Visitor Visa Application

UK Visitor Visa

If you are a foreign national and you wish to spend some time in the UK as a tourist or to visit your family and your friends, you can apply for a Visitor Visa.

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Visitor Visa UK

If you’re looking to make a short term stay in the UK, then the standard visitor visa (UK) is likely the visa you’ll need to apply for. Visitor visas in the UK allow you to travel for short term stays of up to six months and can be used for leisure and business, among other reasons.

The visitor visa can act as a short term business visa, a tourist visa for UK holidays, an academic visit visa, a marriage visitor visa to get married or enter into civil partnership, and much more. If you’re coming to the UK for travel, tourism, leisure, short term business needs, or private medical treatment, then the standard visit visa (UK) will give you permission to come to the UK to do so.

If you need support with your visitor visa, you can contact our offices in London or Blackburn, or use our office finder to find your closest branch.

What Is The UK Standard Visitor Visa And Who Is It For?

  • Leisure – Are you a non-EEA national looking for a holiday visa? UK visas for international travellers can sometimes become confusing, but the standard visiting visa to UK territories will cover you for up to six months for any leisure purposes. Whether coming for a family visit, sightseeing, or general travel, your needs fall under the standard visa because it functions as a UK general visitor visa and UK tourist visa. To UK holidayers from non-EEA regions, the standard visitor visa is the path to take.
  • Business – If you need to enter the UK for short term businessrequirements such as conferences, events or business appointments, then the general visitor visa UK will allow you to travel to the UK to conduct your business here for a period of up to six months.
  • Other reason – The standard visitor visa can also allow you to travel to the UK if you are receiving private medical treatment, for instance.

If you’re not a citizen of either an EEA country or Switzerland, you may well need to go through the online application form process on the website in order to get a standard visa. UK visa eligibility can be confusing , however, and there are exceptions.

If you’re not sure whether you need the visitor visa for UK travel, we always recommend using the Home Office website to check.

What Documentation Do I Need To Prove My Eligibility For The Visitor Visa?

To prove your eligibility for the UK visitor visa, it’s important to provide the Home Office with evidence of the general requirements for eligibility as part of your UK visit visa requirements and application. As a non-EEA visa national, you’ll need to prove that:

  • You have full intention to leave the UK at the end of your visit and do not plan to stay for longer than six months.
  • You have evidence of any activities you intend to perform while in the UK, including business and other activities.
  • You can afford your inward and outward journey including flights.
  • You have access to sufficient funds in order to support and house yourself and any dependents throughout your stay without accessing public funds.

It’s one thing knowing what you need to prove, but it’s another thing understanding how to do so. Immigration rules are strict and the Home Office refuses a lot of visas on the basis of a lack of supporting evidence. Here at We Manage Your Visas, it’s our job to support you in understanding what you need to do to submit a successful application and how to go about it. Visit visa requirements for UK travel can be confusing, but we’re always on hand to provide guidance and assistance when you need it.

To have your visa approved, you’ll need to give details about your current and previous passport numbers or an alternative valid travel identification. Remember, however, that any documentation needs to be accompanied with a certified translation if it isn’t in English or Welsh. Additional documents you might need to provide includes:

  • Travel documents that detail the dates on which you plan to travel.
  • An immigration record and history of international travel. Visa UK laws require a lot of information to be provided.
  • An estimate for the cost of your visit as well proof of sufficient funds such as bank statements.
  • Your overseas contact details and address.
  • Details of any overseas employer company for which you are travelling to the UK.

The list continues, and the truth is that there’s no limit to the amount of supporting evidence that can help prove your eligibility and support your case. If you feel a little overwhelmed and want some support in putting your application together, get in touch with the team here at We Manage Your Visas. Our immigration lawyers are well-experienced and fully-qualified – no one is better placed to help guide you to visa approval.

Get in touch with our team of UK immigration specialists to find out how we can help you and your family.

How Long Should I Expect The Visa Processing Time To Take?

When planning a trip, it’s important to know what kind of timeframe you can work from. Whether you’re travelling to the UK for business or tourism from somewhere like North America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East or Africa, you want to know that your plans aren’t going to be held up while you wait for permission to travel.

You can submit your visa application to the Home Office between three months and 48 hours before you plan to travel.

However, the visa processing time can take often take up to three weeks for applicants outside the EEA and Switzerland. You can take steps to track the application processing period and view your UK visa processing status as it changes. It can be a huge relief to be able to frequently check your visa status. UK processing times are generally quick, but it’s good to keep on top of the ways things progress.

Whether you’re applying from a local visa centre or embassy, or applying via the online forms, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to have your visa approved as soon as possible.

If you’re travelling to the UK for an urgent appointment that you can’t afford to miss, you might want to choose one of the Home Office’s priority services: the Priority Service and the Super Priority Service. These ensure that your application is processed within five working days and 24 hours respectively.

These services come at an extra cost but are fantastic for making sure you get your visa decision delivered within a shorter timeframe. Not all countries offer these services, however, so it’s worth checking at a local visa application centre first.

If you need to visit the UK for business or tourism as soon as possible and you’re struggling to put together your business or tourist visa UK application, the team here at WMYV are on to help out.

Our qualified immigration lawyers can offer you a fantastic fast track application package with which they will make sure that your application gets submitted and processed as soon as possible with the best chance of success. This includes booking a Home Office Same-Day Premium slot for you, checking your required documentation, writing a Letter of Representation to the Home Office, and more. Just get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can help.

Can I Stay In The UK For Longer Than Six Months?

As a general rule, all Standard UK visitor visas are short term visas limiting the holder to a maximum stay of six months. Immigration rules also prevent you from bypassing this restriction by using the visitor visa or frequent or successive visits, but you are free to enter and leave the UK at will during the time that your visa is valid.

For visitors from the United States, China, Pakistan, India, and other non-EEA countries can, however, apply for a long-term visit visa for UK travel. These are available at an extra cost and can be held for a duration of two years, five years or ten years.

Beware that these visas still restrict you to a maximum single visit of six months or less. However, you can enter and leave the UK multiple times within the allotted time period. A long term visitor visa UK is a great route to take if you know that you’ll need to return to the UK multiple times within a certain period of time.

Non-EEA academic visitors and those receiving private medical treatment in the UK do have access to another solution for a longer-term stay. This is called the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). This will mean having to submit biometric information about yourself such as your personal details, fingerprints,  a photo, your immigration status and more, but will allow you to stay in the UK for longer than six months. This process is known as biometric enrolment and still requires you to prove evidence of sufficient financial support for your stay.

How Much Does A Visitors Visa UK Cost?

Before beginning a visa application, you want to know how much it’s going to cost for your visitor visa. To UK travellers from non-EEA countries, visa fees can vary. But the standard UK visitor visa costs are the same – £100. However, if you’re planning on staying for longer than 6 months, it might be that you’re applying for a long-term standard visa, in which case there are different costs involved:

  • 2-Year Visa – £376
  • 5-Year Visa – £670
  • 10-Year Visa – £837

International travelling can be costly as it is – you don’t want to overlook planning for the correct visa fees and finding yourself caught out when it comes time to submit your application.

Here at We Manage Your Visas, we often see applicants frustrated by visa costs – if you’re visiting the UK for a family wedding, holiday, or other short term stays, then costs can begin to pile up.

The website has a fantastic tool with which you can check the correct visa fees for your journey before applying, and we always recommend that applicants make use of this.

Appealing UK Visitor Visa refusal

There are a number of available options when it comes to a Visitor Visa refusal. These options are outlined in detail below:

  1. Re-apply for your visa with a new application
  2. Submit a request for an appeal (only possible on human rights grounds)
  3. Apply for a judicial review

The advantages of each option is explained in this table:

Type of remedyAdvantageDisadvantage
Re-applyA fresh application gives the opportunity for correcting reasons for error, e.g., documents not submittedAdditional cost of having to pay for a new application
Appeal on human rights groundsNot expensive, not likely to have to pay legal costs of the other party, can be a quicker option, sometimes can submit new evidenceThe judge makes factual findings and makes a decision about the case
Judicial reviewCan be expensive, risk of having to pay legal fees of the other party, entire process can be lengthyNo new evidence can be submitted, costs of the other party can be recovered if successful, other party may reverse their decision


Every immigration case is different, and it is recommended that you work with an immigration adviser to ensure that your case is given the appropriate attention, and all your circumstances considered.

For expert support and advice with your UK Visitor Visa refusal case, contact our specialist advisers today.

The Standard Visitor Visa Category Covers A Range Of Other Visas

The visitor visa allows foreign nationals subject to UK immigration laws to enter the country for a short period for a range of different reasons. This is because the standard UK visit visa covers a range of other types of visas for UK travel and various sub-categories of visas, including:

  • Family Visit Visa – For non-EEA nationals wanting to travel to the UK for a family visit, it’s necessary to apply for the UK family visitor visa category. As standard, this visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to six months to see family. When visiting the UK under the family visit visa, you aren’t permitted to work or claim public funds while here. You also can’t bring dependents with you, meaning that if you’re planning on travelling with other family members, you’ll need to make sure that each travelling family member has a valid family visit visa UK.

It’s also the case that UK family visit visas are difficult to obtain compared to other types of UK visa. For foreign nationals subject to UK immigration laws, family visas have very strict requirements and a challenging application process. You’ll need to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself throughout the duration of your stay, as well as provide proof that you fully intend on returning home at the end of your maximum six months stay. The family visitor visa (UK) requirements are difficult to meet, but our expert immigration lawyers can help you to make sense of the process.

  • Child Visitor Visa – Any non-EEA national under the age of 18 needs to apply for a child visitor visa before travelling to the UK. This is another visa that falls under the standard visitor visa category and is required for any under-18 with UK travel plans. Whether travelling to visit family or friends, as part of an exchange programme, or for education, the child visitor visa covers you for up to six months of UK travel. Visa applications for child visas need to be thorough.

Whether the application is being made by the child or the parent, it’s necessary to prove that the under-18 will have the necessary suitable accommodation and care during their stay. This might include proving they have sufficient funds and travel plans as part of the application. You also need to prove that the minor has a recognised parent or guardian who is responsible for their care in their home country.

  • Business Visitor Visa – It’s important not to confuse the business visitor visa with other UK work and business visas such as the investor visa, the skilled worker visa, or the tier 1 entrepreneur visa, for instance. If you don’t understand the differences between these visas, you could find yourself caught out with a valid visa that doesn’t actually allow you to do what you want when travelling to the UK. Visa visitors can often find themselves applying for the wrong visa. For example, the business visitor visa is quite limiting in that it only allows you to visit the UK on a short term basis – up to six months – and there’s a limited list of specific business activities you can perform while here.

For example, with a business visitor visa, you can attend conferences and training, complete academic work, participate in some sporting events, negotiate and sign deals and contracts, and carry out inspections, among other functions. However, you can’t do any paid work or access public funds while in the UK. You’re eligible for the business visitor visa regardless of whether you are working for an employer or self-employed.

  • Student Visitor Visa – If you’re a visiting UK visa national hoping to study on a short term basis, you’ll need to apply for the student visitor visa. Also known as the short-term study visa, this is a type of UK visa that allows you to travel to the UK to study for no longer than six months.This isn’t to be confused with the student visa, which allows foreign nationals to study in the UK for periods of more than six months but is instead measured on a points-based system.

Essentially, if you or the applicant plans to travel and study at a UK institution for an undergraduate degree or other long term course, the student visitor visa won’t cover your needs.

If, however, you’re an international student planning on studying for a maximum period of six months for a short term qualification, then this is the visa you need to apply for.

  • Visitor In Transit Visa – If you’re travelling to the UK as part of a ‘stopover flight’, we recommend checking your visa requirements by visiting the website of the UK Home Office. Visitor visas for travellers in transit work a little differently.

If you’re stopping in the UK for up to 48 hours before flying somewhere else, you’ll need to prove to immigration authorities both your right to stay in the UK for this time and your intention to leave. For this type of visa, UK immigration laws require you to provide travel documents and proof of your journey plans.

This kind of travel is known as ‘transiting land-side’, and falls under the UK transit visa category of the standard visitor visa. You’ll need this visa if you’re planning on passing through immigration control before leaving the UK within 48 hours.

When it comes to transit visas, UK immigration laws take into account a range of different factors.

Depending on your nationality, your airline, and the nature of your stay (whether airside or landside transit), your UK visa requirements can vary.

If you arrive in the UK for transit without permission, you risk being denied entry by an immigration officer.

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Frequently Asked Questions