Administrative Review (AR) – a request for a Points Based System application that has been refused to be re-reviewed by an independent Entry Clearance Manager.

Appeal – some visa applications come with the Right of Appeal when refused (such as Settlement), where an Immigration Judge will hear the case.

Biometrics – identifying information unique to an individual; includes fingerprints, photograph and sometimes iris scan.

British Consulate (or Consulate-General) – British representation overseas in a non-Commonwealth country, generally reporting to a British Embassy within the same country.

British High Commission – the equivalent of a British Embassy in a Commonwealth country.

British Mission – a generic term for a British representational office overseas, be it an Embassy, Consulate-General, Consulate or High Commission.

Entry Clearance (EC) – permission for a foreign national to enter (the UK). For the UK this is in the form of a sticker stuck to one page of the holder’s passport. The Entry Clearance (sticker) will state what the holder is allowed to do in the UK and for how long. The layman’s understanding of this term would be simply ‘a visa’.

Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) – a person employed by UKVI to made decisions on visa applications, who will therefore issue or refuse each application. Generally stationed at a British Mission overseas (Embassy, Consulate or High Commission).

Entry Clearance Manager (ECM) – the person in charge of a visa section in an overseas British Mission (Embassy, Consulate or High Commission).

OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) – the government body that regulates all immigration advice and service providers in the UK.

Permission – a general term introduced Dec 2020 that can mean a visa to enter, or a visa to stay, or permanent residency

Points Based System (PBS) – introduced in 2007-09 in the UK; to obtain permission to enter the UK (Entry Clearance) to work or study, the applicant must gain a set number of points in various areas (such as qualifications or experience).

Tiers 1,2,4,5 – different applications under the Points Based system:
Tier 1 – for high value migrants
Tier 2 – for migrants with sponsorship from a UK employer
Tier 4 – for students
Tier 5 – for temporary workers

UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) – the government agency responsible for all immigration to the UK; formerly known as the UK Border Agency or UKBA

United Kingdom (UK) – includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland

VAC – Visa Application Centre, usually run by a commercial partner of UKVI, either Teleperformance (TLS) or VFS Global

Visa – required by certain nationalities in order to transit or visit (the UK); in the UK it is a sticker that is stuck to one page of the holder’s passport.

Visa section – the department within a British Mission (generally overseas) where applications for visas and Entry Clearance are submitted.

About Nikki de Prey

de Prey Consulting is an immigration consultancy based in Edinburgh, UK. Nikki advises clients on the variety of visa applications for entering or remaining in the UK. For more information read about her background in About dPC.