If you plan to visit the UK for a short period not exceeding six months, then you can apply for a Standard Visitor visa.
This new visa has replaced the following visas: Family Visitor visa; General Visitor visa; Child Visitor visa; Business Visitor visa, including visas for academics, doctors and dentists; Sports Visitor visa; Entertainer Visitor visa; Prospective Entrepreneur visa; Private Medical Treatment Visitor visa; and Approved Destination Status (ADS) visa.
You can therefore apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you plan to visit the UK for any of the following reasons
– For leisure, for example for holidays or visit your family and friends
– For another reason, such as to receive private medical treatment
– To visit the UK for business, or to take part in sports or creative events.
Documents you must provide while applying for Standard Visitor visa
Your current passport or other valid travel identification. You need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa.
One passport sized colour photograph.
You should pay extra attention to the documents you attach to support your visa application. Depending on the purpose of your visit, you can provide the following documents:
1. A letter you have written to the Entry Clearance Officer explaining why you wish to visit the UK, for how long and the reasons for the visit, including why you will not remain longer than the visit visa duration if granted a visa to the UK;
2. Evidence of your occupation/employment/how you derive an income. It is advisable to attach the last 6 months’ payslips.
a. If you are employed, please attach a letter from your employer granting leave of absence from your job for a specified period. The letter should also say how long you have been employed by that employer, in what job(s), and when you are expected back at work;
b. If you are self-employed, please attach evidence of your business activities and financial standing;
c. If you are a student, a letter from your school or college stating the course you are on, its start and finish dates, and the dates of the holiday period when you intend to visit the UK;
3. Evidence of your total yearly income from all sources of employment or occupation after tax;
4. Evidence of any income from other sources e.g. friends, family, savings, property etc.;
5. Bank statements going back over a period of 6 months;
6. Evidence of any family or social ties and responsibilities to return to (a table showing all relatives in your home country, including the names, their relationship to you and their address).
If your trip is being funded by a Sponsor, you will need to provide:
7. An invitation letter from your Sponsor stating that s/he will undertake the cost of your flight, maintenance and accommodation during your stay in the UK.
8. Your Sponsor’s most recent 6 months’ bank statements.
9. Your Sponsor’s most recent 6 months’ wage slips/Accountant’s report.
10. A copy of your Sponsor’s employment contract.
11. Evidence of your Sponsor’s accommodation where you intend to stay: his most recent mortgage statement and photographs of the property.
You will also need to provide the specific evidence required for the category of visitor visas you are applying for.
In addition to the normal documentation for visitors, you need to provide:
• Evidence of your travel plans, such as: a planned itinerary, details of any hotel/flight bookings, if attending a wedding or event, an invitation card or ticket.
• Details of any hotel/flight bookings, etc.
• A supporting letter from any friends/sponsor.
Please note that you’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh.
You’ll also need to provide the following the following information
– The dates you’re planning to travel to the UK
– How much you think your trip will cost
– Your current home address and how long you’ve lived there
– Your parents’ names and dates of birth
A Standard Visit visa costs £85. It is however possible to apply for long-term visit visas. For instance, if you can prove you need to visit the UK regularly over a longer period, you can apply for a visa that lasts 1, 2, 5 or 10 years. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit.
Extra fee to pay depending on the length of the visa
1 year – £324
2 years – £324
5 years – £588
10 years – £737
How to apply
You must fill in the visa application form online. Click here to start filling in your visa application form.
You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.
Where to send your documents
After filling in your visa application form online, you’ll be told where to send your documents. You should not fear sending your original documents since any original documents you submit as part of your application will be sent back to you.
Once you’ve been issued a Standard Visitor visa, you can travel to the UK. There are however things you can and can’t do with this visa.
What you can do with a Standard Visitor visa
– Study for up to 30 days, as long as it’s not the main reason for your visit
– Take part in any of the business-related activities mentioned in the Visitor Rules
– Take part in an exchange programme or educational visit (if you’re under 18)
– Convert your civil partnership into a marriage
What you can’t do with a Standard Visitor visa
– Do paid or unpaid work
– Live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits
– Get public funds
– Marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership
How long it will take to get the Standard Visitor visa
Normally it will take you three weeks to get a decision on your visa. It is possible to apply for a visa up to three months before your date of travel to the UK.
For how long can you stay in the UK with a Standard Visitor visa?
Usually you can stay in the UK for up to six months, but you might be able to stay for longer if:
– you apply (and pay an extra fee) for a long-term visit visa and you can prove you need to visit the UK regularly over a longer period
– you’re coming to the UK for private medical treatment – up to 11 months
– you’re an academic on sabbatical and coming to the UK for research – you, your spouse or civil partner may be able to stay for up to 12 months