Depending on what you plan to do in the U.K., you may or may not need to apply for a visa. Mauritians visiting the U.K. for less than six months do not need a visitor visa, though you can apply for entry clearance from the British High Commission in Port Louis to facilitate a hassle-free arrival. If you plan to work or study in the U.K., you will probably need to apply for a visa with the High Commission before travelling.
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Visiting or Transit
If you are a Mauritian national and plan to visit for a short time--defined by the UK Border Agency as less than six months--or if you are in transit, you do not need a visa to enter the U.K. At the border or point of entry, you must present a valid passport with at least six months until the expiration date, and you may need to prove that you can pay for your trip (usually, you can prove this by showing a credit card or a bank statement). You can also apply for entry clearance before leaving Mauritius by appearing in person at the British High Commission in Port Louis. As of June 2010, the commission accepted applications only between 8:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays.
The High Commission encourages Mauritian students to study in the U.K. and provides information on scholarships, loans and courses of study as well as visa services. You will need to obtain a student visa from the High Commission before leaving Mauritius. Go through the application process on the U.K. Border Agency website and then submit the listed supporting documents to the High Commission in Port Louis: a valid passport, a passport photograph, fee (in cash Mauritian rupees), any previous passports, evidence of financial standing, evidence of current work or study, monthly income after taxes, police report, acceptance by an educational institution in the U.K., any previous study in the U.K., any language certificates, education history, course expenses, estimated living expenses while in the U.K., if you have a sponsor (financial or other), sponsor's agreement, sponsor's financial status and sponsor's immigration status. All documents must be original. Some applicants may need to submit more information--be sure to confirm visa rules and requirements on the U.K. Border Agency website. The High Commission in Port Louis has a minimum processing time of five days but recommends that applicants submit 12 weeks prior to departure.
The High Commission provides information to Mauritians who are interested in working in the U.K., with specific attention to finding temporary work, understanding the tax system, using the health care system and budgeting for living expenses in the U.K. The rules and requirements for work visas change depending on what kind of work you will be doing and how long you plan to work, but in most cases you will need to have a formal job offer before applying for a visa. However, if you already have a U.K. work permit and will be working for less than six months, you do not need a visa. You also do not need a visa if you are entering as a temporary worker for less than three months in a creative or sporting category.
If you are in any other situation, you must obtain a visa and present a certificate of sponsorship. Refer to the U.K. Border Agency and the British High Commission Mauritius websites for the requirements, rules and regulations that apply to your situation, as well as current visa processing times (as of June 2010, the High Commission in Port Louis recommended applying 12 weeks before departure).
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