UK Visa Application in Qatar

Check Updated UK Visa Application Process (Feb 2014)

 

I’ve just applied UK Visa (Business Visa) few weeks ago in Qatar. UK Visa application is managed/ processed by a visa application center (VFS Global)  in Doha, not by direct application to UK Embassy like for Schengen Visa in France Embassy.

Here is the process.

1.       Understand if you need a visa

UK Border Agency http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/  and http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/qatar/?langname=UK%20English  are the first starting points to know which visa needed for certain type of visit (Visit, Study, Work, Join Family, or Transit). This page in UKBA website ask 3 questions to let you know the type of visa for your visit: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/do-you-need-a-visa/

Why do you want to come to UK?  – What passport do you hold? – Where do you currently live?

Answer respectively with: Visit – Indonesia – Qatar, for my case, shows that Yes, I need a visa to visit UK.

2.       Understand the type of visa

Another page in UKBA http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/visiting/ describes the different categories of visitor to the UK and helps choose which visa category is the most suitable.

If you want to visit the UK as a tourist, for an example, or to stay with friends in the UK, you should apply to come to the UK as a general visitor (or as a child visitor if you are under 18).

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.  UKBA strongly advise not to confirm your travel arrangements until you have received your visa. To find out how long the visa processing time, visit this page http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/qatar/processing-times/?langname=UK%20English

They have service standards for processing UK visa applications in Qatar. Their standards say that they will process:

  • 90 per cent of non-settlement applications within 3 weeks, 98% within 6 weeks and 100% within 12 weeks of the application date; and
  • 95 per cent of settlement applications within 12 weeks and 100% within 24 weeks of the application date.

Please note they define one week as 5 working days.

If their visa processing service is experiencing delays, they will publish a news story on their website to explain what is happening (see right tab on the website)

I was told that processing time is 10-15 working days but I’ve got business visa in 1 day (the next day!).

3.       Prepare Required Documentation

Details of requirements, documentations can be found by clicking the respective visa categories on the same page. For general visitor: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/out-of-country/visitors.pdf

Typical documentation requirements are basically categorized into:

  1. Information about you: a valid travel document or passport, one passport sized photograph (this must comply with photo guidance – can be found at the back of application form), evidence of your permission to be in the country (i.e. residence permit), previous passport if any (had been granted US Visa, Schengen Visa may speed up and increase probability of getting a visa), evidence of your current employment (i.e.  a letter from employer, salary slips)
  2. Information about your finances and employment: bank statement, bank letter or balance certificate, payslips, tax returns, evidence of income from property or land if any
  3. Accommodation and travel details: details of accommodation and return travel bookings
  4. Information about your visit to UK: Depending on the reason for your visit, you may wish to provide some of documents to help to show them what you plan to do while you are in the UK.

4.       Complete and Submit Visa Application Online.

You must complete and submit the application form online through this page:

http://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/ApplyNow.aspx

 

It is suggested that your supporting documentation come handy to facilitate completing the application form online. Even better, print application form, fill it and complete on hard copy, and you just copy what you have written.

Application form for:

General Visitor: http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/resources/en/docs/1903073/VAF1A

Business Visitor: http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/resources/en/docs/1903073/VAF1B

You will need to print out and sign your completed form. If you do not have access to a printer when you apply, you will be able to log in and print out the form later. When you have completed your online application, you will receive an email message containing your application number (also known as a ‘GWF reference’). Please make a note of this number.

5.       Pay Online

The following page explain how much your visa application will cost.

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/qatar/fees/?langname=UK%20English

From 6 February 2012 you can only pay the visa application fee online in US dollars by Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card. They cannot accept any other types of credit or debit cards. When your online payment has been taken, you will receive a confirmation email from their payment provider WorldPay. You must submit a printout of this email as proof of payment when you submit your application at the visa application center.

As indicative:

  • General/Business Visitor, Short Term Visit up to 6months, Single or Multiple Entry: USD129
  • General/Business Visitor , Longterm Visit up to 2 years, Single or Multiple Entry: USD446

6.       Make an Appointment

Once you’ve done with completing and submitting visa application online, you need to book an appointment at visa processing center to submit visa application form and any supporting documentation. Submission timing is 08.00 – 15.00hrs and working days: Sunday – Thursday

You can book an appointment in 1 of the 3 following ways:

  1. Online using the link UK Visa Information –Appointment or

VFS website: http://www.vfs-uk.com.qa/ under “Book an Appointment” sidetab

https://www.vfs.firm.in/qt-apptsystem/appscheduling/appwelcome.aspx

2. Telephone: +974 4 4626291 (VFS operate contact centre).

3. Email: info.ukqa@vfshelpline.com

If you are part of a family or group, each member of the family or group must make an individual appointment. For example, if you are a family of 4 with 2 adults and 2 children, you must make 4 individual appointments.

There are three types of appointments that you can opt for:

  1. Normal appointments
  2. Premium Service Appointments In Qatar – Additional charge of QAR 275.00. (basically appointment with separate lounge, photocopy service, refreshment, and quicker submission)
  3. Prime Time Appointment In Qatar – Additional charge of QAR 180.00 (basically appointment outside office hours: 07.00-08.00am, or 15.00-16.00hrs). See details on Additional Services on VFS website

7.       Visit visa application center NOT EMBASSY to submit application

VFS Global is UK visa application center. I found out that they also provide services for Australian Visa application.

Please arrive at the Visa application center not earlier than 10 minutes before the given time.

Please remember to carry: your current and previous passport if any, a completed and signed online visa application form, the right specification of your photograph, supporting documentation based on the visa category, payment receipt (payment for additional services is only in cash at the visa application center).

Location:

Sherif Building, 5th Floor,

Toyota Signals (C-Ring Road – Airport Road Intersection),  Behind KEO Building

Doha, Qatar

Map: http://www.vfs-uk.com.qa/images/qatar.gif

Please note that sealed packages and all battery operated gadgets are not permitted such as cameras, mp3 players, laptops.

There are 6 desks to serve applicant with 2 biometric counters. An applicant aged above 5 years must come in person to complete their biometric which is a 10 digit finger scan and a digital photograph at the visa application center.

Once done, you will receive reference slip that can be used to track the status of your application.

8.       Track Your Application

You can track your application on the VFS website http://www.vfs-uk.com.qa (under “Track Your Application” sidetab) using the reference number DOH/xxxxxx/xxxxxx/x, which is on your original receipt, and your date of birth.

The center offers sms tracking service (at 8 QAR) to track the application. You may inquire from them.

9.       Collect passport

Once you check that your passport ready you may collect it from the center at 15:00-16:00hrs. Please check if your visa information is correct and your previous passport (if submitted) returned, before leaving the center.

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14 thoughts on “UK Visa Application in Qatar”

  1. Thanks a lot for the information….
    could u please explain if my family friend is paying for all my expenses in the visit… what should i explain, why they are paying??? I am in qatar with visit visa and he is paying for my all expenses here too…
    Thanks…

    1. I am not sure if I know the answer. You may just explain that your friend did it as a courtesy to host you there.

  2. Very informative and accurate infos. And yeah, they’ll say 8 days for processing but in some other cases, including mine and a friend took only 1 day, we got the visa the following day after the submission of application & documents.

  3. I applied as business visitor and its more than 10 days still waiting. my last two visit got the same visa very next day.. unsure what happen now… wait is the only option. so advise to all, apply in advance keeping this unexpected delays.

  4. Hey . My mother is on visit in Doha on 6 month visit visa. Can we apply for her visa to the UK from here along with us ? We have a valid RP but mom does not.

    1. It may be possible by providing a proof of permission to be in the country which in this case is your mother visit visa.

  5. Hey
    I have a series qustion,,,,,
    I did fill the application online and i have reached to the last level which is ” payment ” and it have to be done online so I can print off the application. I did use my viza card for many times to have this payment done but there was a problem and I couldnt pay online I called my bank and thy told me I cant use my visa to pay throw the internet..
    now the worldPay has blocked me and I cant do it anymore..
    What should I do now?!
    Please help me with the answers

    Thanx

  6. Good Information. Very nicely explained.

    I am an Indian national and I am planning to go to UK for in mid of March along with my family (wife and 2 kids). Purpose is to visit tourist attractions in and around London and planned for 10 days. I applied submitted my applications in VFS office on 16th Feb 2015. They told me it will take 15 working days (that is going to be more than 3 weeks in calendar). I believe (and hope so) the 15 days they mentioned is the maximum provided my application is complete. Any clue how long it normally takes from any previous experience?

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