Standard Visitors Visa

For the purpose of tourism, study, business and other permitted acitivies. 

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The Standard Visitor Visa is applicable for those who wish to travel for tourism, business, study (courses up to 6 months) and other specific, permitted activities. During your application process, you will need to specify what your purposes are for travel and then upload specific documents and meet requirements related to that purpose. 

The Standard Visitor Visa and it’s sub-categories are valid for 6 months.  You can check here to see if you require a visa to visit the UK.

How we can help

We have experience of preparing successful applications on behalf of our clients. We pride ourselves on the presentation of our applications to the Home Office. You can be assured that your application process will be managed in a professional and organised manner.

Tourism
Business
Study
Academic
Medical Reasons
Under 18
Long-Term Standard Visitor Visa

Apply as a tourist

Tourism includes staying with family and friends, travelling through the UK to do sightseeing and tours, and more for recreational/leisure purposes. 

You may need to show what activities you have booked, a letter of invitation if staying with family/friends or an approved letter from your accommodation, you can financially support yourself and that you have reason to return back to your home country. 

If you intend on visiting the UK regularly, you can apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa that allows you multiple entries for as long as the visa is valid. 

Apply as for business 

The following activities are permitted if you plan to visit the UK for business purposes:

  • interviews, meetings, conferences and seminars
  • negotiating and signing deals and contracts
  • attending trade fairs – you can promote tour business but not sell 
  • work-related training if the training is not available in your home country
  • give once-off talks or series of talks as long they are not paid
  • do site visits and inspections
  • oversee delivery of goods and services between your overseas company from a UK company
  • deliver training on internal projects for the UK company of a global company that you work for
  • install, dismantle, repair, service or advise on electronic devices and sofrware if your overseas company has a contract with a UK company. 

You will need to meet the eligibility requirements for a standard visa. Specific job roles can do additional activities, you can see more here.  

Apply to study

You can do the following under the study sub-category for a maximum of 6 months:

  • study at an accredited institution, including English language courses
  • conduct research as part of your overseas course
  • do an elective as an additional placement if you are a dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine, nurse or midwife student
  • write an entrance exam, retake an exam or module, or do an oral PhD exam (or viva)
  • unpaid clinical attachment if you are a medical, dental or nursing graduate
  • take the OSCE – Objective Structured Clinical Examination test, or the PLAB – Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board test. 

You need to meet the Standard Visitor visa requirements. You will be required to submit documents that proves the above purpose for your visit. 

Apply as an academic

An academic includes individuals who are scientists, researchers or professional academics. Academics can:

  • do a formal exchange if you have an arrangement with a UK counterpart
  • conduct research, either as a job or independently

Senior doctors and dentists can: 

  • take part in research
  • teach temporarily
  • undertake temporary clinical practice

Certain subjects researched at a postgraduate level or higher may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before you start.

You can find detailed information on the UK gov website here.

Apply for medical reasons

Whatever your medical reason for visiting, you will need to provide supporting documentation as part of the application process. The below constitutes medical reasons: 

  • private medical treatment with a hospital or medical facility
  • treatment at an NHS hospital given that your care is paid for by your own government under a reciprocal healthcare arrangement
  • organ donation for a family member or close friend – being assessed for suitability donor match included

For private medical treatment you will need to show that you can cover the full costs of your treatment, care, accommodation, etc for the full duration of your stay.

More information on each option here

If you're under 18

Under 18’s may visit the UK given that they:

  • have made suitable accommodation and travel arrangements
  • have written consent from legal guardians to travel if travelling alone
  • have the financial means to support themselves for the duration of their stay and for the journey onwards

If travelling alone: 

  • You will need your legal guardian’s consent for travel and their full contact details. 
  • They will also need to provide proof that you have suitable accommodation as well as:
    • the name and date of birth of the person you will be staying with
    • the address of where you are staying
    • relationship to the person you are staying with
    • written consent from the person you are staying with that you can stay there

If you are not staying with a close relative:

Your legal guardian will need to inform a relevant local authority that you are visiting, are under 16 and are being cared for by someone unrelated to you for more than 28 days. 

Travelling with an adult: 

If you are travelling with an adult who is not your legal guardian, you will need to show consent for the travels from your legal guardian.

You will need to show consent even if you do not need a visa. 

If you do need a visa, the person you are travelling with will need to be stated on the visa application as well as all of their information. You can identify 2 adults in your visa application. 

 

Long-Term Standard Visitor Visa

If you plan on visiting the UL regularly, you can apply for a visa that lasts either 2, 5 or 10 years. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit. 

If Home Office does not believe you meet the eligibility requirements, they may grant you a shorter visa instead. You will not be refunded the application fee if this happens. They may cancel your visa if they find you are in the UK for longer than 6 months at a time and are living in the UK for extended periods of time. 

You will need to submit a lot more documentation than with the short-term visa, you can find more information here

Standard Visa FAQs

What counts as permitted activities?

You can:

  • travel/tour
  • see family and friends
  • volunteer for a maximum of 30 days with a registered charity
  • pass through the UK as part of your travel to another country
  • attend certain business acitivies, like a meeting or interview
  • attend certain permitted paid engagements as an expert in your profession
  • take part in a school exchange programme
  • do a recreational course for a maximum of 30 days, like a dance course for example
  • study, take an exam or do a placement
  • visit as an academic, senior doctor or a dentist
  • for medical reasons, such as receiving treatment
You cannot:
  • do paid or unpaid work unless you have a Permitted Paid Engagement visa
  • claim public funds/benefits
  • live in the UK by utilising multiple visas and visits
  • get married or register a civil partnership, or give notice thereof, as you will need a Marriage Visitor visa
 
Am I eligible?

You must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • You will leave the UK and have reason to do so
  • You are able to financially support yourself and your dependants during the trip, or have a financial sponsor willing to vouch for you
  • are able to pay for your journey after leaving the UK
  • will not be living in the UK for long periods using a visitors visa
Please note that there may be additional entry requirements for some of the permitted activities, such as study or academics.  
Do I need a Standard Visitors Visa as a EU national?

There are still many EU nationals that do not requirement a visa to enter the UK on a short-term basis. However, be prepared to show that you meet the eligibility requirements at the border if asked. 

How soon can apply for a visa?

You can apply 3 months before you intend to travel to the UK. 

What if I visit the UK regularly?

You can apply for a long-term standard visitor visa that allows you to enter the UK multiple times over the duration of the visa. 

How much does this visa cost?

Standard Visitor visa: £115 for 6 months
Medical reasons: £200 for up to 11 months
Academics: £200 for up to 12 months

Long-term visitors visas:
You can only stay for 6 months per visit.
2 year long-term Standard Visitor visa: £400
5 year long-term Standard Visitor visa: £771
10 year long-term Standard Visitor visa: £963
 
Can I bring my family members?

If you intend to bring family members with you, each individual must apply for a Standard Visitor visa.

If your partner and child are unable to apply for themselves, you have the option to submit a Standard Visitor visa application on their behalf. However, each family member must attend their individual appointment at a visa application centre

How long is the visa valid for?

The visa is usually valid for 6 months. Unless you have the long-term visa.

Will I need to submit my biometric information?

Yes. You will need to attend an appointment at your nearest visa centre to have your photograph taken and to submit your fingerprints. This is for your visa. 

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