Important Travel Document Information – Please Read
The UK Standard Visitor Visa is for people who intend to visit the United Kingdom on a temporary basis. If you wish to travel to the United Kingdom as a tourist or to visit family or friends, you should apply for this visa.
In addition to short-term business purposes, academic reasons, and private medical care, the Visitor Visa can be requested for a variety of additional circumstances.
In some cases you may be able to ask for an extension of your stay, such as if you are receiving medical treatment.
If you are in the following categories, you may apply for a UK Standard Visitor Visa:
- Traveling to the UK for a holiday.
- Visit family or friends.
- Volunteering for up to 30 days with a charity.
- Passing through the UK to another country.
- To negotiate business deals and contracts.
- Attending a conference, meeting, training, seminar, or interview in the UK.
What exactly is a Standard UK Visitor Visa?
The UK Standard Visitor Visa, often referred to as a UK Tourist Visa, allows you to stay in the UK for a brief length of time. This visa is valid from 6 months to 5 years depending on the duration you pay for. You can choose your desired duration which provides enough time to explore the UKs culture and heritage, conduct business and academic affairs, or get private medical care.
You can apply for visa a number of reasons, including:
- Short-term business purposes
- Academic reasons
- Private medical care
Visitor Visa Eligibility
To apply for a UK Visitor Visa, you must satisfy a few essential requirements, regardless of the Visitor Visa method you choose. This consists of:
- Evidence that you will leave the UK after your stay
- Having sufficient funds to maintain yourself and any dependents for your trip.
- Demonstrating the ability to pay for your return/onward journey
- Being able to provide specifics about any business or other activity you want to pursue in the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom is a country rich in heritage and culture that annually attracts millions of tourists. If you wish to visit the United Kingdom as a tourist, you should apply for a Visitor Visa. The Standard Visitor Visa is a tourist visa, allowing you to explore the United Kingdom for up to six months. Whether you visit the United Kingdom for tourism or seeing relatives, the UK Visitor Visa is the way to go. Citizens of OECD nations do not usually require a visa.
There is no need to apply for a Visitor Visa if you are a citizen of a restricted group of nations. This includes the countries of the EEA, many Commonwealth nations, and Switzerland. On the Home Office website, you can complete the examination to see if you require a visa.
The Standard Visitor Visa permits the holder to:
Participate in commercial activities connected to your visa.
Study for a maximum of 30 days (provided this is not the primary purpose of your visit).
Participate in an exchange programme or academic visit.
Transform a civil partnership into a wedding.
Pass through the United Kingdom.
The UK Standard Visitor Visa is intended for person/s entering the Uk for a number of reasons. Its not just tourism or leisure.
- You cannot receiving public funds.
- Marrying or registering a civil partnership is not permitted.
- You are prohibited from engaging in paid or unpaid work
- You cannot reside in the UK for extended periods of time through regular visits
For detailed information on what you can and cannot do on a visitor visa, please visit our guide.
- Tourism, such as a holiday or vacation.
- Visit family and friends.
- To volunteer with a registered charity for up to 30 days.
- Travel through the UK on your way to another country (in transit).
- For business reasons, such as attending a meeting or interview.
- Take part in a programme of school exchange.
- Enrol in a 30-day recreational course, such as a dance class.
- Study, complete a placement, or sit for an examination.
- As a professor, senior physician, or dentist.
- For medicinal reasons.
Visiting the United Kingdom for Business
If you want to visit the UK for a business trip. You must apply for a UK Standard Visitor Visa. This covers corporate conferences, events, and other professional meetings.
You can also apply for a Visitor Visa for the following business-related reasons:
-Accompanying students on an international study programme.
-A clinical attachment or observation role as a physician or dentist.
-Gain financing to launch, acquire, or join a business.
-Participating in a specific sporting event.
-Performing as an artist, musician, or entertainment in the UK.
-Taking part in intellectual pursuits, particularly research.
-In order to take the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board examination or the Objective Structured Clinical Examination.
For detailed information on specific parts of the UK visa process, you can refer to the links in the table on the right to find the answer to your query. If you are unable to find any particular information, please contact us via email.
Additional Requirements For a Visitor Visa
Please note that there are extra criteria if you are seeking to study or take an exam, or for academic, medical, or dental purposes.
For instance. If you are a doctor taking the PLAB exam. You will be required to provide a letter from the General Medical Council confirming your PLAB test registration if you are visiting the UK for medical reasons.
You will be required to provide evidence that you have made arrangements for consultations or treatment, that you have sufficient funds to pay for your treatment and that you will leave the country once your treatment is complete or your visa expires.
How Do I Apply for a Visitor Visa to the UK?
Online applications are accepted from all countries except North Korea. Your local Visa Application Centre will collect your biometric information, such as fingerprints and pictures once we have reviewed and processed your application details.
How long does it take to apply?
The processing time for a UK visa can be affected by various factors but the average processing time is usually around 3 weeks total from the day you attend an appointment. Appointment waiting times can be the biggest cause of delays when applying. Further delays can be caused if you submit incorrect or missing information.
If you need to modify or cancel your application
The provision of erroneous or inconsistent information in the visa application or the submission of such papers in support of the application is one of the leading causes of UK Visa application rejections. If after submitting your application but before attending the biometric appointment, you discover or it is revealed that you have provided incorrect or inconsistent information, you can either cancel the application or you can provide the correct information in a cover letter.
Visitor Visa Extension
You can apply to extend your visitor visa, but you must show that you have strong and humanitarian reasons why you cannot go back to your home country. For example, if you get seriously ill during your stay in the UK and need private care to recover, or if you came to the UK for medical treatment and your treatment is not finished on time.
If you are an academic asking for an extension for research, you must show that you still meet the academic requirements and give reasons why you need an extension. You can also extend your UK Standard Visit visa if you are a graduate retaking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) exam or doing a clinical attachment. You will need to provide written confirmation from the General Medical Council that you need to retake the PLAB exam and you may be granted a six-month extension.
After you pass the PLAB exam, you can apply to extend your stay to complete an unpaid clinical attachment or dentistry observer position. If you apply for this extension, you can stay in the UK for up to 18 months. You will need to provide written confirmation of your clinical attachment offer and evidence that you have not already completed a clinical attachment in the UK. A condition of this extension is that you do not treat patients.
Documents Required For a UK Visitor Visa
One of the most prevalent reasons why a UK Visa is denied is the failure to submit the proper documentation, here is a list of common documents required. However, depending on your circumstances more may be required.
- A valid passport or travel document
- Bank statements attesting that you have sufficient funds for your trip and return
- Evidence of your visit’s purpose
- Proof that you will leave the United Kingdom at the conclusion of your scheduled stay
What happens if your visa is rejected?
You should receive a letter from UK Visas & Immigration explaining the reasons for your rejection and the suggested next steps. Usually this involves simply re-applying for the visa and correcting any issues from your original application. You can read our guide which explains what to do if your visa is rejected.
Under some conditions, a Visitor Visa will allow you to stay for up to 12 months. You may be eligible for a lengthier stay in the United Kingdom if you are travelling for academic purposes or private medical care.
Those who wish to remain in the United Kingdom for up to a year as an academic must be able to demonstrate that they are highly qualified in their field of expertise and are visiting to conduct their own research, participate in someone else’s research, teaching, or clinical practise, or participate in a formal exchange with a UK counterpart.
If you visit the UK frequently, you may apply for a long-term Visitor visa. This visa is valid for two, five, or ten years. On each visit, you may remain for a maximum of 6 months. If you apply while under the age of 18, your long-term visa will only be valid for 6 months after you reach the age of 18.
A Standard Visitor visa obtained prior to travel from outside the UK is a multiple-entry visa, allowing you to return to the UK as long as your visa is valid.
The visitor is only allowed to remain in the United Kingdom for a maximum of six months from the date of admission (or up to the expiry date on the visa, whichever is soonest)
There are no restrictions on the number of trips or the amount of time tourists may spend in the UK in any 12-month period. If you spend more time in the UK than in your home country, the Immigration Officer may have reason to suspect you live in the UK.
Overstaying your visa without good justification is a criminal offence. You will not be able to work legally, and if detected, you might risk a jail term.
Your application for a visa will be denied if a caseworker has reason to believe that you are living in the United Kingdom through frequent or consecutive visits, despite the fact that there is no specific maximum amount of time you can spend in the United Kingdom in any given period, as long as each visit does not exceed 6 months.
The UK visa application process is the strictest and most scrutinised in the world. Each year, the UK Visas and Immigration receives thousands of visa applications that do not match the necessary criteria.
This visa allows holders to visit the United Kingdom for up to six (6) months, allowing them to experience British life and culture. They may be permitted repeated entries into the United Kingdom within this six-month period.
If you submit and pay your visa fee under ‘Standard’ and then decide to upgrade to priority, you should be able to do so through the Home Office commercial partner portal. However, if you have already secured your biometrics, you must cancel your application and submit and pay for a new visa application.
A visa interview is a personal interview conducted as part of the UK visa application procedure. Everyone must attend a visa interview after submitting an online application and supporting documents. It is used to determine whether you are a legitimate applicant. Interviews typically last approximately 30 minutes.