There are several separate categories of visitor visas.
It is possible to apply for multiple-entry visitor visas to the UK, allowing regular visitors to the UK to avoid the administrative hassle of applying for a visa on each occasion.
Visitor visas can be issued for periods of 6 months, 1, 2, 5 or 10 years, but in all cases the visitor may not stay for longer than six months at any one time. The available categories are:
This category is for people seeking entry for up to 6 months with no intention to work or study. There are some permissible activities allowed for general visitors.
You can apply for the visa for up to 12 months, if you are accompanying an academic visitor.
A child visitor, under the age of 18, can visit the UK for up to 6 months, or up to 12 months if they are accompanying an academic visitor.
If you want to come to the UK in order to study, you can apply to do so as a student visitor. The visa will however not be granted for periods longer than 6 months. You will not be allowed to work during the duration of the visa.
This category allows visitors to come to the UK to carry out certain permissible business activities including; attending meetings, arranging deals or negotiating or signing trade agreements or contracts, undertake fact finding missions, conducting site visits etc.
Special Visitor Covers
This category includes the following; persons seeking private medical treatment, persons entering the UK to marry/enter into civil partnership, parent of a child at school, visitors in transit, prospective students and prospective entrepreneurs.
This category allows for professional or amateur sportspersons to visit for a maximum of 6 months. This visa can also be used for the participation in sporting events, tournaments or series of events or one off charity events. This category also allows sportspersons to make personal or promotional appearances in the UK.
This category allows professionals to enter the UK to enter a music competition or amateur/professionals to participate in approved cultural events. Also to fulfil engagements as an amateur, or for broadcasts and public appearances for which they are not being paid. The entertainer visitor may not charge the public.