How does an American apply for a visa to travel to the United Kingdom?


Quick Answer

To apply for a United Kingdom visa, an American needs to fill out an online application at Visa4uk.fco.gov.uk, pay a fee, schedule and attend a biometric appointment, and mail her application and materials. For an additional fee, an applicant may receive priority visa service. A limited number of applicants can opt for 24-hour super priority visa service by attending an appointment in-person at the British Consulate General in New York.

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Full Answer

To begin the online application process, the applicant must create an account at Visa4uk.fco.gov.uk. Registration requires a valid email address.

When an applicant applies online, she books a biometric appointment at a U.S. Department of Homeland Security location where a representative takes her photo and fingerprints. The applicant is required to present a current U.S. passport and a biometric confirmation receipt, printed during the application process. Children under 5 are required to take photos but do not need to be fingerprinted. A Homeland Security representative stamps the biometric confirmation receipt at the end of the appointment.

An applicant has five days to mail a copy of her application form, her stamped biometric receipt, her passport, and supporting documents to U.K. Visas and Immigration. The applicant's passport must be valid and have at least one page with no endorsements.

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