UK visa application

The UK has a fantastic state sponsored health care system, some of the best schools and universities in the world and is a great place to start a business, which is why so many people choose to relocate there. We go through the UK visa application options.

UK tower bridge

A range of UK immigration options

Applying for a UK visa as South Africans

The UK visa application process for South Africans can be complex. These are some commonly asked questions ranging from UK visa applications for South Africans and UK visa fees, to tracking your application and the UK visa application center.  

The IHS helps fund the UK’s healthcare system. It’s very important to pay the IHS because this gives you access the National Health Service while in the UK. It’s generally paid as part of your visa application.

This card is very important as it acts as proof of your right to stay, work or study in the UK.

A BRP card is similar to an ID card and shows what your UK immigration status is. It includes your biographic details, biometric information and whether or not you can have access to public funds.

You must collect your BRP card 10 days after you arrive in the UK, or before your 30-day vignette expires. It is crucial that you fetch your BRP card within this time. If you do not, you may have to pay a costly fine or even risk your visa being cancelled.

You must collect your BRP card from the post office nearest to the UK address on your UK visa application.

Start your UK visa application 90 days before your intended date of arrival in the UK. Your visa can take anything from 10 days to three months to be granted after you have lodged your application with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

There is a fast-track offering by UKVI which ensures your application will be processed as quickly as five days to three weeks at an additional fee. This does not include the time it takes for postage.


This fast-track service is particularly useful if you need your passport (or other original documents) for another purpose. It ensures they are returned to you as quickly as possible.  

Allow yourself a minimum of 10 days in the UK before planning to travel elsewhere. This gives you enough time to collect and secure your BRP card.  

As per the requirements for South African citizens applying for a UK visa, you must you must submit your original documents; certified copies will not be accepted. Failing to submit the original documents means your application and UK visa status will be delayed until the originals are provided.