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Entry Clearance Application

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Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
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Great service and very reasonably priced,
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21 November, 23
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Great interaction. I had a simple question which would have cost a fortune going to see a local solicitor. It was all very professional but still friendly. The solicitor I spoke to was the chief executive of her law firm (I looked her up on LinkedIn). You are dealing with very good lawyers who earn additional money through Lawhive. I would definitely use this service again. Highly recommend.
Mark,
29 December, 23
The solicitor who was appointed to me was outstanding
Very simple to engage with instant confirmation in writing straight after. Daniel, the solicitor who was appointed to me, was outstanding in his approach, his understanding of the technicalities of the law and, crucially, a genuine care for the client. Would definitely advise using Lawhive, you won't regret it.
Tahir Idris,
04 October, 23
We were so pleased to find the Lawhive website
After struggling to find a solicitor willing to give us advice, and for a reasonable cost, we were so pleased to find the Lawhive website. At first we wondered how well it would work, but needn't have worried at all - the whole process was simple, straightforward and professional and great value for money. We felt extremely lucky to be matched with our solicitor, Sonay Erten, as she was exactly what we were looking for - knowledgeable, patient and kind - a refreshing change from solicitors we have used in the past. She showed a great deal of empathy for our situation and explained things in language that was easy to understand (rather than the usual "solicitor" talk, which can be intimidating). She's a shining example of what a solicitor should aspire to be and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others or use her again in the future. We came out of our session reassured and confident of what we needed to do going forward, so a big "thank you!"
Julie Taylor,
01 June, 23
Fast and professional
I got the outcome I wanted regarding cease and desist to a competitor spreading defamatory statements about my business. Fast and professional, and at a much lower price than high street firms. Highly recommended thanks.
Jason Hunter,
23 July, 23
Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
I found the website very easy to use. Quick responses and I was even able to talk to someone who was friendly and competent. She rang me rather than emailed me. A solicitor was quickly found who could help me and once the relevant identification was approved he started work. Within two days the solicitor had checked documents and commented on them. Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
Pauline Piper,
15 February, 23
The service was fast and ultra professional
Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
Jamie Crichton,
09 November, 23
Great service and very reasonably priced,
Great service and very reasonably priced, Kem was really helpful and professional. Would use again
Sarah Shanks,
21 November, 23
Rated 4.8 / 5. Showing our 4 & 5 star reviews.

About

An Entry Clearance Application is a form that must be completed by a non-British citizen who wishes to enter the UK. The form is completed by the applicant and submitted to the UK Border Agency. The UK Border Agency will then decide whether to grant the applicant entry to the UK.Next steps

How much does an Entry Clearance Application cost?

The cost for a licensed solicitor to help with an Entry Clearance Application is dependent on many factors including the complexity and specific requirements of the case. On average it is expected to range from £450-£600 but in some cases it could cost as much as £750.

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Entry Clearance Application

The UK immigration system can be confusing. Whether you're planning to join your family, start a new job, or study here, securing the right visa is important.

Entry clearance means getting permission to come to the UK. But for many, understanding the entry clearance process, with all its legal requirements and documentation, can cause considerable stress and uncertainty.

At Lawhive, we understand the anxiety that comes with the entry clearance process. The fear of making mistakes, or not understanding the requirements can be overwhelming. That's why we're here to simplify the journey for you. Combining the efficiency of our cutting-edge, easy-to-use online platform with the expertise of a regulated law firm, we offer a quick and affordable way to handle your entry clearance application.

Our network of experienced immigration lawyers is on hand to provide clear, personalised advice for your situation.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation to discuss your entry clearance needs and how we can assist you.

What is entry clearance?

Entry clearance is the process that decides whether a non-UK national can enter the United Kingdom either to work, study, join family, or come on holiday.

Why is entry clearance necessary?

Entry clearance helps the UK government control the number of people entering the country and ensures only individuals who meet specific eligibility criteria enter the UK.

It enables the authorities to verify and control the reasons for which people are entering the UK, whether for tourism, work, study, or family reunification.

How does the entry clearance application process work?

Visa application

Entry clearance involves applying for a visa that matches your intended purpose of travel to the UK. This could include work, student, family, or visitor visas.

Each visa category has specific eligibility criteria, supporting documents, and conditions that must be met for the application to be approved.

Pre-entry assessment

Entry clearance is an assessment conducted by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to decide if someone meets the requirements to enter the UK and will follow immigration rules.

It involves a detailed evaluation of the applicant's background, including their financial situation, criminal history (if applicable), and intentions for staying in the UK.

Biometric information

Applicants must provide biometric information, such as fingerprints and a digital photograph, as part of their entry clearance application.

For stays longer than six months, applicants receive a Biometric Residence Permit on arrival in the UK, which includes their biometric information and details of their immigration status.

Document submission

Entry clearance applications require supporting documents including proof of identity, financial stability, accommodation arrangements, and other evidence relevant to the visa type.

Application processing

UKVI processes entry clearance applications by reviewing the provided information and documents to decide if the applicant meets the entry requirements.

If approved, the applicant receives an entry clearance visa, typically in the form of a 'vignette' (sticker) in their passport, specifying the duration and conditions of their stay in the UK.

Who needs an entry clearance?

Most non-UK nationals planning to travel to the UK for work, study, family reunification, or other long-term purposes need to apply for entry clearance.

Visitors from certain countries may also require entry clearance.

Entry clearance is usually required for:

  • Non-visa nationals staying longer than six months;

  • Visa nationals for any stay;

  • Individuals coming to the UK for work or study;

  • Those joining family members in the UK or seeking to settle permanently.

Types of entry clearance visas

The UK offers a variety of entry clearance visas, each catering to different purposes and applicant profiles. 

Work Visas

Skilled Worker Visa: For individuals with a job offer in the UK from an approved employer. Applicants must meet specific skill and salary thresholds.

Global Talent Visa: For leaders or potential leaders in academia, research, arts, and digital technology. Requires an endorsement from a recognised UK body.

Health and Care Worker Visa: For medical professionals with a job offer from the NHS or other healthcare-related employers.

Innovator Founder Visa: For entrepreneurs with an innovative business idea endorsed by an approved body.

Study Visas

Student Visa: For individuals accepted to study at a recognised UK educational institution. Applicants must show proof of admission and sufficient funds to support themselves.

Child Student Visa: For children aged 4 to 17 to study at an independent school in the UK.

Short-term Study Visa: For short courses or English language courses lasting up to 11 months.

Family Visas

Spouse/Partner Visa: For individuals joining their spouse or partner who is a British citizen or has settled status in the UK. Requires proof of relationship and financial stability.

Parent of a Child Visa: For parents of a child who is a UK resident or has settled status.

Dependent Relative Visa: For elderly parents or grandparents needing long-term care in the UK.

Visitor Visas

Standard Visitor Visa: For tourism, visiting family or friends, business, or short-term study. Typically allows stays of up to six months.

Marriage Visitor Visa: For individuals coming to the UK to get married or enter into a civil partnership.

Other Types of Visas

Youth Mobility Scheme Visa: For young people from certain countries to live and work in the UK for up to two years.

UK Ancestry Visa: For Commonwealth citizens with a grandparent born in the UK, allowing them to live and work in the UK.

Transit Visa: For individuals passing through the UK en route to another country.

Each visa type has specific eligibility criteria, documentation requirements, and application procedures.

How to apply for entry clearance

Applying for entry clearance to the UK involves applying for the appropriate visa. There are several steps to the process.

1. Decide on the appropriate visa type

The type of visa you apply for depends on your reason for coming to the UK.

Common visa categories include:

  • Visitor visas

  • Work visas

  • Student visas

  • Family visas

If you are a founder or leader in a particular field, the Innovator Founder Visa or Global Talent Visa may be more appropriate, depending on your skills and business plans.

Regardless of which visa type is right for you, each category has specific eligibility criteria, such as English language proficiency, you may need to meet. So, before making your application you should check that you do.

2. Gather the required documents

Types of documentation you may need to support your visa and entry clearance application include:

  • A valid passport with at least one blank page for the visa vignette;

  • Bank statements or financial documents;

  • Evidence of where you will stay in the UK;

  • Additional documents depending on your visa type such as a job offer letter, enrollment confirmation, or proof of relationship.

3. Complete the online application

In most cases, you can apply online through the UK government's official application website by selecting the appropriate visa category.

During the application process, you have to provide your details, passport information, and information about your previous travel, visa, and immigration history.

You will also have to explain the reason for your visit and provide supporting information specific to your chosen visa type.

4. Pay the application fee

All visa types require a fee, which you can usually pay online using a credit or debit card. The fee you have to pay will depend on your visa type and length of stay.

You may also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. This covers access to the National Health Service in the UK and the amount varies based on the length of your visa.

5. Attend a biometric appointment

After submitting your application, you will need to book an appointment at a visa application centre to provide your fingerprints and have your photograph taken.

This is required for most visa applications.

6. Wait for a decision

The processing times for visas and entry clearance varies can range from a few weeks to several months.

You should be able to use the online tracking service to monitor the status of your application. However, you will be notified via email or text message when a decision is made.

If approved, your passport will be returned with the visa vignette attached.

If your stay is longer than six months, you will also be able to collect your Biometric Residence Permit within 10 days of arriving in the UK.

Tips for a successful entry clearance application

  1. Start the application process well in advance of your intended travel date.

  2. Make sure all information on your application form and supporting documents are accurate and complete.

  3. Seek legal advice from an immigration solicitor if you are unsure about any part of the process.

  4. Make copies of all documents submitted with your application.

  5. Regularly check the status of your application and follow up quickly if there are any additional requests from UKVI.

At Lawhive, we provide expert support to maximise the success of your visa and entry clearance application.

Our network of expert immigration solicitors can help you determine the most appropriate visa for your needs and make sure you meet all eligibility requirements.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation and find out how we can assist with your entry clearance application.

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Frustrating

It can be take days or weeks to hear updates from your solicitor.

Outdated and offline

Offline and slow procedures will require you to visit firms in-person.

No support

No dedicated support team. You'll have to deal with issues on your own.

Do I need a solicitor for an entry clearance application?

There is no legal requirement to use an immigration solicitor for an entry clearance application to the UK.

However, the UK visa application process can be complex and demanding, with very specific requirements and strict deadlines. As such, professional legal assistance and advice can significantly increase your chances of success, particularly if you aren't sure which visa is appropriate for you.

Benefits of using a solicitor for your entry clearance application

Expert knowledge and experience

Each visa category has unique eligibility criteria and documentation requirements. Furthermore, immigration laws and policies frequently change.

A solicitor has expert knowledge of these requirements, in line with the latest regulations, and can help you make sure your application is correct and complies with current rules.

Personalised advice

Everyone's reasons for coming to the UK are different. As such, it can be tricky to know which visa type is right for your situation.

Solicitors provide advice tailored to your circumstances. Most importantly, helping you understand which visa type is most appropriate for your needs and how to meet all the requirements.

Reducing errors and delays

Errors can slow your entry clearance application down, or even cause it to be rejected.

Solicitors can help you complete your application form accurately and review all supporting documents to make sure they meet UKVI standards and are complete and properly formatted.

Furthermore, if any issues come up during the application process, your solicitor can advise and help you address them quickly to avoid delays.

Peace of mind and support

Visa and entry clearance applications can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if the stakes are high.

Knowing that your application is being handled by an experienced legal professional can provide significant peace of mind, alleviating stress even if challenges come up.

Further, solicitors act as your advocate through the application process, representing your interests and ensuring your case is presented effectively.

How long does the entry clearance application process take?

The timeline for processing an entry clearance application varies based on the type of visa, the applicant's country of origin, and the volume of applications being processed at the time.

As you might expect, certain times of the year may see higher application volumes, leading to longer processing times.

If you are in urgent need of a decision, there are priority services that may be available to you, which can significantly reduce processing times. However, there are additional costs for these services which you should take into account.

Can I apply for entry clearance online?

Yes, the visa and entry clearance application is usually done online.

Will I need to attend an interview as part of the entry clearance application process?

Attending an interview is not always mandatory for entry clearance applications but can be required in certain circumstances.

For example, applicants for spousal visas may have to attend an interview to verify the authenticity of their relationship with their UK-based partner. Further, visas such as the Innovator Visa might require applicants to be interviewed to assess the viability of business plans or the legitimacy of their investment intentions.

Occasionally, applicants from any country might be selected randomly for an interview as part of UKVI’s quality control measures.

What should I do if my entry clearance application is refused?

Receiving a refusal for your entry clearance application can be disheartening, but you may be able to appeal the decision or reapply with additional evidence.

Common reasons for refusal include missing or incomplete supporting documents or failure to meet the visa category's eligibility criteria.

Depending on the reason for your entry clearance application refusal, reapplying may be the quickest way to address the problem. New evidence or changes in your circumstances can also strengthen your application, improving your chances of success.

In some cases, you may have the right to appeal an entry clearance application refusal.

An experienced immigration solicitor can provide valuable insights into why your application was refused and advise on the best course of action.

How Lawhive can help with your entry clearance application

At Lawhive, we combine the efficiency of a tech-driven platform with the expertise of a law firm to provide quick, thorough support for your entry clearance application.

Our network of experienced immigration solicitors offers remote consultations to help you understand your visa options and eligibility. Further, should you decide to move forward with your application, they are on hand to review your application and supporting documents.

Efficient services

Our user-friendly online platform simplifies the application process, allowing you to upload documents, track progress, and communicate with your lawyer quickly and easily.

Affordable, transparent pricing

We offer high-quality legal services at a fraction of the cost of traditional firms, making professional help with entry clearance applications accessible and affordable.

Our transparent pricing structure means no hidden fees, so you know exactly what you're paying for and can budget with confidence.

To get started, contact our Legal Assessment Team for a free case evaluation and get a complimentary no-obligation quote for the services of a specialist lawyer.

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