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Visitor Visa

Most travellers to the UK will require a visitor visa to stay in the UK for short trips The requirement for a visitor visa depends on your nationality, the purpose of your visit and how long you intend to stay in the UK. The UK visitor visa category includes a number of specific visitor visas that allow people to  holiday, visit family, get married, make a business trip, take a short course and much more.

UK Tourist Visa

A UK Tourist visa is for individuals who wish to travel to the UK to experience its culture and landscape. Visitors to the UK will need a tourist visa depending on their nationality, the purpose of visit, the duration of visit and their character record. Visitors to the UK who have a specific purpose for travelling to the UK may be required to apply for one of the many other specific visitor visas, such as a business visitor visa, student visitor visa< or marriage visitor visa.

Tourist Visa Requirements

To qualify for a Tourist visa, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and be visiting the UK for leisure. Tourist visa applicants must intend to visit the UK for no more than 6 months and show that they have enough money for their stay in the UK and their return or onward journey. Tourist visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.

Tourist Visa Entitlements

A Tourist visa entitles the holder to travel within the UK. A Tourist visa is usually granted for a maximum of 6 months and holders are expected to leave the UK at the end of their permission to stay. A tourist visa does not entitle the holder to work, conduct business or study in the UK.

UK Business Visitor Visa

UK Business visitor visas allow many international people to conduct a range of business activities in the UK for a short period. The Business visitor visa category now accommodates a number of closed visa schemes, such as those which existed for Academics and Medical Graduates sitting the PLAB test or participating in a Clinical Attachment or Dental Observer Post.

Business Visitor Visa Requirements

To qualify for a Business visitor visa, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and be one of the following:

  • A member of a film crew, such as an actor, producer, director or technician filming on location;
  • A representative of an overseas news media organisation, collecting information for;
  • An academic on sabbatical leave, taking part in an exchange, research, teaching or clinical practice;
  • A visiting professor accompanying students on a study abroad program;
  • A religious worker preaching or undertaking pastoral work and based abroad;
  • An adviser, consultant or trainer engaged by a UK firm through a company abroad;
  • A person receiving specific, one-off training provided by your employer or one of its UK branches;
  • A secondee from an overseas company with which the UK company has a contract to provide goods and services;
  • A doctor or dentist undertaking a clinical attachment or observer post;
  • A doctor taking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test;
  • A business persons carrying out any number of permitted business activities, including attending meetings, conducting site visits, accompanying a tour group, presenting at a conference, representing a company to repair or install equipment or negotiating deals or contracts.

All Business visitor visa applicants are required to demonstrate that they will receive their salary (if any) from abroad, with the exception of payment for reasonable travel and subsistence expenses while in the UK. Visitor visa applicants must intend to visit the UK for no more than 6 months and show that they have enough money for their stay in the UK and their return or onward journey. Visitor visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.

Business Visitor Visa Entitlements

A Business visitor visa entitles the holder to conduct a range of business activities in the UK. A Business visitor visa is usually granted for a maximum of 6 months. Doctors or dentists undertaking a clinical attachment or observer post will usually be granted a Business visitor visa for 6 weeks and extensions may be granted (to a maximum of 6 months). Academics will usually be granted a Business visitor visa for a maximum of 12 months. All Business visitor visa holders are expected to leave the UK at the end of their permission to stay.

UK Family Visitor Visa

A Family visitor visa is for those who wish to visit family members who live in the UK, such as parents, siblings, children, grandparents or cousins.

Family Visitor Visa Requirements

To qualify for a Family visitor visa, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and be intending to visit family members who live in the UK. A family member includes a:

  • Spouse or civil partner, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or cousin;
  • Spouse or civil partner's parent, sibling or child;
  • Step-parent, step-child or step-sibling;
  • Person who has lived with you as an unmarried couple for at least 2 of the past 3 years.

Visitor visa applicants must intend to visit the UK for no more than 6 months and show that they have enough money for their stay in the UK and their return or onward journey. Visitor visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements

Family Visitor Visa Entitlements

A Family visitor visa entitles the holder to visit family members who live in the UK. A Family visitor visa is usually granted for a maximum of 6 months and holders are expected to leave the UK at the end of their permission to stay. A visitor visa does not entitle the holder to work, conduct business or study in the UK.

UK Marriage Visitor Visa

A Marriage visitor visa is for couples who intend to get married or register a civil partnership in the UK and then return to their home country. Partners of UK residents or citizens who want to come and live in the UK with their partner after their marriage or ceremony are required to apply for a partner visa.

Marriage Visitor Visa Requirements

To qualify for a Marriage visitor visa, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and be intending to get married or register a civil partnership in the UK. Visitor visa applicants must intend to visit the UK for no more than 6 months and show that they have enough money for their stay in the UK and their return or onward journey. Visitor visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.

Marriage Visitor Visa Entitlements

A Marriage visitor visa entitles the holder to get married or register a civil partnership in the UK. A Marriage visitor visa is usually granted for a maximum of 6 months and holders are expected to leave the UK at the end of their permission to stay. A visitor visa does not entitle the holder to work, conduct business or study in the UK.

UK Student Visitor Visa

A Student Visitor visa is specifically for adults who want to undertake a short course of study in the UK, such as an English language or work-related training course. Those wishing to supplement their study with work or undertake longer courses of study in the UK may be eligible for a Tier 4 (Adult) Student visa.

Student Visitor Visa Requirements

To qualify for a Student visitor visa, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have been accepted into a short course of study (not more than 6 months or 12 months for English language courses) to be provided by an organisation that is included on the Register of Education and Training Providers. Visitor visa applicants must show that they have enough money for their stay in the UK and their return or onward journey (should it be required). Visitor visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.

Student Visitor Visa Entitlements

A Student visitor visa entitles the holder to undertake a short course of study in the UK. A Student visitor visa is usually granted for 6 months or 12 months for those enrolled in an English language course and holders are expected to leave the UK at the end of their permission to stay. A visitor visa does not entitle the holder to work or conduct business in the UK.

UK Prospective Student Visa

A Prospective Student visitor is specifically for prospective students who intend to study in the UK under the Tier 4 Student visa program but who have not yet completed all the arrangements for their course.

Prospective Student Visitor Visa Requirements

To qualify for a Prospective Student visitor visa, applicants must be able to show that they will start a course of study in the UK within 6 months of their arrival. Applicants must show that they intend to switch to a Tier 4 Student visa once their course details are finalised and that they intend to leave the UK at the end of their studies or if they have not been able to switch to a Tier 4 Student visa. Visitor visa applicants must show that they have enough money for their stay in the UK and their return or onward journey (should it be required). Visitor visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.

Prospective Student Visa Entitlements

A Prospective Student visitor visa entitles the holder to come to the UK to finalise arrangements for their study in the UK. A Prospective Student visitor visa is usually granted for 6 months and whilst extensions may be granted, holders are expected to have switched to a Tier 4 Student visa or leave the UK at the end of their permission to stay. A visitor visa does not entitle the holder to work, conduct business or study in the UK.

UK Child Visitor Visa

A Child visitor visa is for children under the age of 18 years who want to travel to the UK to visit family or friends or study a short course. Child visitors can travel to the UK on their own or in the company of a parent or guardian. Children who want to study in the UK for more than 6 months may be eligible for a Tier 4 (Child) Student visa.

Child Visitor Visa Requirements

To qualify for a Child visitor visa, applicants must be under 18 years of age and the applicant’s parent/s must have made suitable arrangements for the child’s travel, reception and care in the UK. Unaccompanied child visitors will be required to provide written consent from their parent/s or guardian/s for the travel and evidence of their care arrangements while in the UK. Accompanied child visitors must nominate an adult that will travel with them to the UK.

Child visitor applicants who intend to study a short course in the UK must be enrolled to study a course provided by an organisation which is a UKBA licensed sponsor, accredited by a recognised accreditation body or inspected by a government endorsed Inspectorate of Education. Visitor visa applicants must intend to visit the UK for no more than 6 months and show that they have enough money for their stay in the UK and their return or onward journey. Visitor visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.

Child Visitor Visa Entitlements

A Child visitor visa entitles the holder to visit family or friends or undertake a short course of study in the UK. A Child visitor visa is usually granted for a maximum of 6 months and holders are expected to leave the UK at the end of their permission to stay. A visitor visa does not entitle the holder to work or conduct business in the UK.

UK Medical Visitor Visa

A Medical visitor visa allows individuals to receive private medical treatment in the UK.

Medical Visitor Visa Requirements

To qualify for a Medical visitor visa, applicants must have made arrangements for their medical consultation and/or treatment in the UK. Applicants will be required to provide evidence of the medical condition, consultation/treatment, duration and associated costs. Furthermore, applicants will be required to demonstrate that their medical condition will not be a danger to public health.

Visitor visa applicants must intend to visit the UK for no more than 6 months and show that they have enough money for their stay in the UK and their return or onward journey. Visitor visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.

Medical Visitor Visa Entitlements

A Medical visitor visa entitles the holder to receive private medical treatment in the UK. A Medical visitor visa is usually granted for a maximum of 6 months and holders are expected to leave the UK at the end of their permission to stay. A visitor visa does not entitle the holder to work, conduct business or study in the UK.

UK Sports Visitor Visa

A Sports visitor visa is for sportspeople, support staff and officials who want to come to the UK to participate in a sporting event, competition or related activity. Sportspeople, support staff or officials who do not meet the sports visitor visa requirements or who may be considered employed (paid or unpaid) for their visit may be eligible for a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa or Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) visa.

Sports Visitor Visa Requirements

To qualify for a Sports visitor visa, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and be participating in a sporting event, competition or related activity in the UK.

Sporting activities include:

  • Participating in a charity, exhibition or competitive sports event, tournament or series of events;
  • Joining an amateur sports team;
  • Making a personal or promotional appearance;
  • Negotiating a contract or sponsorship deal;
  • Participating in a trial or short period of training, either as part of a team or as an individual.

Sportspeople, their officials and support staff coming to the UK as a visitor cannot be paid or sell goods or services to members of the public.
Visitor visa applicants must intend to visit the UK for no more than 6 months and show that they have enough money for their stay in the UK and their return or onward journey. Visitor visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.

Sports Visitor Visa Entitlements

A Sports visitor visa entitles the holder to participate in sporting event, competition or related event in the UK. A Sports visitor visa is usually granted for a maximum of 6 months and holders are expected to leave the UK at the end of their permission to stay. In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to switch into a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) visa of the points-based system as a sports visitor. A visitor visa does not entitle the holder to work, conduct business or study in the UK. This means a sports visitor to the UK cannot receive payment for their appearance in the UK or sell goods, such as merchandise, to the public.

UK Entertainer Visitor Visa

An Entertainer visitor visa is for entertainers, support staff and officials who want to come to the UK to participate in major arts festivals, music festivals or charity events. Entertainers, support staff or officials who do not meet the entertainer visitor visa requirements or who may be considered employed (paid or unpaid) for their visit may be eligible for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) visa.

Entertainer Visitor Visa Requirements

To qualify for an Entertainer visitor visa, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and be:

  • An internationally famous person broadcasting or making a public appearance; or
  • An entertainer (individually or as part of a group) taking part in an audition (without an audience), arts festival, music competition, cultural event, charity concert or specific performance; or
  • An official or support staff member, such as a body guard, choreographer, dietician, press officer or stage manager, attending the same event as the entertainer.

Visitor visa applicants must intend to visit the UK for no more than 6 months and show that they have enough money for their stay in the UK and their return or onward journey. Visitor visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.

Entertainer Visitor Visa Entitlements

An Entertainer visitor visa entitles the holder to participate in an arts festival, musical festival or charity event in the UK. An Entertainer visitor visa is usually granted for a maximum of 6 months and holders are expected to leave the UK at the end of their permission to stay. In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to switch into Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) visa of the points-based system as an entertainer. A visitor visa does not entitle the holder to work, conduct business or study in the UK. This means an entertainer visitor to the UK cannot receive payment for their appearance in the UK or sell goods, such as merchandise, to the public.

UK Parent of a Child at School Visa

The Parent of a Child at School visa is for parents who have a child, under 12 years of age, studying in the UK and provides them with the opportunity to look after their child while they are studying at a UK school.

Parent of a Child at School Visa Requirements

To qualify for a Parent of a Child at School visa, applicants must be the parent of a child attending an independent fee-paying day school under 12 years old. Visitor visa applicants must intend to visit the UK, not make it their main home and show that they have enough money for their stay in the UK and their return or onward journey. Visitor visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.

Parent of a Child at School Visa Entitlements

A Parent of a Child at School visa entitles the holder to stay in the UK with their child in the UK. A Parent of a Child at School visa is usually granted for 12 months and extensions may be granted. A visitor visa does not entitle the holder to work, conduct business or study in the UK.

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