If you are looking to come to the UK for reasons of tourism, visiting friends and family, for a business trip or for a short course, you will need a UK standard visitor visa. This visa can also be used for other activities allowed under the visitor visa rules such as private medical treatment.
Standard visitor visas are normally granted for up to 6 months. However, you can apply for a multiple-entry visitor visa for two, five or 10 years of validity; this type of visa will allow for multiple entries during the specified time period without needing to apply for a new visa for each trip. However, each stay in the UK must not exceed the stay specified on the visa; this is typically six months. Please note, you can also depart and re-enter the UK with a standard visitor visa as long as the visa does not specify that it is a single or dual entry.
People wanting to undertake short-term visits to the UK on a more regular basis sometimes over several years, a 6-month validity does not suffice. For example, if you have grown-up children that have settled in the UK who you will visit regularly, or if you are a business-person who needs to undertake business visits in the UK over a longer period of time.
In order to apply for a UK multiple entry visa, you need to fulfil UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) ‘genuine visitor’ requirements; this will need to be for the duration of the visa length for which you are applying.
In addition to the above, the rules state that you cannot live in the UK for extended periods of time through frequent or successive visits. Although frequent or successive visits have not been defined, your caseworker, as advised by the UKVI, will check your travel history carefully looking at the time you have spent in the UK to assess whether you are using frequent or successive visits to in fact live in the UK. For this, they will look at:
Some of the above may be difficult to assess for first-time visitors. However, not only will you be assessed on your initial application whether you are a genuine visitor, but also each time you enter the UK. This is because a multiple-entry visitor visa does not guarantee your entry into the UK for every visit; Border Force officers will determine your entry at each visit. For this, they will assess the following:
Please note, a multiple-entry visitor visa can be cancelled at any time if it becomes clear that you are exploiting the rules to use this type of visa to live in the UK for extended periods.
In addition, if you are under 18 when you submit your visa and immigration application, your multiple-entry visa will only be valid for up to six months after you turn 18.
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An application must be made online on the gov.uk site. Once you have completed your application, you will be able to provide your supporting information and book an appointment with a visa centre in your home country in order to provide the required biometric information.
A standard visitor visa for up to six months costs £100. A long-term visitor visa costs £376 for a 2-year visa, £670 for a 5-year visa and £837 for a 10-year visa.
Please note, even if you apply for a longer-term visa, a shorter period will be issued if UKVI believe that the duration you have requested is not justifiable. A partial refund will not be provided in these instances.
Applications are usually decided upon within three weeks, with priority services available in most locations.
If you have a genuine reason to visit the UK on multiple occasions, a multiple-entry visitor visa is a great option in order to avoid the inconvenience of applying for a standard visitor visa for each occasion. However, please note that these are not an alternative to a visa that allows you to reside in the UK as your main home of residence and they do not guarantee your entry each time you visit the UK. Your eligibility to apply for a multiple-entry visit visa, and your eligibility to enter the UK on each occasion with this visa will be determined by UKVI who will carefully consider your reasons for visiting and your background. In order to help ensure a successful application, it is paramount that you provide the correct supporting documentation.
A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm, with extensive experience with multiple-entry visitor visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or at Contact Us today. We’re here to help!