The UK visitor visa allows foreign nationals to visit the UK for a period of up to 6 months at a time for tourism, visiting friends and family, business, study, medical treatment, permitted paid engagements, as well as other purposes. There are several types of visitor visa and it is important to know which activities are permitted under each type. You must ensure to apply for the correct visa type depending on the purpose of your visit.
The Home Office increased the UK visitor visa fees on 4 October 2023.
|Standard Visitor – 2 years
|Standard Visitor – 5 years
|Standard Visitor – 10 years
|Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor
|Private Medical Treatment
Anyone who is a national of a country listed in the Visa National list (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-visitor-visa-national-list) must apply for a visitor visa before entering the UK.
Standard Visitor visa holders can stay for a maximum period of 6 months at a time. Those who apply for the 2-year, 5-year or 10-year visa are only permitted to stay for a maximum period of 6 months during each stay.
Transit Visitor is permitted to stay for up to 48 hours.
Marriage Visitor, Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor and Private Medical Treatment can stay up to 6 months, although those receiving medical treatment have the option of extending their stay within the UK if their treatment will last longer than 6 months. The fee for an extension is £1,000.
To successfully apply for a Visitor visa, you must show that you meet certain eligibility requirements, including that you are genuinely seeking entry as a visitor and that you intend to leave the UK after your visit. The requirements to be met are:
Whilst there is no standard set of documents required for the visitor visa, you must submit sufficient evidence to show you meet the eligibility requirements as above. The documents should be directly related to your purpose of visiting the UK. Usual documents to be submitted are:
Permitted Activities on a Visitor Visa
From 31st January 2024, the Home Office has expanded the permitted activities that visitors can carry out whilst in the UK. These include:
Most common reasons for refusal:
Visit visas can be refused for many reasons, including:
Visit visas do not generally have the right of appeal. This will be stated in the refusal letter.
In most cases, it is advisable to make a fresh application that addresses the reasons for refusal. Further evidence should be submitted with the new application to strengthen the application and directly tackle the reasons for refusal in the previous application.
If the Home Office has made an error in deciding the application, for example they did not consider valuable evidence that was submitted with the application, you can challenge the decision by Judicial review. The first step of seeking Judicial Review proceedings is to send a Pre-action Protocol Letter, also known as a Letter Before Claim, to set out the arguments against the Home Office. In most cases, with a successful Pre-action Protocol Letter, the Home Office can agree to reconsider the application, and lead to a subsequent grant of the Visit Visa.
A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with Visitor Visas. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or contact us today. We’re here to help!