UK Visitor Visa | Applying for a Visa to the UK

My husband and I are planning a trip to Scotland to visit our family and friends this summer, it will be the first trip to my home for my husband in the 7 years we have been together.

You would think it would be just be a simple matter of booking the flights and making sure your passport is up to date, but unfortunately it is not.

Article >> Visa to the UK for Turks Application Process

If you are a Turkish national to visit the UK you must apply for a visitors visa, for the UK before you travel and there are no guarantees that it will be granted.

After going through the process of gathering all the necessary paper work and details required to apply for a UK Visitors Visa I now appreciate my status as a British Citizen and our freedom of travel.

For most countries we turn up at the door, we either get free entry or a small fee payable on arrival for which every country we are visiting. If you visit Turkey regularly you just pay £10 sterling and walk into the country.

If you are a Turk travel is a whole different matter, you can’t just board a plane and arrive at your destination and walk through the door, for most countries you need to apply for a visa.

Being married to a Turk and wanting just to fly home for a couple of weeks with my other half and not being able just to travel when we want, makes you feel the injustice in the world, you get annoyed and upset that you have to go through this demeaning procedure of applying for a visitors visa.

For me personally I feel guilty that I can travel almost anywhere I want in the world and yet my husband can’t just because of his nationality.

We decided to apply for a UK Visitor Visa General, this allows my husband to visit the UK for up to 6 months, he can not work or settle in the UK on this visa. It’s purely for someone wishing to holiday in the UK.

The process is fairly simple but tedious, you have to gather a lot of paper work together as evidence that you can support your stay in the UK, that you are suitable to be allowed entry and that you will return to Turkey at the end of your stay.

Once you have all your documents together you can either apply online or go to an agency in Turkey and they will for fee do the application on your behalf, we were quoted in the region between 500 and 800 lira per application.

You will also have to get various documents translated into English and copies of all passports, marriage certificates and any other documents.

We decided to do the application ourselves and went through the online procedure through the UK Border Agency online application website,  you will also pay your visa fee online via Worldbridge.

Once you have filled out the online form you are then requested to make an appointment to go and give your biometric details at one of the Consulate Generals in Turkey, either in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa or Gaziantep.

Its worthwhile checking from the UK Border agency website how long each office is currently taking to process applications as some take longer than others.

When you go to your biometric appointment you will give all your paper work and documents including a print out of the form you filled out online. This with all your biometric details will be sent for processing and for a decision to be made if you will or will not be granted a visa.

It may be if they are not happy with something or require further information that you will be requested to attended an interview.

There are no magic wands for getting a visa to the UK, there are of course many theories as to who and why they get a visa, but in reality it’s a matter of if your details are accurate, you are able to support yourself financially and they agree you will return to the UK after your visit.

On Friday this week my husband will attend his biometric appointment and then we will wait with baited breath to see if we will be granted a visa. I will let you all know what the outcome is. Next week I will write an article about what paper work and how to go about applying for a UK Visitors Visa.

Read my new article on the application process for the UK Visitor Visa for Turks

Do you know someone who has gone through the UK Visa application process? Have you done the process how did it go? What’s your thoughts on the UK Visa process is it fair or not??

© 2012 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.

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38 Responses to “UK Visitor Visa | Applying for a Visa to the UK”

  1. 6th June 2012

    Sally Reply

    My partner went through the process last November.
    He went to Izmir to submit his papers. He had forgotten to photocopy one document and rather than letting him quickly copy the document and submit it, he was told to go back the following day. This meant an extra day off work (two days – no pay) and an overnight stay in Izmir which all added to the cost of what is already a hugely expensive process for those on lowly Turkish salaries.
    Luckily he was granted a visitors visa, though I do feel the whole process is demoralising.
    Good luck with your application.
    Fingers crossed x

    • 8th June 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Thats a very good lesson for all of us Sally thanks for sharing. Hope both had a lovely trip.

  2. 6th June 2012

    Catherine Yiğit Reply

    It’s similar for Irish visas. When we last applied (many years ago) DH needed a letter from my parents and a trip to Ankara. Luckily we married before the law changed so we used the trip to apply for citizenship. Now we all travel on Irish passports, big relief.

    • 8th June 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      I wish there was an easier way to get Citizenship for partners, I understand why they make it difficult but we don’t wish to settle in the UK at the moment but it would be nice for husband to be able to travel easily into the UK.

  3. 7th June 2012

    Sandy Reply

    Everything is crossed for you. I hope with all my heart that your visa is granted. We are going to reapply later this year buthaven’t yet recovered from the stress of the last round. Keep us posted.

    • 8th June 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Good luck on the next go Sandy let me know how it goes. x

  4. 7th June 2012

    Carol Reply

    I agree it makes you realise how lucky British citizens are to be able to travel practically anywhere in the world. Hope it all works out for you.

  5. 26th July 2012

    Lucy Akdemir Reply

    Hi Kerry….just wondered how it all went and if you are able to give me any advice as we are just about to do the same thing x

    • 16th August 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Lucy so sorry for my slow reply we have been away almost since the day we got our visa and I have been having bit of break from the old computer.

      If you haven’t yet applied please message me any questions you have and will see how I can help. Good Luck with it all x

  6. 29th August 2012

    Adam Reply

    I will be applying the other way round, I have a british passport, but my wife not, so made an appointment to turkish embassy in London. will see how it goes.

  7. 12th October 2012

    Heather McDougall Reply

    When applying for visit visa does the flights already have to be reserved to show that he’s coming back to Turkey? Sorry just not sure of this and getting all my documents together.

    • 13th October 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Heather

      We had booked our flights, which the boarder agency say not to do encase of a refusal. I know most people wait to book their flights. But if you can book flights without risk I think it certainly helps and shows intention to return.

      I did include a little letter about what we planned to do in Scotland and that we intended to return by xx because of work and so we could visit other family. Maybe you could include something like that.

      Good Luck let me know how it goes and feel free to ask anything else.


  8. 26th October 2012

    Heather McDougall Reply

    Thanks for your reply 🙂 sorry to ask other questions, we are applying next week and I was just wondering what documents he has to show financially and things like army papers or anything. My mum is sponsoring him to come here and I have all the documents like bank statements, pay slips, mortgage agreement, letters of invite, letter from his boss to say out his job and was just checking if there’s anything else. Sorry for all the questions x

    • 29th October 2012

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Heather sorry I was away for Bayram. We just put in our wage slips, bank statements for last 2 years that was all. We did a little letter giving an idea of what we planned to do and said when we were deciding to return to the UK and so on. Not sure if it mattered but every bit helps.

      Good Luck let me know how it all goes.


  9. 27th August 2013

    Julie Merenda Reply

    Hi Kerry

    I know this is an old thread but ur story sounds exactly like the process my partner is about to go through…so far its very daunting and if I could ask u a few questions as you have firsthand experience that would be fab. Didn’t want to post the questions on here but would be great if u could message me.


  10. 26th September 2013

    Kymberley Johns Reply

    Hello Kerry

    Just wandering if there is anyone that can help me with some information about visit visa’s.

    I have been with my partner for 4 1/2 years him and his 2 brothers own there own boats doing daily and evening boat trips in bodrum area, We also have a 15 month old baby boy together so I’m hopeful in that it’ll improve his chances of being granted a visit visa.?

    I have been going to and fro bodrum visiting my partner for many years, It’s turned out to be a lot harder leaving him now we have a son together. We have just got back from turkey (well on sunday) from being there for 12 weeks living with my partner so koray has really grown fond of him so now koray really misses his baba.

    I hope there is a way I can invite him to stay with us over the Christmas period, There is no problem with money issues on his side, I am currently unemployed as I am a full time mum I have 2 lots of savings so I could easily help him if it ever come to that point. I live with my mum and my son in a rented house, Any usefull information would be much appreciated as I really don’t know where to start!


    • 1st October 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply


      I think the best bet would be a visitors visa, if your not married then you can’t apply for a family visa, if he has a good reason to return to Turkey and proof of income then that stands good for him.

      You Mum would be the best person to do the invitation letter, explaining your relationship to him etc and that you would like him to visit that he would return to go back to the family business etc.

      As you don’t have a home or income then if you do the letter it may be rejected. Follow the application process to the letter and get as much proof of income and reason to return as you can.

      Good Luck and any questions please ask

  11. 30th October 2013

    Sara Reply

    Hi Kerry,

    I know this is an old thread, but my Turkish boyfriend and I are in the process of applying for a visitor visa for him to come to the UK. I was just wondering: did you and partner have to get all of his Turkish documents translated into English and did this include his bank statements? We have been given conflicting information about it and I just wanted to check with someone who had been successful! We really want to get everything right as he is hoping to be here in time for the birht of our child in January (after which we will return to Turkey together).

    Many thanks for any advice you can offer,

    • 6th November 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      I would translate everything into English and get them notarized and send copies in the original language as well. You can risk making a mistake and its better to be over cautious. Remember once you put your documents in you can send in additional documents or make changes so double check everything. Good luck with the process and all the best on your coming birth. x

  12. 16th October 2014

    Lauren B Reply

    Hi, I know this is an old thread but hoping you can help me too. I am just about to go through this process with my boyfriend of 3 years. He has never been here before and I would love for him to just see where i live and meet the rest of my family before we get married and i move to Turkey next year.

    He is currently at Uni still, he doesn’t have a full-time job. However he owns a business (a bar) that he worked at over summer, however the money from this was not in his personal bank account. There was a joint business account with his busioness partner. At the end of the season (next week) the leftover money will get split so he will be a lump sum of money in his personal account. so basically he cant send payslips/bank statement for the past 6 months because he had nothing… but he can send his current bank statement which will show a large sum of money in there…will this seem strange to them??
    He will stay with me and i have a good job, so i will send in my payslips etc and ive got/earn enough money. but i dont own a house, i live with my mum… should i get her to write the letter? sorry for all the questions… just really want to get it right

    • 17th October 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply


      Easy one first your Mum should write the letter asking him to stay and the reason for his visit. Does the bar have a set of business accounts? If so provide these and state that he is part owner and proof of this as well, the lump sum will look very odd to them if you don’t explain the reason and have proof to back it up. Make sure to do everything they ask for in the paperwork and anything in Turkish get translated and notirised. Good luck x

  13. 17th October 2014

    Lauren B Reply

    Thank you for your reply 🙂
    Ok so if my mum writes the letter should it be her sending in her bank stements and pay slips etc… or me? and Does she have to show proof of house ownership?
    Yes they do but i dread to think what a mess they will be… Turkish men are not the most organised/structured with things like that haha.
    so it will be fine to have a copy of the business accounts from over summer, a statement from his current bank account and just a letter to explain the lump sum of money in his account?
    Will it go against him now that he doesnt have a fixed income now the season is over. just the lump sum of money in his account?
    Sorry i just want to be really thorough to make sure we get it.
    Thanks for the help x

    • 21st October 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Lauren

      Yes it should be your Mum’s bank statements etc and just provide a utility bill.

      Business accounts should be fine, with bank statement and if possible something to show he is part owner. A letter would be good just explain it’s seasonal and the rest of time he is at Uni.

      As long as the money covers a 6 month stay he will be fine, we never have more than 3000 or 4000 lira to show so he should be ok. Just make clear the reason for the lump sum, so they don’t think he is stuffing his bank account for the process.

      • 22nd October 2014

        Lauren Reply

        Thank you so much Kerry, really helpful 🙂
        Ok 1 more question. So when my mum and me are writing the letter should we say that he is my partner or should we say he is just a friend? Not sure whether that looks bad or not…

        • 23rd October 2014

          Kerry Arslan Reply

          I think they will most likely guess so probably best to be up front about your relationship, just add in that it is an opportunity for him to meet your family 🙂

  14. 19th October 2014

    Jane Elma Reply

    My husband and I are going through this at the moment and I am totally stressed out. We went to Izmir and handed everything in on 3 October. We received an email on Friday to say that they have reached a decision and documents will arrive in 3 working day. I wish they would have told us the outcome in the email because I can’t cope with the stress haha.
    We only want to visit Scotland for Christmas and New year. I need everyone to cross anything they can
    So that was 2 weeks from submitting the application

    • 21st October 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      It is so stressful and they don’t tell you, wait till it arrives we are always to scared to open the Passport and scan for the visa stamp!! eek I have butterflies for you. Let me know what happens. I hope you get it and have a lovely Christmas and New Year in Scotland. So jealous we can’t go to Scotland at that time of year as schools are still in and my husband is working, though I do plan to go myself with my son before he starts school.

      • 21st October 2014

        Jane Elma Reply

        Hi Kerry
        We got our refusal letter today and we are gutted. They don’t believe
        that he is a genuine visitor and they believe that he will work and not come back. I have epilepsy and have to go back for treatment and needed him with me. He had enough for his trip and my son was paying for his return ticket.
        My son started a new job in July
        so one of his waga slips only showed half his salary and the rest his full salary but they picked the one with the leadt and said that he couldn’t afford a ticket. How dare they presume things. He could have used a credit card for all they knew.
        They don’t believe that I would return with him .
        I am so upset.
        Apparently you cannot appeal a family visit visa
        Our only option is to apply for a settlement visa which is very expensive
        I would be grateful for any help

        • 23rd October 2014

          Kerry Arslan Reply

          Oh Jane I am so sorry completely gutted for you both. You are right you can’t appeal, the only option is to reapply and go through it all again. I wouldn’t go through the settlement visa process as you would need to be earning £18,600 per year.

          It shouldn’t matter if you don’t return, only if he does. Did you explain in your application that you were returning home for medical attention? Does your husband have a job here? If you can show he has work and would be returning to that job and have a confimation of this from the employer that would help. Also even if you have to borrow from a friend for short time show something like 3000 lira in his bank account.

          How did they know about the ticket? I wouldn’t give this information as they say not to buy a ticket until you have the visa. Give it a month and reapply with full wages from your son.

          If you are on facebook join this group U.K. nationals with Turkish Husbands/wifes/partners someone there will have gone through the same as you and should be able to help.


  15. 23rd October 2014

    lauren Reply

    thank you 🙂 its so stressful how much stuff we need to get sorted. We want him to be here for christmas. But it will be about the 16th/17th november by the time we get everything sorted to send off, will this be enough tiome do you think? It says that 99 % of applications are answered within 30 days. Im just really worried we will be the 1% thats not lol

  16. 23rd October 2014

    lauren Reply

    thank you its so stressful how much stuff we need to get sorted. We want him to be here for christmas. But it will be about the 16th/17th november by the time we get everything sorted to send off, will this be enough tiome do you think? It says that 99 % of applications are answered within 30 days. Im just really worried we will be the 1% thats not lol

    • 4th November 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      You will have enough time Lauren don’t worry.

  17. 9th January 2015

    Vivien Thornton Reply

    Hi Kerry, I met you and your husband last year when you visited Side. I was staying with my partner Ahmet. We had one attempt at a UK visitor visa, but didn’t complete the process. Since then he applied for a visa to visit Norway to stay with friends, which has been refused. His passport has a visa denied stamp in it from Ankara. Does this make it unlikely that any further attempts to get a UK visa will be successful? Since we met you we have spent 9 weeks total together and l desperately want to bring him here for a fewsw cweeks. I was encouraged to read that you managed to bring Arslan to the UK, but when you’re married it really shouldn’t be so hard. I don’t know how they get away with such discrimination against Turkish people. Best regards, Vivien

    • 12th January 2015

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Vivien!!!!! Hi……… I lost your email address. I am so happy to hear from you. I will message you private later. No it shouldn’t be an issue it will be taken into consideration though but you just have to make the case stronger. Buying tickets before hand so they see the return flight, its a risk but helps and showing strong ties in Turkey that he has to return, letter from employer, which I know is hard for him. I will say that I have heard visa’s are getting hard to get but I wouldn’t be put off. Try again and see what happens.

      On a quick note will message you in a bit, we are living in Demre now, near to Kas. I was so sad I lost your email and then moving here. Take care and I will message you soon x

  18. 9th June 2016

    Stephen Reply

    Is there a company in Istanbul who could help with completing visa application for my Turkish friend who wants to come to England for holiday

    • 22nd June 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      There are a lot of companies, but I do not know any to recommend

  19. 24th October 2016

    Mark G Reply

    I think the law stinks in this country. the government with all there rules and regulations, yet we as English people can travel anywhere, without any problem. its all this bureaucratic bull as people say £10 and you can visit turkey for a holiday. why should it not be the same for the Turkish. its beacause our gov are still living in the dark ages. they need to get there heads out of each others ar*es.
    I think personaly the turksh should be allowed to do it the same way as we do it when we go to turkey.

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