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Visitor Visas

There are many different types of visitor visas to the UK, mostly depending upon the purpose of the visit. Visits could be for business purposes, for study, or for medical treatment and for marriage. UK Visitor Visas are required by many foreigners wishing to enter the UK for short stays. Whether you need a visitor visa depends on your nationality, the purpose of your visit and how long you need to stay.

You can apply for a Standard Visitor Visa if you want to visit the UK:

  • For leisure (holiday or to see your family and friends).
  • For business.
  • Participate in sports or creative events.
  • Other (i.e. to receive private medical treatment).

You are eligible to apply for a Visitor Visa if:

  • If youre applying for a long-term Standard Visitor Visa.
  • You have proof of any business or other activities you want to do in the UK, as allowed by the Visitor Rules.
  • You are able to pay for return or onward journeys and any other costs relating to your visit.
  • You are able to support yourself and any dependents for the duration of your visit.
  • You will leave the UK at the end of your visit.

You must prove that:

  • You only ever need to come to the UK to visit, for example: holiday, see family or attend a meeting.
  • You plan to leave the UK at the end of each visit.
  • A visa shorter than the requested period may be given if you do not do this. You will not get a refund for the application fee if you get a shorter visa or your application is refused. Visas may be cancelled and a possible long-term ban on visiting enforced if your travel history shows you are repeatedly living in the UK for extended periods.

The Standard Visitor Visa has replaced the following:

  • Family Visitor Visa.
  • Business Visitor Visa, including visas for academics, doctors and dentists.
  • General Visitor Visa.
  • Child Visitor Visa.
  • Sports Visitor Visa.
  • Entertainer Visitor Visa.
  • Prospective Entrepreneur Visa.
  • Private Medical Treatment Visitor Visa.
  • Approved Destination Status (ADS) Visa.
  • If you visit the UK on business.

You are allowed to:

  • Take part in any of the business-related activities mentioned in the Visitor Rules.
  • Study for up to 30 days, as long as it is not the main reason for your visit.
  • Convert your civil partnership into a marriage.
  • Take part in an exchange programme or educational visit (if you are under 18).
  • Pass through the UK in transit (on your way to another country).

You are not allowed to:

  • Work paid or unpaid.
  • Live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits.
  • Receive public funds.
  • Marry or register a civil partnership or give notice of marriage or civil partnership.


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