Visit visas

Visit Visas

Currently there are four types of visit visas:

Standard Visitor

This visa is intended for a short trip to the UK for the purpose of tourism, visiting relatives or friends, business meetings, negotiations, private medical treatment, participation in events, etc.
Standard Visitor visas can involve multiple trips to the UK. The first visa is issued for 6 months. Then, if the applicant has not breached the conditions of stay on previous visas, subsequent visas may be issued for 2, 5 and 10 years.

Restriction of stay – limited to maximum 180 days during any 12 months period. Exceptions are made for visas issued for private medical treatment and for visits with academic purposes (up to 11 months).

The applicant must demonstrate ties with his/her country and show that he/she will return home at the end of the visit. The applicant must also show that he/she has enough money for the trip and the return journey.

Advice from Westland Mark: for a successful application for most Standard Visitor visas, it is imperative that you provide bank statements from which it is evident that funds are regularly received. It does not have to be large sums. The funds should be regular and sufficient for everyday expenses in the applicant’s country.

The most common mistake that usually leads to a refusal: the applicant believes that the amounts credited to him/her as a salary or pension are so insignificant for the UK that the statements can be omitted. In such cases, there is a high probability of refusal, despite the fact that a successful business was shown, good business transactions, savings, property, etc.

The second common mistake: do not stay in the UK for longer than indicated in the visa application form. It is better to declare a longer period of stay in the application form. Otherwise, there may be problems in obtaining the next visa.

Marriage Visitor

This visa is for those who would like to marry in the UK. A couple can arrange a marriage ceremony at the registration office or the Church of England in the UK, and have a wedding in the UK. At the end of all wedding events, the couple must leave the country.

Advice from Westland Mark: Do not confuse a Marriage Visitor visa with a Fiancee / Fiance Visa, which involves marriage and further switching to a Spouse visa for living in the UK.

Permitted Paid Engagement

The visa is issued for short-term (no more than 1 month) paid work in the UK. The employer does not need a sponsor license, and the employee does not need to obtain a Tier 2 or Tier 5 work visa. It would be enough to have an invitation from the British organization. The list of activities for which you can get such a visa is limited.

Transit Visa

If you are going to fly in transit through the UK, but do not pass border control in the UK, and between flights you have a gap which is less than 24 hours, you need to apply for a Direct Airside Transit visa.
If it is necessary to pass the UK border control, but between flights there will be no more than 48 hours, then a Visitor in Transit visa can be issued.
A transit visa is not required if you have a valid Standard Visitor or Marriage Visitor visas.

General rules applicable to all visit visas: visas cannot be extended in the UK (except for a medical visa), and their holders cannot switch to another immigration category.