I am asking about this vague statement that is mentioned on the website of UK.GOV.

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel. (source)

It says you can apply three months from your travel date. If I intend to travel to the UK on the 1st of March, can I apply for my visa in January?

Do they mean that you can apply in the three months that are preceding your travel date and you can’t apply earlier or do they mean that you can only apply for a visa before three months of your travel date and no later?

  • can you share a link to the statement ?
    – Max
    Oct 2, 2021 at 23:15
  • gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa
    – AHR
    Oct 2, 2021 at 23:24
  • 4
    It says ”the earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel”. Nothing vague about it.
    – Traveller
    Oct 3, 2021 at 8:16

2 Answers 2


The language is not vague because "three months before your travel date" is the earliest you can apply. For example, if you plan to travel on April 1, the earliest day to apply is three months before, or January 1. You may apply any time after that three-months-before date.

  • 2
    Though of course you should provide enough time for the whole process, which can take a little while in some circumstances, especially these days. So probably at the latest 1 month before to be safe, which gives a 2-month window.
    – jcaron
    Oct 3, 2021 at 13:05

I would consider 3 months as 90 days as this is typically how the Home Office/UKVI count things. In your case that would mean you could apply from the 1st of December.

I would also add that this 3 month rule is VERY loosely enforced. They are more flexible on this since Covid given the difficulties in actually being able to book flights, quarantine etc.

  • How do you know this rule is "very loosely enforced" ? Oct 10, 2021 at 17:46
  • @bon_vivant how sure are you that it is very loosely enforced? I ask since I have applied for UK visa more than 3 months in advance. VFS did accept my application and said this is not a ground for rejection but still seeking confirmation. Nov 30, 2022 at 19:35

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