Westkin Associates – Top 3 pieces of immigration advice for US nationals.
In this blog we will highlight the top 3 pieces of immigration advice for US nationals, this includes information on the rules, process and debunking some common myths.
1. Can I apply for a visa from inside the UK as a visitor?
The short answer in most cases is no. Although there are some limited circumstances where a migrant can extend their visa, due to receiving private medical treatment in the UK or if there is compelling compassionate circumstances, all other forms of visa applications cannot be made by visitors.
As such if you are in the UK and you wish to apply for your visa, you can use a lawyer to help prepare and submit the online portion of your application, however you will then need to leave the UK to attend a physical submission in your local US submission office. Once you have submitted you will need to wait for your decision before you can return to the UK.
As mentioned above there are some limited circumstances where an application can be made outside of the rules on compassionate grounds. For example if you have a UK partner whom is sick and/or you have a child together, it may be possible to show that it is in best interest of the family unit that you apply from the UK.
2. Where in the US do I need to apply from to get the fastest decision?
Technically all visa applications in the US and Canada are decided in the New York office, however there are currently eleven Premium Application centres where an applicant can submit their application, the only difference being that the processing time typical includes an extra day either side of the postage of the documents to and from New York. Currently there are visa application centres in:
▪ Los Angeles
▪ New York
▪ San Francisco
▪ Washington DC
The applications are conducted by a private company called VFS Global, they offer a range of packages and paid services from luxury car pick up to 24 hour processing. There is also a service for VFS to come to your location for a fee of around 2000 USD. You can visit the site to view the available services here.
Please note that you need to submit your application before you book an appointment for submission with VFS.
3. Can I travel after having applied for a UK Visa?
Unless you are applying using a priority service then there is an option to retain your passport during the decision waiting time. Now although travel outside the US will not affect your decision, it is not advised to travel to the UK as it is very likely that you would be denied entry at the boarder which would automatically refuse your visa application. Having your visa application refused would also mean that you would loose the application form fees that you have paid, although any payment you have made for the Immigration Health Surcharge is refunded.
If you would like to discuss more about your visa application or you have any questions about the visa process from the US then please contact us.
5th Floor, Maddox House,
1 Maddox Street
0207 118 4546