UK Visitor Visa Applications
A Standard Visitor visa will give you permission to come to the UK for up to six months, provided you intend to leave at the end of that period, and you are able to support yourself for the duration of your stay.
UK Visitor visas can be used for a range of reasons, including tourism, visiting friends or family, attending business meetings, volunteering, undertaking a recreational course for up to 30 days, studying, working as an academic or for medical treatment.
At IBB Law, we can put together a Standard Visitor visa application on your behalf to give you the best possible chance of success. Our experienced immigration solicitors have an in-depth understanding of the visa application process and legal requirements, as well as an excellent track record of obtaining UK Visitor visas for our clients.
We offer a bespoke service, working to ensure that your visa is right for your circumstances and that the application is made in time for you to travel. We can also advise you of any other possible visas that might be appropriate for your circumstances and discuss which is the best choice.
We deal with all types of UK visas and will be happy to talk through your options with you and answer your questions.
Complete support for UK Visitor visa applications
Our team works with clients from around the globe, putting in successful visa applications to enable them to come to the UK. Our services include:
- Checking that you are eligible for a UK Visitor visa and advising you of any possible alternatives
- Completing a UK Visitor visa application on your behalf
- Ensuring all of the correct documents are included when you apply for your Visitor visa UK
- UK Visitor visa rejections and refusals
- Renewing a UK Visitor visa
For more information about our UK visa services, see Immigration Services for Individuals.
Why choose IBB Law for help with applying for a Visitor visa?
The UK immigration experts at IBB Law can offer you:
- In-depth knowledge of UK Immigration laws, policies and procedures.
- Hands on support from experts who keep up-to-date with developments in the law so that you always receive practical and accurate advice.
- A cost-effective and timely service with great attention to detail.
- Independently accredited immigration expertise with our team being ranked by leading client guide, the Legal 500 for Immigration Law.
Looking for immediate help with a UK Visitor visa application?
If you need help securing a Visitor visa to allow you to come to the UK, our team of experts will be happy to assist you.
How to apply for a Visitor visa for the UK
Set out below is key information in respect of the UK Visitor visa, including:
- Making a UK Visitor visa application
- UK Visitor visa refusals and rejections
- Renewing a UK Visitor visa
- Alternatives to a UK Visitor visa
- UK Visitor visa fees
- What rights does a UK Visitor visa give you?
- UK Visitor visa requirements
- Supporting documents for a UK Visitor visa application
- How long does it take to get a UK Visitor visa?
- How do you sponsor a Visitor visa for the UK?
You should apply for a UK Visitor visa before you travel to the UK and no earlier than three months before you plan to travel. There are several categories of permitted activity for a UK Standard Visitor visa, including tourism, business, study, academic work and medical treatment.
If you have had a UK Visitor visa application refused or rejected, it is generally recommended that you seek legal advice. Our team will be able to identify any problems with your original application and put together a fresh application that includes the necessary information and documents by way of evidence.
If an error has been made on the part of UK Visas and Immigration, you may be able to request a review of the decision, and we can advise you if this is a possibility.
It is not always possible to renew a UK Visitor visa. You can extend Visitor visas UK for longer than six months if you are receiving medical treatment or if you are an academic who wishes to stay and still meets all of the eligibility requirements. You can also apply to extend your visa if you are a graduate retaking a Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board test or undertaking a clinical attachment.
Application to renew a Visitor visa UK should be made before the visa expires and while you are still in the UK.
You may qualify for other visas which might be more appropriate for your circumstances. We can advise you of the best immigration route and discuss the various options with you. Other alternatives include:
Student visa or Child Student visa – if you will be coming to the UK to study
Family visa – if you will be joining an eligible family member in the UK, such as a British or Irish citizen or someone with settled status
A UK visit visa generally lasts for six months, but there are longer options available in some circumstances. The UK Standard Visitor visa for six months costs £95. If you will be visiting for medical reasons, you can request an 11-month visa, costing £190.
Academics can apply for a 12-month visa, which also costs £190.
If you wish to visit the UK on a regular basis, you can apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa in some circumstances, with an option of 2, 5 or 10 years. These cost £361, £655 and £822 respectively. You can visit the UK while the visa is valid for periods of no more than 10 days at a time.
If you are applying for a Visitor visa extension UK, the fee is £993. You may also be able to request a super priority service, which costs an additional £800.
If you are coming to the UK for business purposes, you will be allowed to carry out certain specified business activities, including attending meetings and conferences, negotiating and signing deals and contracts, attending trade fairs to promote your business (but not to sell a product or service), to attend training that is not available in your country, to give talks provided you are not paid to do so, to visit sites and carry out inspections, to oversee delivery of goods from a UK company, to deliver internal training and to work on equipment, including computer equipment where your company has a contract with a UK organisation.
Under a UK Visitor visa, you cannot work, even on an unpaid basis, for any UK company or in a self-employed capacity.
If the reason for your visit is to study, permitted activities include attending an accredited institution, carrying out a short piece of research relevant to an overseas course you are studying, attending a placement in medicine, nursing, dentistry or veterinary medicine and science and sitting an exam.
If you will be visiting as an academic, you can take a sabbatical in the UK to carry out research or be in an exchange with a UK counterpart. If you are a senior doctor or dentist, you are permitted to take part in research, teach temporarily and undertake clinical practice, provided that it is not on a permanent basis.
If you are coming to the UK for medical treatment, this must either be at a private medical facility or, if it will be at an NHS hospital, paid for by your government. You can also travel to donate an organ to a family member or close friend, including being assessed for organ donation. If you will be having medical treatment, you will need to show that your condition requires treatment in the UK, that you have made the relevant arrangements and that you are able to fund the treatment.
You will need to provide extensive information in your visa application, including the following:
- The dates that you intend to be in the UK
- Where you will be staying in the UK
- The amount your trip to the UK will cost
- Your home address and the length of time you have lived there
- Your parents’ names and dates of birth
- Your annual income
- Details of any criminal, civil or immigration offences you have committed
You may also need to provide the following:
- Your travel history for the past ten years
- Your employer’s address and telephone number
- Your partner’s name, address, date of birth and passport number
- If your trip is being funded by someone else, their name and address
- Details of family members you have in the UK, including their names, addresses and passport numbers
- Tuberculosis test results, if you are from an affected country
You will need to satisfy the authorities that you intend to leave the UK at the end of your permitted stay and that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and pay for your return journey.
Documents required for UK Visitor visa are extensive, and your visa application may fail if you do not provide everything they need. Our team can go through your available documentation and advise you as to what you need to send. This will generally include the following:
- Your current passport or another valid travel document
- Expired passports or copies of the photo page and visas they contain
- Bank statements showing that you are able to support yourself and pay for your return journey
- Evidence supporting your intention to leave the UK at the end of the term of the visa, such as a ticket for a return flight or evidence of homeownership or dependent relatives in your own country
- A letter from your UK sponsor where this is available
You will also need to provide documents giving evidence as to the purpose of your visit and the extent of what you will be doing in the UK, such as information about business activities, proof that you have been accepted onto a study course, formal academic exchange arrangements or medical records and proof that your condition requires treatment or consultation in the UK.
Certified translations should be provided of any documents that are not in English or Welsh. Your passport or other travel documents should have a blank page in them for the visa.
The documents required by UK Visas and Immigration will depend on what you will be doing during your visit. We can go through the details with you to ensure that you have the evidence needed and to make sure that your Visitor visa application is as comprehensive as possible.
Once you have submitted your online application and provided the accompanying documents and your proof of identity, you should receive a decision within three to six weeks. In some circumstances, you may be able to pay extra to receive a faster decision.
If you will be staying with a friend or relative in the UK and they are a UK Citizen or have settled status, they can write a sponsor visit visa UK letter in support of your application.
The following details should be included in the letter:
- The sponsor’s name, date of birth, UK address and contact details
- The sponsor’s occupation
- The sponsor’s UK immigration status
- Your name, date of birth, address and contact details as the visa applicant
- The nature of the relationship between you and the sponsor
- The reason that you will be visiting the UK
- Details of your plans for your time in the UK, including length of stay, the address where you will be staying and how you will support yourself financially
- Details of financial support and/or to be provided by the sponsor, if any. Details of financial support should be accompanied by information about income and occupation of the sponsor
Supporting documents giving evidence of the above should also be included with the sponsor letter, such as a passport copy, evidence of the sponsor’s home address, their immigration statement, bank statements showing their financial position and property rental agreement.
Get immediate expert advice on applying for a UK Visitor visa
If you need expert advice and support with a UK Visitor visa application, our highly experienced immigration team will be happy to assist.