Step 5: Visa Qualifying Requirements


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The next frequent hurdle that South Africans face relates to meeting the visa qualifying requirements. Selecting a visa – as detailed in step 1 (alone) is not the only hurdle that applicants need to address.

The next challenge is to build a case of supporting documents that will meet the visa qualifying requirements. Different UK visas have different visa qualifying requirements. To demonstrate that applicants meet the UK governments visa qualifying requirements, South Africans are expected to present paper based evidence.

To help proactively point out the basic qualifying requirements (summarized), the following can be said:

Visitor – Business or Tourism.

For applicants to qualify for the UK visitor visa, they need to meet the following 3 requirements:

  • i. Proof of ability to financially accommodate themselves in the UK
  • ii. Proof of intent to honour the visa rules
  • iii. Proof of need to return to SA at the end of their trip

Transit – Short stop over.

This is the least complicated application, when compares to all the UK’s visas. Applicants need to evidence the following:

  • i. Proof of travel arrangements
  • ii. Proof of flight arrangements
  • iii. Proof of visa compliance

Birth Rights – UK born relatives.

This applies to South Africans claiming ancestry working rights (as opposed to British nationality through descent).

  • i. Evidence of the 3 generations linking by birth.
  • ii. Evidence that the applicant meets the visa conditions and sufficient intent to accommodate themselves.
  • iii. Evidence that the applicant can suitably accommodate themselves without being a burden to UK public funds.

Student– Full time studies.

This particular visa gets the most compromised (when it expires). Hence the British government have made it deliberately administratively challenging, as a means to scare off “trouble makers”. Needed is the following:

  • i. Confirmation of acceptance of studies.
  • ii. Confirmation of sufficient funds to finance studies, accommodation and maintenance.
  • iii. Evidence that the visa conditions will be honored.

Family Dependency– Immediate family members.

This caters for South Africans claiming dependency on either a family members British nationality, EU nationality or their permission to live in the UK. To qualify:

  • i. Need to evidence a legally recognized family relationship.
  • ii. Need to evidence that the conditions of the visa requirements (which vary to each type of dependency) will be met.
  • iii. Need to evidence their ability to financially accommodate themselves in the UK.

Highly Valued Migrants– Investors and Entrepreneurs.

A big shift in UK immigration legislation now welcomes investors and entrepreneurs over qualified high earners. To qualify:

  • i. Applicants need to evidence access to the relevant investment capital.
  • ii. Applicants need to meet the demonstrate their ability to meet the visa qualifying requirements.
  • iii. Applicants need to evidence that they will comply with the immigration conditions.

Skilled Migrants– UK Work Permit.

Getting a UK job offer (alone) is not enough to get the new work permit (Tier 2 General). South Africans have quite a few hurdles to jump through in this “updated” category. Need to qualify is the following:

  • i. Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship issued from UKVI.
  • ii. Evidence that the maintenance requirement will be met (proof of supporting funds).
  • iii. Evidence that the job offer matches the minimum requirements set out by Standard Occupational Classification (we are not making this up – it actually exists).

Temporary Work– Charity, Sports and Religious Workers.

This caters for South Africans that have received Tier 5 sponsorship from UK employers. To qualify therefore:

  • i. Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship issued from UKVI.
  • ii. Evidence that the applicant will honour the conditions (and will not try extend their stay at the end of the 12 month visa).
  • iii. Need to evidence their ability to financially accommodate themselves whilst in the UK.

Now that the visa qualifying requirements have been addressed and you are confident that the visa requirements can be met, the next step is to address where the UK Visa Application Centre (VAC)’s are located.

The next step (Step 6 of 12) is: Where to Apply.


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Contact Move Up

If you have any further visa related questions, call +27(0) 21 761 4608 now.

Alternatively email info@moveup.co.za for general visa inquiries.