Visit Visas


There are a number of different rules relating to visitors to the UK.The rules depend on the country of nationality and the type of visit envisaged.

All visit visas, regardless of category, entitle a person to a maximum visit of 6 months (the only exception to this is an academic visitor and their dependents who may enter for a maximum of 12 months).  

It is possible to apply for multi-entry visit visas (usually 2, 5 or 10 years) but this allow a maximum stay of 6 months per visit and should not be seen as a way of circumventing Immigration Control.   


General Visits  

Non-visa Nationals do not require entry clearance before travelling to the UK, and are simply granted a visa on entry to the UK.   Visa Nationals are expected to obtain a visa prior to entering the UK.  The general requirements to be met are; 

  • Genuine Visit & Intention To Leave The UK
  • Adequate Maintenance Without Recourse To Public Funds
  • Adequate Accommodation Without Recourse To Public Funds



Transit Visa 


Non-visa national wishing to use UK airports etc for the purposes of transiting to another country require a transit visa.  The requirements are; 

  • In Transit To A Country Outside the Common Travel Area
  • Has The Means & Intention Of Proceeding At Once To Another Country
  • Is Assured Of Entry There
  • Intends & Is Able To Leave The UK Within 48 hours

Your travel provider would hopefully arrange such a visa as part of your package, however, it is important that this is checked prior to travelling to the UK.    


Private Medical Visits  


People wishing to seek private medical treatment in the UK can apply to enter the UK for such a purpose.  In addition to the general requirements for a visit visa, it must be demonstrated that; 

  • If suffering a communicable disease, has satisfied the Medical Inspector that there is no danger to public health
  • Can show that  any treatment is of finite duration
  • Intends to leave the UK at the end of the treatment
  • Can provide evidence as to the type of treatment, its costs and ability to pay for treatment in addition to general living expenses



 Business Visits 


It is possible for various types of short term business activity etc to be carried out in the UK.  It will be necessary to meet the general visit rules and in addition, fall within one of the categories of recognised business activities.   

Academic visitors fall within the definition of a Business visitor and may have a maximum 12 month visa.    


Sportspersons/Entertainer Visits 


It is possible for Sportspersons and Entertainers to enter the UK for the purpose of competitions, concerts etc.  It is also possible for members of their staff/crew to enter on such visas.  

The general requirements for a visitor must be met together with the visit being in order to attend specified events/series of events etc.    


Marriage/Civil Partnership Visits 


People wishing to visit the UK for the purpose of holding a wedding/civil partnership ceremony in the UK (not to be confused with entry as the fiancé of a British/settled for the purpose of marriage and settlement in the UK) are able to apply for a visa in this regard. 

It is necessary to meet the general visa rules and provide evidence that the formalities for the ceremony have been undertaken.    


Child Visitors  


Children are entitled to visit the UK where they meet the general visitor rules and can demonstrate adequate reception facilities for the duration of their stay in the UK and has the permission of their parent/guardian in their country of habitual residence to undertake the visit.



Visiting A Child At School  


It is possible to apply for a visa to visit a child studying in the UK where the general requirements for a visit visa are met, the child meets the requirements for studying in the UK and the child is under the age of 12 and the parent does not intend to make the UK his/her home.     


Visitors Under Approved Destination Status Agreement (ADS) With China 


A Chinese national is entitled to enter the UK under the ADS where the general rules for a visitor are met and the visitor intends to stay for a maximum of 30 days and will travel as part of a tourist group travelling under the ADS.