A hot topic on my blog right now is UK Visitors Visas for Turks to visit the UK, unlike the visitor visa for Turkey for UK nationals, Turkish nationals can’t just get a visa on entry on arrival to the UK, they must apply before they travel and this process drives many insane!
First off a little rant from me, there certainly seems to be some inequality regards married partners of UK nationals entering the UK, we are constantly battling visa systems just for a trip home or even if we wish to return and living in the UK with our spouses, it often makes you feel like a 3rd class citizen in your own country. While I agree that immigration rules need to be in place and tight measures in place, it would be nice to have something in place for those with long term partners who are not UK citizens so when you want to pop home for a quick visit you don’t have to jump through hopes.
I feel better now, after that rant!
That said nothing is going to change any time soon and so we must deal with the Visitor Visa to the UK for our Turkish partners.
Lets look at the UK Visitor Visa Process
- First bit of advice I was given while doing our first application, is follow everything to the word. Do not miss out on parts and make sure you translate everything they need and have the translator date stamp and sign it.
- You need to choose between a normal General Visitor Visa and a Family Visitor Visa. If you are not married then your partner will require the General Visitor Visa and if you are married apply for the Family Visitor Visa.
- Both visas only allow your partner to visit the UK, they can not work or study on this visa, it is only valid for 6 months from date of issue and you may visit as many times as you like within the 6 months. You can apply for 2 year and 5 year and 10 year visitor visas to save apply each time but the costs are high.
- To start the process visit the UK government website www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/tourist-short-stay-visas
- On this page you can select which visa you are applying for, check the documents required and apply for the visa.
- When you select apply for visa you will be redirected to the Visa4You section here you fill out the form to register. This will be the place where you check each step as you go along and pay your visa fee.
- A 6 month Visitor Visa fee is currently $142 (21/10/2014) For more visa fee information follow this link visa-fees.homeoffice.gov.uk/y/turkey/usd/visit/all
- On the visa4you page select apply for myself and fill in the form to start the application and pay the fee.
note: there is an addition £59 if your partner is applying in Antalya or Adana.
- Once you have paid the fee and started the process you will need to book an appointment at an application centre which are now run by Teleperformace.
- This link lists all the visa application centres in Turkey: www.ge2tr.tpcontact.co.uk/location
- Make sure to buy their Courier Return Service at £7.95 or you will need to go and collect your Passport especially if you live some distance from the centre Otherwise do not buy their added value services.
- You must create an account on the Teleperformace website and use the reference number that was given when registering on the visa4you website or they won’t accept your application.
- Teleperformace Website : www.ge2tr.tpcontact.co.uk/
Documents you need for the UK Visitor Visa are:
a current passport or other valid travel identification
2 passport sized colour photographs (British Passport standard not Turkish!)
enough money to support yourself during your trip, e.g. bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months
details of where you plan to stay and your travel plans – you shouldn’t pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa
You need to have a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa
All documents not in English must be translated and signed by the translator or they will not be accepted.
If you are applying for a UK Family Visitor Visa you will require the following Documents:
a letter of invitation from the family member you are staying with
evidence of their financial and employment circumstances, e.g. bank statements or payslips
evidence of their immigration circumstances in the UK showing they’re permanently settled or have asylum humanitarian status in the UK, e.g. a valid visa or immigration stamp in their passport
- Money required, I have never had a definite answer regards the expected amount, we always make sure to show about 3000 to 4000 Lira in our bank for a about a 2 month stay. If anyone knows the exact amount please let me know and I will add it in.
We didn’t translate our bank statements, but did translate the payslips as the bank statements where standard and easy to understand.
- Make sure the passport pictures you get are British Passport size not Turkish this link gives you the correct size https://www.gov.uk/photos-for-passports
- Details of travel plans, we always write a short description of our plans and where we will be staying and when we plan to go and return even though this is already in our documents, we also say we plan to visit family and maybe do some tourist visits to various areas etc. doesn’t have to be long but enough to give them an idea of what you intend.
- Letter of Invitation, though this is not required for a the General Visa if your partner is planing to stay at your house it is a good idea to include one, the more information the you give the better.
The letter should be written by the home owner so if you are staying with parents its better it is written from them. They need to give details of why they are inviting them and that they will be responsible for them during their stay. This is not a legal document the invitee will not be held to anything regards the actions of the visitor.
They will also need to provide bank statements and or business accounts, we always give a utility bill and copy of their passport detail page.
Additional details for family visitor visa:
- Your partner will also need to provide your details, your passport information and any children’s details.
We provide copies of mine and my sons passport
The more information you can provide the better, we always include documents from my husbands school, which also contains permission to leave during the School holidays.
Keep checking the process and information, remember as I said at the beginning go through everything step by step don’t miss out anything, check and double check all the paper work its easy to make a spelling mistake or put in a figure wrong.
Also double check the translators work we have had so many issues here with wrong translations and had to get things changed at the last minute.
Once all the paper work is complete and submitted online, print off a copy of the application to take to the application centre along with a copy of the appointment confirmation without these the application with be void and remember the passport, we also take a copy of my husbands ID card to include and all other supporting documents and the pictures.
Follow the process online and use this application step page on teleperformace www.ge2tr.tpcontact.co.uk/process to keep on track. And remember to create an account on their website!!
This is a useful link to find out how long each centre is taking to process visas to give you an idea of when to apply we normally start about 4 weeks before we plan to travel. Visa is valid from day of issue. https://www.gov.uk/visa-processing-times
For application fees see this link visa-fees.homeoffice.gov.uk/y/turkey/usd/visit/all
Make sure to budget for translations and travel to the application centre, we probably spend an extra 200 to 300 lira on translations and travel.
On the government website they say do not purchase flights or accommodation this is good advice but we normally take the risk regards flights, as to wait means we have to pay more for our flights.
We then also include our flight details when applying, not sure if this helps in any way but it does give an idea we plan to return.
Then once everything is submitted its just a matter of waiting normally about 2 weeks depending on how busy the system is, if you have purchased the courier service it will get posted to you and you will be told via your online account when it has been posted, then its the nervous wait and thumb through the passport to see if the Visa stamp is there!!
Good luck if you are applying for a UK Visitor Visa, the process is fairly simple if you just follow it step by step and keep a check list as you go along, once you have done it once or twice it becomes easier to do but no less nerve racking waiting to see if it’s been accepted.
Note: Once your partner has his visa, before he can leave Turkey he must pay an exit tax which can be paid at the airport before you go through passport control. This costs 15 lira.
Please do share your experiences and advice on applying for Visitor Visas to the UK and let me know if I have missed out a step or got something incorrect as I am writing this from memory.
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