I am a non-EU citizen, having a student residence permit from Czech Republic. At the moment I am doing an internship in Switzerland (CERN). Since the internship is less then 90 days, I can stay in Switzerland with my Czech permit and don’t need another visa/permit.
I have been invited to a job interview in the UK and need to get a UK Visitor visa to go there. The company assigned me a visa application consultant.
I want to apply from a visa centre in Switzerland. However, the consultant insists that I should apply either from a country of my citizenship or a country where I have a residence permit. Otherwise, they believe that my application is very likely to be rejected (just because I don’t have a residence permit/citizenship here). I don’t want to do that, since that would require me to go to another country in person, and also be stuck there for at least a week, since I must leave my passport with my application.
As far as I understand, legally it is totally fine to apply for a visitor visa in a country where I don’t have residence/citizenship. However, the consultant points out that it is strongly recommended to have residence and there is some document (“UK Visas & Immigration; Visitor: supporting documents guide”) where the following is listed as highly recommended to be provided with visa application:
“Confirmation of legal residence, if you are not a national of the country in which you are applying or your right to reside there is not included in your passport”.
I don’t have that, therefore they believe my application is likely to be rejected.
Are they correct here? Is it really a problem to apply from a foreign country?
This is covered under paragraphs 28 & 29 of the UK Immigration Rules https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-part-1-leave-to-enter-or-stay-in-the-uk Applications for a visitor visa may be made to any British Diplomatic Mission, British Consular post or the office of any person outside the United Kingdom and Islands who has been authorised by the Secretary of State to accept applications for entry clearance. So you can legally apply from Switzerland.
What may be concerning your visa application consultant is that typically for a UK visitor visa it matters hugely to be able to demonstrate strong ties to your home country/place of residence that show you have a compelling reason to return there rather than overstay in the UK. Going for a job interview in the UK inherently shows immigrant intent. So you should look to provide strong proof of your intention to leave the UK at the end of your visit.