USA to UK Visas

Life often prompts us to consider our options –

‘Are there better opportunities for me elsewhere?’, ‘Is it time to be closer to family?’, ‘Would an international degree help my career?’, ‘How can I be where my partner is?’  

The UK may be the answer for you!  Yet with increased immigration regulations, it is harder obtain a visa without assistance, and can be a painful process when it goes wrong.

Many of de Prey Consulting’s clients are traveling from the USA to the UK, for a multitude of reasons – a British partner, a job offer, to study, to work for a charity, or to visit. Some just want to know their options; others have tried to get a visa on their own and failed; others simply don’t know where to start.

At de Prey Consulting, Nikki de Prey is here to help you to whatever extent you wish! From a short phone consultation to the full preparation of a visa application, she will walk with you through the process.

Here are some of the commonly asked questions about coming to the UK from the USA:

I want to move to the UK, how can I do that?

If you have no specific links to the UK, then best to look at studying or working in the UK, either long-term or short-term.

If you have a partner who is British, or who has permanent residency in the UK, you can look at the Settlement options.

Do I have to be in the USA to apply for my visa, or can I apply from the UK?

If you are just visiting the UK you will not be able to apply for any visa from within the UK, you must return to the USA to make your application.

If you are already on a visa in the UK, and wish to switch your visa to a different one, you may be able to apply from within the UK, depending on the visa you are switching from and to.

How long does the visa application process take?

We usually advise our clients to allow 2-4 weeks to prepare their paperwork.  The time it then takes at the British Consulate in New York (or Sheffield if it is a ‘Settlement’ application for a partner/child/dependant relative) depends on which visa you are applying for. Anything other than Settlement usually takes up to 3 weeks.  Settlement can take up to 10 weeks.

However, there is an option to expedite your visa application when applying from the USA – usually 2-3 days plus mail time for all applications excluding Settlement, or 2-3 weeks plus mail time for Settlement applications (note, when in peak season such as summer and December these processing times increase).

How can you help?

de Prey Consulting can offer as much or as little help as you need, including to:

  • Schedule a phone consult to discuss your circumstances and your options
  • Talk you through how to prepare your visa application yourself
  • Conduct a document review once you have prepared the application yourself and before you submit it
  • Or walk you through the whole process from start to finish hand-holding you all the way!


If you have a query about coming from the USA to the UK, don’t hesitate to get in touch!