Visitor's Visa

The UK is visited by thousands of tourists every year and the country is a popular tourist destination. People wish to visit the UK for a variety of reasons and there are different types of Visitor's visas to accommodate that. You may wish to come to the UK to see the attractions or to visit close family and friends. You may have to visit the UK for medical treatment or  wish to come for personal/business reasons.

If you are from a non-EEA country then you will need to apply for a visitor's visa, which will normally allow you to stay in the UK for up to 6 months. There are different visa requirements depending on the purpose of your visit.

1. General Visitor


Under this category the person is usually seeking to enter the UK as a visitor, family visitor or simply as a tourist. As a general visitor you need to show that you want to visit the UK for a period of no more than 6 months; that you intend to leave the UK when your visit ends; and, that you have sufficient  finances in order to pay for your accommodation and general holiday expenses. In addition, you must also be able to pay for the cost of your return or onward journey to another country.

As a general visitor you cannot run a business  in the UK, you cannot take paid or unpaid work, you cannot study, you are not allowed to marry or form a civil partnership with anyone in the UK, you cannot receive private medical treatment during your stay and cannot have recourse to public funds in the UK. You will be required to show that you have strong ties in your home country and that you will leave the UK after your visa expires. 

2. Student Visitor


As a student visitor you are required to demonstrate that you only intend to come to the UK for a short period of study, for no more than 6 months and that you intend to leave the UK after your visit.  If you wish to study for more than 6 months in the UK, we can assist you in making an application as a Tier 4 General Migrant under the points based system. As a Student Visitor you cannot undertake work or work experience placements, bring dependants or switch into another category of visa whilst in the UK. 

3. Business Visitor


In order to come to the UK under this category you are required to demonstrate that you intend to be in the UK for no longer than 6 months and plan to leave the UK before the end of the 6 month period. You would have to show that you have sufficient funds available to pay for accommodation in the UK. Furthermore, as a business visitor you are permitted to engage in certain business related activities; such as, arranging board meetings, attending negotiations,  being a courier for a tour group,  etc.

4. Medical Visitor


As a medical visitor you are required to meet the requirements of a general visitor, demonstrate that you are suffering from a medical condition and that you need treatment in the UK. You also need to specify roughly how long your treatment is likely to take, how long you are required to stay in the UK and show that you can afford the treatment in the UK.

5. Visitors Undertaking Permitted Paid Engagements up to One Month


If you have been invited to the UK as an expert in your profession, you may be able to get a Permitted Paid Engagement visa. You can stay in the UK for up to 1 month. These visitors could be examiners, lecturers, overseas designated pilot examiners, qualified lawyers, professional artists, entertainers and sports-persons.

You can be invited by a UK-based organisation to:

  • Be a student examiner or assessor
  • Take part in selection panels as a highly qualified academic if you’re invited by an education, arts or research organisation
  • Give lectures at a higher education institution, as long as it is not a part-time or full-time role
  • Examine UK-based pilots so they meet the standards of the country you come from if you are invited by an approved UK training organisation regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority
  • Provide advocacy in a particular area of law
  • Take part in arts, entertainment or sporting activities including broadcasting
  • Take part in fashion modelling assignments

You can also carry out minor activities related to your work or business overseas, such as attend meetings. Although this category is attractive for a short period of employment, there are certain conditions attached to the activities which are not allowed and must be complied with.