, Sailing, Listening to music, Web surfing, Kitesurfing, Geocaching, Backpacking

Introduction: My name is Rubie Ullrich, I am a enthusiastic, perfect, tender, vivacious, talented, famous, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.