The Standard Visitor Visa allows persons to visit the UK for up to six months.
To visit the United Kingdom, a person requires permission to do so. This permission can be in the form of the Standard Visitor Visa or Leave to Enter the UK. A visitor has to apply for the UK Visitor Visa before travelling to the UK. Leave to Enter can be obtained at the UK port of entry.
Table of contents
- Visa Nationals
- Standard Visitor Visa for Tourism
- How to qualify for the Standard Visitor Visa for Tourism
- When can you apply?
- Length of Stay in the UK
- Long-Term Standard Visitor Visas
- Immigration Health Surcharge
- Indefinite Leave to Remain
- How Breytenbachs can help you
Whether a person requires a UK Visitor Visa will depend on whether the person is regarded as a visa national or not. Visa nationals must apply for the Standard Visitor Visa before travelling to the UK. The UK Home Office publishes a list of countries they regard as visa-nationals. Nationals of these countries need to apply for a Standard Visitor before travelling. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant to confirm your situation.
Breytenbachs strongly advise clients who are non-visa nationals who have previously been denied entry at a UK port of entry to also apply for a UK Standard Visitor Visa before travelling to the UK.
You can do various things in the UK while on the UK Standard Visitor Visa. However, the Standard Visitor Visa sub-categories will allow the person to do different things. Please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant about these sub-categories if you do not want to visit the UK for pure tourism reasons.
Standard Visitor Visa for Tourism
The Standard Visitor Visa for Tourism will allow the applicant to visit the UK for tourism purposes, such as a holiday or a vacation. You will also be allowed to visit family or friends. You will only be allowed to stay for six months at a time.
This visa will also allow you to do any of the following
- Volunteer for up to 30 days at a registered charity
- Pass through the UK on your way to another country
- Take part in a school exchange programme
- To a recreational course for up to 30 days
You will not be allowed to do any of the following
- You may not do unpaid or paid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
- There is no recourse to any public funds
- You may not use the visitor visa as a means to live in the UK through frequent or successive visits.
- You cannot marry or register a civil partnership or give notice to do so.
How to qualify for the Standard Visitor Visa for Tourism
To qualify you will have to prove several things;
- That you will leave the UK at the end of your visit.
- Prove that you will be able to support yourself and your dependants during the trip
- You have enough funds to pay for your return or onward journey.
When can you apply?
You can apply for your visa three months before you travel to the UK.
Length of Stay in the UK
The visa allows persons to visit the UK for up to six months. However, the visa will sometimes be granted for a shorter period. You may be able to extend your stay in the UK, provided that the total time you spend in the UK is not longer than six months. There is also a fee payable for the extension application.
Long-Term Standard Visitor Visas
If you visit the UK regularly, it might be best to apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa. You can apply for a two-year, five-year or ten-year long visa. However, it is important to note that you will still only be able to stay for a maximum of six months for every visit.
Persons under the age of 18, when they apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa, must note that the visa will only be valid for six months after they turn 18. There is no refund on the fee.
If the Home Office believes that you cannot meet the eligibility requirements for the duration of the long-term visa you applied for, they may give you a shorter visa. There will be no refund for this fee or an application that is refused.
The Home Office may cancel your long-term Standard Visitor visa if they believe you are repeatedly living in the UK for extended periods.
Immigration Health Surcharge
Fortunately, there is no immigration health surcharge payable on the Standard Visitor Visa or any of the sub-categories of this visa.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
The Visitor Visas and its sub-categories do not lead to settlement in the UK. The rules of the visa state that a person must leave the UK at the end of their visit.
How Breytenbachs can help you
Breytenbachs has a dedicated team dealing with all visitor visas. Please contact Breytenbachs to apply for your Visitor Visa to the UK.