A person who is not from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland may wish to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa as a tourist, on business, for leisure e.g. visiting family, to get married or for a special reason such as receiving private medical treatment. This visa is generally granted for up to six months, however, in certain circumstances you may be able to stay in the UK for longer, for example, when visiting for private medical treatment this could be extended to 11 months. If you need to visit the UK regularly over a longer period, you can apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa that lasts 2, 5 or 10 years. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit. There are not many rights attached to this visa, such as no option to bring family members with you during your visit
This has become a generic application for a variety of visa types therefore eligibility requirements will differ depending on what you intend to do in the UK. Generally, you must have adequate funds to support yourself during your visit and the ability to finance your return. We recommend you speak to an immigration expert to seek advice on your application and options. Call us on 020 7887 1916 or alternatively complete the online contact form.
We will assist you with all aspects of your application, advising on options, collecting documentation and evidence and ensuring sufficient evidence is being submitted with your application. Your application will be supported with a Letter of Representation that we will include, highlighting relevant UK law and the merits of your application. We will work with you to maiximise your chances of a successful outcome.
No, you will not be able to bring dependants with you to the UK on this visa.
However, if you study in the UK using the Tier 4 Student Visa rather than the Short-Term Study Visa, you will be eligible to bring dependants to the UK with you.
Eligibility to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa will depend on what you intend to do whilst you are in the UK. You must also have sufficient funds to support and accommodate yourself and to be able to meet the cost of your return or onward journey.
If you want to come to the UK as a tourist or to visit friends you should apply as a general visitor (or child visitor if you are under 18). This visa is for those who want to enter the UK but are not engaged in any professional activity such as business, sport or entertaining.
You will need to obtain a General Visitor Visa if:
Apply from outside the UK online
You must apply online. As part of your online application, you need to book an appointment at a visa application centre. You’ll have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at your appointment.
You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you’re in - check with your visa application centre.
If you want to visit members of your family in the UK you can apply to come here under a Family Visit Visa (or Child Visitor Visa if you are under 18) although you must be able to demonstrate that you are visiting a close relative or partner, otherwise you will need to apply as a general visitor.
If you want to come to the UK for work purposes, eg, an overseas meeting or UK site visit, you must apply for a Business Visitor Visa. This includes academic visitors, religious workers and doctors undertaking clinical attachments. You must be able to show that you are based and receive your salary from abroad.
You may also be eligible to apply for a permitted Paid-Engagement Visitors Visa.
More information on Business Visitor Visas
In January 2018, the Home Office decided to withdraw the Prospective Entrepreneur Visa. This means that those applying for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur Visa) would not be able to come to the UK for an initial six months. This could make securing the initial funds or other requirements slightly more difficult.
However, in June, the Home Office announced that there would be a new Startup Visa route beginning in 2019. Not much is known about this visa route currently, to find out more, see our page on the Startup Visa.
For more advice on beginning your Entrepreneur Visa application, contact our specialist lawyers today.
If you have a specific reason for coming to the UK, eg, receiving private medical treatment or getting married/registering a civil partnership, you may be able to apply as a special visitor.
If you do not intend to leave soon after the ceremony and your prospective partner is a British Citizen or has settled status in the UK, you will need to apply as a Fiancé(e) or Proposed Civil Partner and after the ceremony switch onto the category of Spouse or Civil Partner.
If you are under 18 and want to come to the UK for less than six months, including to study, you must apply under the Child Visitor category.
More information on Child Visitors Visas
As a general rule, you will not be able to extend your UK Visitor Visa in-country, unless you were granted a visit visa of less than six months. In which case you can extend your visit visa in the UK to reach the maximum six months.
Under a UK Visitor Visa, you will be able to stay in the UK for a maximum period of six months, although you may get a Visitor Visa that lasts for one, two, five or ten years if you need to make repeat visits to the UK. Even with one of the longer visas, each individual visit to the UK must not last longer than the maximum six month period.
Under a UK Visitor Visa, you will need to leave after six months and then re-apply in your country of origin if you need extra time for your visit. It is not possible to extend your visit visa whilst still in the UK.
If you are looking to remain in the UK for longer than six months, we would suggest that you speak to an immigration expert to discuss other visa options that may be more suitable for your trip.
If your spouse is an EU national or a native of Switzerland, then you can apply to stay in the UK with your spouse/partner, although there are requirements that will need to be met in order for you to do so.
If your partner or spouse is from outside the EU or (Switzerland) then you will need to consult an immigration lawyer to properly discuss your options. For further information on the requirements needed to apply, or if your spouse/partner is living in the UK on a visa from outside of the EU, then speak to one of our immigration experts who will be able to advise you on the best option to suit your situation.
We understand that it can be difficult finding which type of Visitor Visa is best for you. If you are struggling, try using our Visa Wizard, which will help decipher the best visa option for you depending on your circumstances.
Applying for a Visitor Visa can often be complex, as you must demonstrate sufficient evidence to the Home Office of your reason for travelling to the UK. Our team of highly-qualified immigration lawyers can help guide you through the enquiry and application process for a Visitor Visa.
Our services include:
Contact us now on 020 7887 1916 or make an enquiry online to start your journey towards visiting the UK.
Our highly professional, dedicated and knowledgeable specialists will do all the hard work to make the immigration process easy and understandable so you will be confident about successful outcome.