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I am a South African citizen planning on travelling to mainland Europe for three months and then London after that. The Schengen requires me to show the UK visa as it is my final destination country. However, I can only apply for the UK visa up to 3 months in advance. I will not be here to do that.

I'm not sure what to do - if I apply for the UK visa four months in advance, will it get rejected?

Will I have to apply for it while in Europe?

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How many months in advance can you apply for a UK Standard Visitor visa?

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.

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South African nationals require an entry clearance.

I'm not sure what to do - if I apply for the UK visa four months in advance, will it get rejected?

Yes, they are not allowed to forward date a visa beyond 3 months (Part 2 of the Immigration Rules). And they will reject the application (rather than give you a refusal). However, you can apply from any place in Europe given that you are in one place long enough for them to process your application. The processing time is usually 5 working days.

Will I have to apply for it while in Europe?

Yes, you would create an account and fill out the form. At the end the programme will tell you where to enrol your biometrics. Depending on your history, you MIGHT qualify for priority.


For the difference between 'visa rejection' and 'visa refusal', hover your mouse over the tags and read the definitions.

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