You have chosen the UK for your trip? Whatever your reason is, you might need a UK visitor visa. It covers a wide range of activities. From visiting friends and family, tourism, business, get medical service, etc.
This article will explain what you should know about the transit visa for the UK, who needs to apply for it, what you can and can’t do under it, requirements, the application, validity, fees, etc.
What is a UK visitor visa?
The UK visitor visa is for people who want to visit the UK. It also gets called the Standard Visitor visa. It allows people with different purposes to visit the UK. You can use the visitor visa to:
- Visit friends and family
- See the tourist attractions of the UK.
- Do business-related activities.
- Take part in sports-related activities.
- Receive medical services.
Who Needs and doesn’t Need a UK visitor visa?
Different elements determine whether you need a UK visitor visa or not. They depend on your:
A few countries and states don’t need a UK short-stay visa. They can enter the country with their passport or a travel document. Such countries do not need a UK visitor visa either. They can stay in the UK for up to six months.
The duration of your stay
The UK visitor visa is valid for six months. It means you can stay in the country for up to six months. You have no authorization to stay longer. If you can’t do whatever you want in this period, apply for a different visa. It is true even if you need to stay one day longer. Although the visitor visa is valid for six months, you might receive a visa valid for less time.
The nature of your visit to the UK
The UK visitor visa has a few limitations and rules. Its holders may not do some things in the UK:
- Work in a paid job.
- Receive public funds like the British citizens
- Live in the country for long-term
- Have several visits to the UK.
- Marry A British citizen or register a partnership.
The visa you apply for must suit the purpose of your visit.
How to make 100% sure you need a UK visitor visa?
There is a way to make 100% sure whether you need a UK visitor visa or not. The UK government’s officials website tells you whether you need a visa or not. Put your nationality in the system. Then choose the purpose of your visit. You should also determine the length of your stay. Bear in mind that the system could ask you other questions. It depends on your conditions and nationality. In the end, it will tell you whether you need a UK visitor visa or not. You might need another type of visa. If so, the system will tell you what visa to apply for.
Who is eligible for the UK visitor visa?
The British government has set a few rules over the UK visitor visa. You have to comply with them. If not, they will reject your application. You have to prove to have the below regulations to apply for a UK visitor visa:
Intention to leave
You have to convince the officials that you will leave the UK. It is when your visa is about to expire, or you have done what you wanted.
You have to hold enough funds to cover your expenses. It is mandatory to prove it by evidence to the officials. If your family or dependents accompany you, you must cover them as well. Bear in mind that the proof or evidence could take different forms. You could rely on a sponsor for your expenses. Then you need proof from him/her to prove it.
Being able to return
You need to prove that you can return to your home country. Having financial requirements to do so is a must. Reserving a return ticket could make do. If you are moving to another country from the UK, provide proof of capability.
Proof of intention
You need evidence of whatever purpose you have in the UK. In case you are visiting a friend or family, you need relationship proof—a document proving relationship or an invitation letter proving friendship.
If you have a business-related trip, you need to prove it through:
- Invitation letter from the British party
- Previous business relation proof
- Permission leave from your boss
Anything that will prove that you have a business intention will convince the officials.
If you want to get medical treatment, provide any related document. You could provide correspondences with the British hospital, the receipt of paid expenses, etc.
What are the rules and regulations over the UK visitor visa?
The UK visitor visa has some limits and regulations. You have no authorization to participate in some activities. Yet, you can do many things legally:
What you can do
- Participate in negotiations, conventions, and meetings.
- Close deals.
- Make business deals or agreements.
- Sign contracts.
- Visit businesses or companies to develop ties.
What you can not do
- Take up a paid job
- Work for a British employer
- Study for long-term
- Receive public funds
What are the requirements for a UK visitor visa?
The requirements for the UK visitor visa are as follows:
The passport you submit can not be older than ten years ago. Having at least two blank pages is a must.
Proof of previous travels
Your previous passport, if you have any, could make do for this part.
Financial independence Proof
Provide evidence or proof that you have enough money to support your expenses:
- Your bank statements for the latest three months.
- Proof of earning from rented property.
If a friend, relative, or sponsor is covering you, provide proof from him/her. The sponsor must have enough money for himself/herself, then for you.
You need two photos taken in the latest three months to the date of application. They must comply with the rules:
- Passport size
- Clear white background
- Your face must cover most of the photos.
- You mustn’t wear unusual accessories.
- Sunglasses, hats, caps, etc. are forbidden.
Proof of accommodation
Make it clear where you will stay in the UK. The place you will stay could be:
- If a hotel, provide a receipt of reservation.
- For rented property, provide the rental agreement.
- Stay with a friend, submit the address, passport, and Residence Permit of your friend. The mentioned items are true if you will stay with a family member.
Provide proof of where you are living in your home country.
You need to submit your biometrics if:
- You are visiting the UK for the first time.
- You haven’t visited the UK in the last five years.
- You will be staying for longer than six months.
There are different invitation letters you can provide. It depends on your situation and the nature of your visit. If you have a family member or friend, he/she can provide an invitation letter. But, if you have a business intention, the British company must provide you an invitation letter. The letter:
- Must be on the company’s letterhead.
- State the nature of the visit.
- Provide the itinerary.
- Explain the history of the business relationship.
- Make clear who will pay the expenses of the visit.
- Where will the guest stay?
- The entering and leaving dates of the host.
- The people, places, and meeting the host will visit or meet.
The letter must contain any relevant information.
If you want to get medical treatment in the UK, you need a British hospital letter proving it. It must:
- Confirm you have paid the fees.
- You require medical treatment.
- The British hospital has agreed to provide medical service to you.
- The time you need to stay in the UK for medical care has been made clear.
- Make clear if you need after surgery care or other services.
Proof of paid visa fees
Keep the receipt that you pay for your visa fees.
provide a clean record certificate from the Police in your home country. In case you have lived in a foreign country for longer than six months, you might have to get a certificate from there too.
In case you are from a country that needs a TB test, provide it to the officials.
Note: The UK visitor visa allows you to complete several other activities in the UK. Bear in mind that you need specific requirements for each one of them.
In case you want to donate your organ to a British citizen:
- Evidence that the receiver will be in the UK when you enter the UK.
- The receiver’s legal Residence Permit, passport
- Confirmation that you will donate your organ to a relative or family member. You must be a match with the receiver.
- The place and date where the test or transplant will take place must get started.
The letter must be from a registered medical practitioner.
UK visitor visa requirements for minors
There are specific requirements for minors (under 18). They are as follows:
- Permission leave or consent letter from parents. Both of the parents must sign the letter.
- The child must be able to pay for the trip. Also, he/she must be able to pay for the return costs.
- Proof of accommodation. If the child will be staying with a British citizen, provide
- The relationship the sponsor has to the child.
- Registered address.
- Sponsor’s full name and date of birth.
- The address of the sponsor
- Evidence of the legal residence of the host.
- Proof how the sponsor makes money.
If the child is traveling with a companion, the parents must make it clear in the application.
Attention: Remember that the British officials could ask for additional documents. It depends on your conditions and the purpose of your visit.
The official translation of your documents into English is also mandatory. A verified translator must do the translation and certifies them.
UK visitor visa application process
The application process for the UK visitor visa is as follows:
1. Do you need a visa?
As the text explained, a few countries and states are free of the UK visitor visa. Their citizens can enter the UK with a passport or travel document. You could make sure of it by the tool of the UK visa and immigration website. It is covered above. So, before you apply, make sure you need a visa.
2. Is a UK visitor visa appropriate for you?
“Doing the right thing has power,” so is choosing the right visa. Are you sure you have picked the right visa? The visa you choose must suit the purpose of your visit. See the section above to make sure of it. The UK visitor visa has a few rules and limitations. Ensure it lets you do the activity you want in the UK.
3. Online application
The application for the UK visitor visa is online. You should do it through the UK visa and immigration website. The site will inform you of the procedures to follow. You might have to follow different steps based on your conditions.
The site will tell you where to submit your requirements and biometrics. The British embassy or center will inform you of the further steps.
How long is the UK visitor visa valid for?
The validity of the UK visitor visa depends on the type of visa. The British officials could grant you a visa valid for up to three years. But you may not stay in the UK for longer than six months. However, if you have a compelling reason, you might be able to extend your visa. It could be due to a reason beyond your control.
In case you are in the UK to get medical care, you might get another six months. It is to receive the full medical service you need.
Processing time for UK visitor visa
The processing time for the UK visitor visa could be from 3-8 weeks. It depends on various elements:
- The country you apply from
- The British embassy
- Time of the year
- Whether you have provided a complete list of documents or not.
- If the officials require further supporting documents.
The good idea is to apply as soon as you can.
How much does a UK visitor visa cost?
You have to pay £89 for a UK visitor visa. But the fee for the visa could change. It rides on the purpose of your visit and the length of your stay. If you want to get medical treatment and stay for up to 11 months, you must pay £179.
Let’s sum up…
This text brought you whatever you should know about the UK visitor visa.
It explained who needs a visitor visa, requirements, the application process, dos and don’ts, validity, fees, FAQs, and more.
If you need to know about other types of UK visas, visit the left sidebar.
Providing that you wish to gain more information on other country’s visas, visit the home page of the Visa Library.
Your experience with the visa is valuable to applicants. They will be delighted if you share them in the comment section below.