We strongly advise delegates to find out if you need a visa to enter the UK as early as possible, and should a visa be required, to apply as soon as possible as because the process can take up to 20 working days. The following link will tell you if a visa is needed: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa
Business Visitor visa:
You should apply for this category of visa if you are a delegate for the conference.
General Visitor visa:
Family members accompanying you on the trip to the UK for tourism should apply for this category of visa.
If family members are traveling for any other reasons, they should check the visa requirements page at https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/tourist-short-stay-visas and select the correct visa type.
You must apply and pay online for the visa using the link
You'll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as 'biometric information') taken at a visa application centre (VAC - see below) as part of your application. The application will not be submitted until that process has been completed. You will be able to book an appointment to provide your biometric information at the end of the on line application. Find details of your nearest visa application centre using this link https://www.gov.uk/find-a-visa-application-centre . In those countries where there is no visa application centre, you may find a Temporary Enrolment Location is available on given days or you may need to travel to a nearby country where a visa application centre is available. Should you live in a country where no visa application centre is available you should take account of additional timescales for biometric submission when considering when to apply,
In support of your application, you should gather evidence of your circumstances, employment, ability to meet the costs of the trip and the arrangements in the UK. More details can be found via this link to the guide to supporting documents https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visitor-visa-guide-to-supporting-documents
If you have already registered for the conference, we would strongly recommend that you include a copy of the registration confirmation letter together with conference invitation letter to these documents.
All UK visa applicants are required to provide their biometric information as part of their application. This biometric information consists of scans of all your fingers and a full-face digital photograph.
For current processing times select your country using this link https://www.gov.uk/visa-processing-times
We strongly suggest that you do this as soon as you can but not later than three months in advance of your date of travel to the UK for the conference. The end to end process, until the decision is returned could take up to 20 working days. You should be aware that UKVI processing times start from the day you submit your biometrics.
UK Visa and Immigration do offer priority visa services which allow you to receive your visa application decision quicker. If you choose this service, your visa application will be placed at the front of the queue once received by a UKVI decision making centre (British mission/UK ). The service is optional and to use the service you will need to pay an additional fee.
Important note : This service does not imply or guarantee in any way that by using the priority service you will be successful in your visa application. All visa applicants must meet the requirements of the UK immigration rules.
It is essential to mention your actual arrival and departure dates to the UK. Visas will normally be issued from the date of travel. Changes to the validity dates of a visa after it has been printed, may not be possible and could result in additional charges.
Clearing Immigration (after arriving at Heathrow and Gatwick airports) can be faster if you are a national of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand or the USA and regularly fly in to Heathrow or Gatwick airports.
You will need to apply to join the Registered Traveller Service, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/registered-traveller
Once you are registered you will be able to use:
• The ePassport gates (if you have a biometric passport)
• The UK/EU channel (at Heathrow airport) or the special Registered Traveller lane (at Gatwick airport)
• And you will not need to fill in a landing card.