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Russian Immigration Advice: Applying to Live in the UK

April 22, 2017

The following article is intended to highlight the stages involved in the visa application process for Russian citizens wanting to immigrate to live in the UK. There are many different ways to apply, depending on each applicant’s circumstances and requirements.

An increasing number of Russians are wanting to make the move to Britain each year. Read on to find out more about what to expect when applying for standard visa applications from Russia.


You must initially complete a Visa Application form (VAF) online. Click here to access the form.

You will need to fill in this form before submitting the necessary documents to the British Embassy in Russia.

You will be asked to enter the following details:

  • Nationality.
  • Current location.
  • Purpose of application.
  • Type of application.

This information will direct you to the correct application form. It will differ according to the type of visa that you are applying for. You will also need to submit an Accompanied Self-Assessment form (including points based applications).


You must schedule an appointment at your nearest Visa Application Centre in order to enrol your biometric data (such as fingerprints and photographs) to submit your visa application. You should generally take the earliest date available, or the date that is most convenient for your preferred travel dates, taking into account the handling times. We would recommend applying in advance of your intended trip. The sooner you apply for your entry clearance visa, the less likely any unforeseen processing delays will occur.

After you have saved and submitted the online application, you will receive an email with a unique application

ID number that always starts with GWF. Make sure to make a note of the ID number for future reference. You should then print out your completed application form and biometric appointment confirmation and bring it with you to the application centre. The form should be printed on good quality paper and you should ensure that the information does not extend beyond the margins on the paper. A bar code should appear on the final page of your printed visa application form.


You must attend the centre on the designated date and time to have scans of all 10 fingers and a digital photograph will be taken. The finger scans procedure is conducted via an electronic scanner and will normally take no longer than 5 minutes to complete. If you refuse to provide finger scans, the application cannot be processed. The photograph must be taken without glasses, hats or anything that will obstruct the full facial view. This digital photo is in addition the photo that you are required to submit along with your application. This biometric data is then checked against records held by the UKBA in the UK.

You should arrive at the centre no earlier than 15 minutes before your appointment. If you are too early, you may be asked to come back at the appointed time.


Once the biometrics has been taken, you will be required to pay the visa application fee (payable in cash only) and submit the documents required for the application. You must bring your visa application and supporting documents to the appointment and submit them to the centre when your biometrics are taken.


Once the UK Border Agency has considered your application, it will contact you via the email address supplied when you submitted your online visa application. You can either collect your visa application directly from the embassy or organise for the documents to be couriered.

This article is a general overview of the current requirements. Processes and timeframes may change at any time. As such, this should be treated as an objective guide and does not replace advice given in respect of specific cases.

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