Visitor visas are the most popular visas for individuals coming to the UK for tourism, business, visiting family members etc.

Changes to this category were implemented 27 November 2008. The change was made to ensure that visitors clearly understand the range of activities they are allowed to undertake whilst in the UK on a visitor visa.

Visitor Visa

Why you should visit UK.

There are many reasons why individuals come to visit the UK. Individuals come to the UK for sightseeing, visiting on business, to undertake a short course, attend important events, visit the UK as a representative of a company, conduct research, or sit tests/exams in the UK. People also travel to the UK to get married or undertake a civil partnership ceremony.

General requirements for UK visitor Visa

Individuals that intend on visiting the UK must be able to demonstrate that they wish to visit the UK for no longer than six months and that they will be leaving the UK at the end of the visit. In addition, individuals must be able to show that they have sufficient funds to maintain and accommodate themselves (and any dependants) without assistance from UK public funds.

The only exception is for ‘academic visitors and ‘parents of children at school in the UK” who are entitled to stay in the UK for up to 12 months. There is also a concession for student visitors undertaking an English language course that are longer than 6 months but not longer than 11 months.

Categories of the “Visitor Visa”

It’s important that if you’re intending to visit the UK that you apply for the appropriate category of visitor visa before entering the country as you’re required to comply with the conditions of your visa. Any breach of visa conditions during your stay in the UK may result in adverse consequences; and it’s therefore vitally important that purpose of visit reflects the category of visa you’re applying for.

The different categories of “Visitor Visa” are as follows:

  • General Visitors:

    • Visiting Family
    • Visiting Friend
    •   Tourism
  • Academic visitors:

    • Advisers, consultants, trainers, trouble shooters who are employed abroad by the same company which has the UK branch
    • Individuals undertaking specific, one –off training in techniques and UK work practices or coming for business meetings/negotiations
  • Entertainer visitors:

    • This category is for individuals who intend to visit the UK for a short period of time to take part in cultural activities and events like musical events, charity events and art festivals
  • Business Visitor:

    • An individual who is employed in another country and wishes to visit the UK for a short period of time and engage in business related activities is entitled to apply in the capacity of a business visitor. Medical Treatment Visa: For those who are seeking medical treatment from a private medical practitioner. General visa: An ideal class of visa for those wishing to visit for a short period of time to meet friends, relatives or for tourism.
  • Child visitor:

    • All children wishing to visit the UK must apply for a visitor visa. The applicant must be under the age of 18 years and is permitted to visit the UK for a period of 6 months. This can be extended to 12 months if a child has entry clearance and is accompanied by an academic visitor.
  • Visitors for Private Medical Treatment:

    • A large number of visitors come to the UK for the sole purpose of having medical treatment is for a limited period of time. People coming on this visa require sufficient funds to financially support accommodate and pay for the medical treatment without any recourse to public funds. All arrangements should be made for the consultation or treatment
  •  Special Visitor:

    • Visitors for private medical treatment in the UK
    • Visitors intending to marry or undertake a civil partnership ceremony in the UK
    • Parents of a child at school in the UK General Visitors

General Visitors

If you’re visiting the UK to see family/ friends, or simply visit for tourism and sightseeing purposes; you should apply as a general visitor.

General visitors are now allowed to undertake up to 30 days of recreational, English language or academic study provided it is not the main purpose of their visit. Recreational study means holiday-type and leisure course such as horse-riding or pottery etc. Any other studies, such as English language, can only take place at an institution that holds a sponsor license under Tier 4 PBS or which is accredited by the Home Office.

A. Requirements

1. You will need to demonstrate that you only intend to visit the UK for a short period – no longer than 6 months.

2. You should intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit and demonstrate that you can meet the cost of the return or onward journey.

3. You must be able to demonstrate you have sufficient funds to maintain and accommodate yourself (and any dependants) without working in the UK or receiving assistance from UK public funds. Alternatively you can show that relatives/friends will be financially supporting and/or accommodating you during your stay. You or relative should also be in possession of funds to cover the cost of their return or onward journey.

4. They do not intend to charge for any goods or services.

They have sufficient financial means to support their stay in the UK without the need to take up employment.

5. There is no intention to engage in any form of employment and the applicant is willing to leave as soon as their tenure of visit to the UK has expired.

B. Documents required

If you wish to apply as a general visitor, you should ensure that you have basic documentation as follows:

  • If employed: Letter from employer approving your leave for a specified period. The letter should include details of your employment, duration, your position, salary etc. and should detail when you are expected to resume work.
  • If self-employed: Evidence of your business activities, accounts and financial credibility
  • If studying: Letter from institution confirming details of your course, start-finish date, dates of holiday period and the dates you intend to visit the UK
  • Evidence of ties to your home country – e.g. ownership of property, family ties/responsibilities
  • Evidence of your travel plans – ticket bookings, hotel bookings, itinerary
  • Bank statements for the last 3 to 6 months
  • Evidence of additional savings

C. Extension

The maximum you can stay in the UK is six months as a general visitor.

If your visa was granted for a period less than six months, you may apply for an extension of your visa which takes you up to the maximum six months.

Please note that upon the expiry of your visit visa, you are required to leave the UK. If you stay beyond the expiry date of your visa, you will be illegally in the UK and you will be considered an “over stayer”. This will have an adverse impact on your immigration record and may affect any future UK immigration applications. It could possibly even result in you being banned from re-entering the UK for a certain period of time.

D. Right of Appeal

Applicants can be refused entry to the UK as a general visitor and, if refused, will receive a detailed letter explaining the reasons for the refusal.

There is now no right of appeal against the Entry Clearance Officers decision to refuse an applicant’s visa to visit the UK, including a family visitor.

The only remedy now will be to make a Judicial Review. This is where a Judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by the British Embassy/Home Office in the High Court. If you wish to explore this option further then please contact us to arrange a consultation/meeting.

E. Our Services

  • We advise on the procedure of making a ‘general visitor’ application and assess the merits of your application.
  • We advise on the procedure involved for applying for visit visas for members of your family.
  • We advise on the evidence required for the entry clearance application.
  • We represent you in any visitor visa application.
  • We provide templates of supporting letters

We prepare the entire application/case from start to approval

To see whether you qualify for a UK Visitor Visa call us today on 0203 627 4777