VISITOR VISA

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What is a Visitor visa?

The Visitor UK visa route allows a person to visit the UK for a temporary period (usually for up to 6 months) for purposes such as tourism, visiting friends or family, carrying out a business activity, or undertaking a short course of study

There are 3 main types of Visitor visa for the UK:

  • Standard Visitor visa: for those seeking to undertake permitted activities in the UK such as tourism, visiting family and certain business activities, usually for up to 6 months
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership Visitor visa: for those seeking to come to the UK to marry or form a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership
  • Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor visa: for experts in their field coming to the UK to undertake specific paid engagements for up to one month

What general criteria must you meet to be eligible for a Visitor visa?

All of the following general criteria must be met to successfully qualify for a Visitor visa:

  • You must be a genuine visitor who will leave the UK at the end of your visit
  • You must have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to your visit without working or accessing public funds in the UK, including the cost of your return or onward journey, any costs relating to your dependants, and the cost of planned activities
  • You must not intend to work in the UK outside any permitted business activities
  • You must not receive payment from a UK source for any activities undertaken in the UK unless in limited circumstances such as if you have permission as a Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor

    Further Information and FAQs

    • What are ‘permitted activities’ whilst in the UK as a Standard Visitor?

      As a Standard Visitor, you are permitted to undertake activities in the UK such as the below, subject to any additional eligibility requirements also being met for each activity:

      • Visit friends and family and / or come to the UK for a holiday
      • Attend recreational courses for a maximum of 30 days
      • Study for up to 6 months in certain disciplines
      • Undertake certain limited academia, science and legal activities
      • Receive private medical treatment or act as an organ donor
      • Undertake volunteering with a registered charity provided it lasts no more than 30 days in total
      • Attend business meetings, conferences, seminars and interviews and negotiate and sign deals
      • Receive training from a UK based company or organisation in work practices and techniques which are required for your employment overseas and not available in your home country
      • Undertake certain activities related to your employment overseas: for example, a translator may translate as an employee of an enterprise located overseas and a journalist, correspondent, producer or cameraman may gather information for an overseas publication, programme or film
      • A sportsperson may take part in a sports tournament or sports event as an individual or part of a team, make personal appearances and take part in promotional activities, take part in trials provided they are not in front of a paying audience and join an amateur team or club to gain experience in a particular sport if they are an amateur in that sport
      • An artist, entertainer, or musician may give performances as an individual or as part of a group, take part in competitions or auditions, make personal appearances and take part in promotional activities and take part in certain designated cultural events or festivals

    • What are ‘permitted activities’ whilst in the UK as a Marriage/Civil Partnership Visitor?

      As a Marriage/Civil Partnership Visitor, as long as you are aged 18 or over, you can give notice of marriage or civil partnership in the UK or marry or form a civil partnership in the UK.

    • What are ‘permitted activities’ whilst in the UK as a Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor?

      As a Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor, as long as you are aged 18 or over, you may be able to visit the UK for a paid engagement if you’ve been invited as an expert in your profession by a UK-based organisation or client in one of the below fields. You can visit the UK for up to one month and cannot extend your stay in the UK:

      • An academic who is highly qualified within their field of expertise, coming to examine students and/or participate in or chair selection panels, and who has been invited by a UK higher education institution, or a UK-based research or arts organisation as part of that institution’s or organisation’s quality assurance processes
      • An expert coming to give lectures in their subject area, where they have been invited by a higher education institution, or a UK-based research or arts organisation, and this does not amount to filling a teaching position for the host organisation
      • An overseas designated pilot examiner coming to assess UK-based pilots to ensure they meet the national aviation regulatory requirements of other countries, where they have been invited by an approved training organisation based in the UK that is regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority for that purpose
      • A qualified lawyer coming to provide advocacy for a court or tribunal hearing, arbitration or other form of dispute resolution for legal proceedings within the UK, where they have been invited by a client
      • A professional artist, entertainer, or musician coming to carry out an activity directly relating to their profession, where they have been invited by a creative (arts or entertainment) organisation, agent or broadcaster based in the UK
      • A professional sportsperson coming to carry out an activity directly relating to their profession, where they have been invited by a sports organisation, agent, or broadcaster based in the UK

    • How long is a Visitor visa valid for?

      Permission as a Visitor will be granted for the following periods:

      • Standard Visitor: up to 6 months, except a Visitor who is coming to the UK for private medical treatment may be granted leave for up to 11 months and an academic carrying out specific permitted activities may be granted leave for up to 12 months
      • Marriage/Civil Partnership Visitor: up to 6 months
      • Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor: up to 1 month

    • Can you apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa?

      Yes, you can apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa if you visit the UK regularly. This visa lasts 2, 5 or 10 years and you can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit.

Why Viaje

Why use VIAJE for Visitor visa matters?

Extensive experience in making successful Standard Visitor and Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor visa applications

It’s all taken care of: we provide expert legal advice specific to your matter

Cost effective service with upfront fixed fees so that you know what to expect

Being able to contact your lawyer out of traditional office hours, assisting clients globally

Unwavering commitment to delivering excellent client care

Meticulous preparation of all supporting documentation to expedite the approval process

Whether you’re seeking a Visitor visa
for England or Scotland,
we’re here to help

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