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Considering applying for a visa? Your FAQs… Answered!

by 1st Contact | Jun 23, 2010
  • We receive a huge number of calls every day from people considering taking the plunge and living and working in the UK. And more often than not, the first couple of questions asked are pretty much the same. So we thought we’d equip you with heaps of info, even before you speak to a 1st Contact Visa Consultant!

    What does 1st Contact do and what are your fees?

    • We are the longest standing immigration and visa firm in our market!
    • We are registered and regulated by OISC – Registration No F2001-00004.
    • We receive regular referrals from the Australian, New Zealand and South African High Commissions.
    • We offer a no win, no fee policy!
    • Fees vary depending on the complexity and nature of the visa application.
    • We charge a flat fee – no additional or hidden charges!
    • Many of us have been through the immigration process before, so we know the ropes!

    Do I / when will I Qualify for Permanent residency?

    Permanent residency is obtained based on time spend on a valid visa in the United Kingdom either within 2 or 5 years depending on the visa the foreign national is on and provided they meet all the requirements at time of application.

    When in the application process will I need a passport?

    Your original passport is required for the entire application and you will need to remain in your home country while the application is processing.

    How long does it take to get a visa?

    Processing times for applications submitted in your home country will fluctuate year round and can take up to 3 months. We recommend that you make arrangements for your visa well in advance of travel and don’t book non-refundable or non-flexible travel until your visa has been approved.

    After my Visa is approved do I have to enter the UK immediately?

    The UKBA (United Kingdom Border Agency) advises foreign nationals to enter the UK within 3 months of the date of entry of their visa. It is however always up to the Immigration Official at time and port of entry to determine entrance approval. It is also important to note that the date of the expiry will remain the same irrelevant of when you enter the UK.

    What funds (maintenance) do my dependants need?

    Maintenance funds are the funds needed to prove the ability of a foreign national to support themselves and their dependants, without public assistance. The funds must be available funds and vary depending on the application. Currently such funds range between £533 and £2500 per dependant.

    How can I extend my stay?

    Depending on your current visa type, your current circumstances and various other criteria, extension options may be available to you. It is best in such circumstances to engage with a professional, experienced Visa Agent to determine your particular eligibility. With the new changes in the legislation recently, further opportunities may also come about.

    Do I have to be married for a certain period before applying for a dependency/spousal visa?

    Currently there is not a minimum period prior to applying for a Marriage/Spousal Visa, however it is imperative to be able provide proof of the relationship existing prior to the marriage.

    The perceived “mission” of applying for a visa puts many people off. But don’t let it stop you from fulfilling your dreams and goals. 1st Contact Visa Consultants are experienced and qualified to assist you throughout the entire process!

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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    South Africa

    Cape Town

    Regent Square
    Doncaster Road
    Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


    25 Richefond Circle
    Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8844

    United Kingdom


    One Croydon
    12-16 Addiscombe Road
    Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



    9 Yarra Street
    South Yarra
    VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

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