The new Visitor Visa system has simplified the system by reducing the 15 types of UK Visitor Visa categories to four. The four categories now consist of:
- Visit (standard) – the standard visa available to tourists;
- Marriage / Civil Partnership Visit – this covers those entering the UK to finalise marriage and civil partnerships;
- Permitted Paid Engagements (PPE) Visit – a visa for persons who will be undertaking paid engagements such as theatre appearances, concerts and performing arts;
- Transit Visit – will be for people transits through the UK.
A Short-Term Visit Visa allows you to go to the UK for a maximum of 6 months (or a maximum of 12 months if you are accompanying an academic visitor).
A Long-Term Visit Visa is valid for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years. The application fee is higher than for a short-term visit visa and is granted if:
- You have a frequent on going need to be in the UK.
- You may be given a visa for a shorter period than requested if you don’t do have sufficient motivation to substantiate your application. You won’t get a refund of the application fee if you get a shorter visa or your application is refused.
- Your visa may be cancelled and you may get a long-term ban on visiting if your travel history shows you’re repeatedly living in the UK for extended periods.
Most applications are processed within 15 days.
|Number of days to process application||2 days||3 days||5 days||10 days||15 days||30 days||60 days|
|% of applications decided||19%||61%||92%||99%||99%||99%||100%|
The Visit Visa Explained
Standard Visit Visa
You need to apply for this Visa if you want to visit the UK:
- for leisure, e.g. on holiday or to see your family and friends.
- for business, or to take part in sports or creative events.
- for another reason, e.g. to receive private medical treatment.
- do paid or unpaid work.
- live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits.
- marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership.
- get public funds.
You must always show that:
- you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit.
- you’re able to support yourself and any dependents for the duration of your trip.
- you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey and any other costs relating to your visit.
- any business or other activities you want to do in the UK, are allowed by the Visitor Rules.
- the reason why you need to come to the UK is unlikely to change while your visitor visa is valid.
- you plan to leave the UK at the end of each visit.