Apply for a British Overseas Territory or Commonwealth country visa

The Home Office have recently issued guidance how to apply for a visa for a Commonwealth country or British overseas territory.

Here’s what you need to know.

(Updated as of 15 January 2021)

What is a British Overseas Territory?

A British Overseas Territory refers to one of the fourteen territories which come under the UK’s sovereignty. Though these territories come under the UK’s sovereignty, they are not part of the United Kingdom itself.

What is a Commonwealth Country?

The Commonwealth, (also referred to as Commonwealth of Nations), is comprised of a free union of sovereign states which comprises the United Kingdom and numerous former dependencies that have opted to acknowledge the British monarch as head of their association.

Which British Overseas Territory or Commonwealth Country can I apply for a visa? 

If you wish to travel to A British Overseas Territory or Commonwealth Country, the UK government can accept and process visa applications for the following:

British Overseas Territories

  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Falkland Islands
  • Turks and Caicos

Commonwealth countries

  • Jamaica
  • Trinidad and Tobago

For other Overseas Territories or Commonwealth Countries, you will need to contact their nearest Embassy / diplomatic post or check the associated website for information on how to apply for a visa.

What should I do before I apply for a British Overseas Territory or Commonwealth country visa?

If you wish to apply, you must check the visa requirements pertaining to the associated territory or Commonwealth country you intend on travelling to.

How do I apply for a British Overseas Territory or Commonwealth country visa?

If you wish to travel to one of the 6 British Overseas Territories or 3 Commonwealth Countries listed above, and there is no local representation to help in the visa application, you must complete and submit an online application form. On the form, please note you must select the reason for the visit as ‘other’ and list the visa type as ‘Overseas Territory & Commonwealth’ to proceed.

How do I book an appointment for a British Overseas Territory or Commonwealth country visa?

During the process of completing the online application form, you will be prompted to pay a handling fee. Once paid, you will need to book an appointment at your nearest UK visa application centre.

Please note that if you are part of a group or family, everyone will need to make an individual application and an individual appointment.

Once completed, you will be issued an application number (GWF reference) via email. It is important to make a note of this.

What do I need to take to the Visa application centres when booking an appointment for a British Overseas Territory or Commonwealth country visa?

When you attend your appointment at the selected time, date, and location, you should take with you:

  • a copy of the appointment confirmation
  • the printout of your completed online visa application form, signed by you
  • your valid passport
  • 1 recent passport-sized (45mm x 35mm) colour photograph of your face, which meets the requirements in our photograph guidance
  • any supporting documents relevant to your application and a photocopy of each document including English translations

How long will it take to get a decision for a British Overseas Territory or Commonwealth country visa?

Processing times will vary dependent on the territory / country you wish to visit.

Please be advised that the above information is not exhaustive as there are more requirements and points to consider.

For more information provided by Bolton’s leading Immigration Solicitors on applying for a British Overseas Territory/Commonwealth country visa, send an email to info@compasslaw.org.uk or contact us on 01204 531 535 to book a telephone/Skype consultation. The fee is £30.

Thank you for your cooperation and stay safe.

Compass Immigration Law LTD:

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