The materials required for a UK travel visa in US is not that different from that of Netherlands, Turkey, Canada and other countries. But the process is a little bit different. Basically, it contains the following steps:
1. Fill up online forms and schedule for finger prints and photos
On not popular days, you may find spots on the next days. But in summer, you may find you can’t find a spot on the next week or two. If you are in a hurry, you can try a different city (e.g. DC is usually less packed then NYC). You may find stops in the same city when you check back later, too. You can try your luck.
2. Go to USCIS for finger prints and photos
Yes, it is the USCIS. They use the same machines that take finger prints for checking your non-criminal record in US for the forms for UK. It is all digital. So don’t worry about getting ink on your fingers. Note that they take photos, too. But that’s not the photos that you are going to send to British Consulate.
The address of NYC:
USCIS ASC Manhattan Application Support Center
201 Varick St.
3. Send the form from step 1 and step 2 and other required materials to British Consulate General
You can find the check list here:
Basically, if you are on H1, you will need:
– Your original passport
– All your old passports
– Proof of employment. Check very careful for the requirement. It needs a statement saying that you have your vacation approved. Make sure you ask for vacation days early.
– Bank statement.
The address to send to (Note that it is different from step 2):
British Consulate General New York
845 Third Avenue
New York New York
4. Wait for your passport to be sent back with your visa
They will send you a confirmation email after they open your package (Note: not when they receive your package). For me, it took them two days. This email also tells you how long it may take to get your visa.
They will send you another email telling you that your visa has been approved. That took another two weeks for me. Some people say that they got that only a couple of days after the first email. I guess that depends on if it is popular vacation season.
That’s all. UK is a fun place to visit. I will share my experience in other posts later.