Our expert says:
I'd be interested to see what other people might have to say, if they have experience in this area. I gather the British passport and visa services are more efficient than ours, though ours seem to have improved somewhat recently.
Shouldn't you try to speak directly to the British Embassy about this, as they'd know exactly what their current rules are, and how they are being applied at present ? SOme agencies could be dodgy, and might charge a lot without necessarily knowing what they are doing.
Also, have you checked out the relevant websites which should give clear information about how long diferent visas take, how long they are valid for, and so on ?
I would hope a goodm travel agency could also provide the basic information about the rules.
A visa allowing you to work will probably be different from one allowing a tourist visit.
Its not clear from your message - presumably you already have your SA passport ? If not, get a move on about getting one !
I wonder - Britain brought in new rules making it harder for iksitors from SA and elsewhere, because our old passports were being far more easily forged. The newest form of SA passport ( I got one last year ) has electronically encoded fingerprint, photo, and so on, and was designed to be far more acceptable. Check whether it would be worth getting one of these ( if you existing passport is the old dodgy one ) if this would help
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