Visitor Visas

Passport holders from certain countries will need a visitor visa to visit the UK. Those passport holders that require visitor visas are also known as ‘visa nationals’.

A visa national must obtain a visit visa before they arrive in the UK. A visa national that arrives in the UK without a visit visa will likely be refused entry.

  • General requirements

    An application for a visit visa must be made while the applicant is outside the UK. To apply for a visit visa, the applicant has to:

    • Complete an online application
    • Upon the completion of the application pay the required fee
    • Provide biometrics if required
    • Provide a valid travel document
  • When you could be denied a visitor visa

    There are certain minimum requirements that each applicant must meet to be granted a visitor visa.

    If the applicant does not meet these requirements they may have their visa application rejected by the Home Office.

    Reasons to be denied a visitor visa:

    • You have a record showing deportation or criminal convictions
    • You provided false information in relation to an application
    • You have breached UK immigration law
    • You have failed to produce satisfactory identity documents or other information that was requested in your application
    • Debt to the NHS
    • Medical reasons

    The applicants conduct and character

    An application will be refused if the decision maker believes that exclusion of the applicant from the UK is conducive to the public good.

    For example; the applicant’s conduct, character, associations, or if the applicant falls in any category named above which make it undesirable to grant their application.

  • Withdrawing an application and return of documents

    An applicant may withdraw their application at any time before a decision is made.

    The request must be made in writing or email to the visa post or application centre where the application was submitted.

    Notice of withdrawal

    When notice of withdrawal is received no decision will be made on the application and the applicant’s travel document and any other documents will be returned. The fee will not be refunded.

    A request from an applicant for return of their travel document after an application has been submitted must be made in writing or email to the visa post or application centre where the application was submitted.

    It will be treated as a notice of withdrawal of the application, unless the visa post states otherwise.

When you Shouldn’t Apply for a Visitor Visa

It won’t always be in your best interest to apply for a visitor visa, mainly if your intent is to travel to the UK before applying for a more long term visa.

If the Home Office suspects that you are applying for a visitor visa with an intent other than visiting the UK for a period of up to six months they will likely deny your visa application.

Furthermore, you may not be able to apply for certain visas whilst you are in the UK on a visitor visa.

If you intent to work, live or study in the UK we recommend you speak to an immigration solicitor first.

Applying for a Friend or Family Member

If you are living in the UK and a friend or family member is planning on visiting you from another country and they require a visitor visa, you may be able to apply on their behalf.

The application can be completed online. Make sure that all the data provided for the “applicants details” are those of the person visiting the UK and not your own.

The person visiting will need to visit a visa application centre after all the forms have been completed. At the visa application centre they will have their photographs and fingerprints taken.

Visiting the UK for Business Purposes

If you are a visa national who wishes to visit the UK for business purposes you may be eligible for a standard visitor visa. You can apply for this type of visa if you are:

  • Visiting the UK for a conference or training
  • Travelling to the UK for a business meeting
  • Taking part in a sport event
  • Going to perform in a show in the UK as an entertainer or musician
  • An academic doing research in the UK
  • Taking part in a clinical attachment as a doctor or dentist
  • Taking part in the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test
  • Sitting the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • Looking to get funding to start a business in the UK

 

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Immigration solicitor fees
30 minute consultation £60 + VAT
Visit visa applications From £700 + VAT
Entry clearance cases - spouses From £900 + VAT
Extension of visas From £900 + VAT

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