UK Travel Visa

UK Travel Visa

6 October 2015 - 9:34 pm

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.

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).

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.

Processing times

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.



What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • take part in any of the business-related activities mentioned in the Visitor Rules.
  • study for up to 30 days, as long as it’s not the main reason for your visit.
  • take part in an exchange programme or educational visit (if you’re under 18).

You can’t:

  • 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.