Entry clearance is the procedure used by Entry Clearance Officers (ECOs) at British missions overseas to check, before a person arrives in the UK, if that person qualifies under the Immigration Rules for entry to the UK.
Visa nationals must obtain entry clearance before travelling to the UK unless they are; returning residents or have been given permission to stay in the UK and, after temporarily leaving the UK, return within the duration of that permission to stay; school children resident in an EU member state who are on an organised ..
A visa is an official document which grants you permission to come to the UK for a stated purpose (e.g. work, study, visiting). As such, a visa is a type of entry clearance, as is a family permit. Entry clearance is the process of checking a person meets the immigration rules before allowing them entry to the UK.
How long does entry clearance take?
Standard visitor visa applications are currently taking on average 6 weeks to process.