Visit visa: how long must I wait before my next visit?


QUESTION: If one stays in the UK on a visitor visa for 6 months, how long do they have to be away until they can come back? Can this wait time be shortened by a fiance or marriage visa application?

ANSWER: Generally there is no restriction on the number of visits a person may make to the UK nor is there any requirement that a specified time must elapse between successive visits.

The fact that a person has made a series of visits with only brief intervals between them would not, in absence of any other relevant factors, constitute sufficient grounds for refusal.

However, Entry Clearance Officers may consider the stated purpose of the visit in the light of the length of time that has elapsed since previous visits.  A visitor should not, for example, normally spend more than 6 out of any 12 months in the UK.

Occasionally, a business visitor may be required to stay for a period of weeks or even months (for example, where machinery is being installed or faults being diagnosed and corrected).  However, the ECO should be satisfied that a person’s presence in the UK on business for more than 6 out of any 12 months does not mean that they are basing themselves in the UK and taking up a specific post which constitutes employment and would therefore require the individual to seek entry under the points-based system.

If a person is applying to return to the UK for the purposes of settlement (i.e. on a marriage visa or fiancé visa) then generally there is no time limit which they must await before they can make an application to return to the UK to join a settled or British family member residing in the UK for the purposes of settlement.

In any case when an application for settlement is submitted to a British High Commission or British Embassy, they normally take 1-3 months to be considered and decided.    

18 November 2010
Liza Mills – Immigration Caseworker
Greenfields Solicitors
Tel: 020 8884 1166





Disclaimer: The above article is meant to be relied upon as an informative article and in no way constitutes legal advice. Information is offered for general information purposes only, based on the current law when the information was first displayed on this website. 

 You should always seek advice from an appropriately qualified solicitor on any specific legal enquiry. For legal advice regarding your case, please contact Greenfields Solicitors for a Consultation with a Solicitor on 020 8884 1166. 


Three ways to meet the English language requirement

Justice for Mubenga: Two public meetings this month