The Standard Visitor visa allows you to visit the UK for tourism, business activities, to see your family & friends and other permitted activities.
A UK Standard Visitor visa allows you short-term stays in the UK for up to 6 months. However, you might be able to apply to stay for longer in certain circumstances, for example, to get medical treatment.
If you need legal advice or help with your UK Standard Visitor visa application, our experienced immigration lawyer can provide you with the help you need.
Table of Contents
- What is a Standard Visitor visa UK?
- How to apply for a UK Standard Visitor visa?
- Requirements for UK Standard Visitor visa
- Documents required for a UK Standard Visitor visa
- UK Standard Visitor visa duration of stay
- What you cannot do on a UK Standard Visitor visa
- Can you stay in the UK for longer than 6 months?
- Extend your UK Standard Visitor visa
- UK tourist visa processing time
- UK Standard Visitor visa fees
- Immigration lawyer for the UK tourist visa
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Need legal advice or help from an immigration lawyer?
What is a Standard Visitor visa UK?
A UK Standard Visitor Visa is a type of visa that allows non-EEA nationals to enter the United Kingdom for a short-term visit of up to 6 months. It is a popular visa for tourists, business visitors, and those visiting friends and family in the UK.
The Standard Visitor Visa is issued for a variety of purposes, including tourism, business, medical treatment, and academic research. It can also be used for short-term study or training courses.
The visa is issued by the Home Office (UKVI) and is required for citizens of many countries who wish to enter the UK for short stays.
How to apply for a UK Standard Visitor visa?
To apply for a UK Standard Visitor visa, applicants must follow these steps:
- Check if you need a visa
- Determine the type of visa you need
- Gather the required documents
- Fill out the online application form
- Pay the visa fee
- Attend your appointment
- Wait for a decision
Learn more about step by step process to apply for a UK Visitor visa, the required documents and fees.
UK Visitor visa requirements
To be eligible for a UK Standard Visitor visa, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- You must have a genuine reason for visiting the UK, such as tourism, business, or medical treatment.
- You must not intend to stay in the UK for longer than the period allowed by your visa (usually up to six months).
- You must be able to support yourself financially during your stay in the UK, without recourse to public funds.
- You must have suitable accommodation arranged for their stay in the UK.
- You must have strong ties to your home country, such as family, property, or employment, which will encourage you to return home after your visit.
- You must have a clean immigration history, with no previous visa refusals or immigration violations in the UK or other countries.
- You must not have a criminal record or pose a threat to national security or public safety.
You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements depending on type of application and your personal circumstances. Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.
Documents required for a UK Standard Visitor visa
To apply for a UK Standard Visitor visa, applicants are typically required to submit the following documents:
- A valid passport or travel document.
- A completed online application form.
- A recent passport-sized photograph.
- Evidence of the purpose of the visit, such as a letter of invitation from a UK sponsor, travel itinerary, or business documents.
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover the cost of the visit, such as bank statements or payslips.
- Evidence of accommodation arrangements in the UK, such as hotel bookings or a letter of invitation from a host.
- If the applicant is employed, a letter from their employer confirming their job and salary.
- If the applicant is a student, a letter from their school or university confirming their enrollment and holiday dates.
- If the applicant is visiting for medical treatment, a letter from their doctor or hospital confirming the treatment and arrangements.
This is a general list of documents. Depending on type of application and your personal circumstances, you might also need to provide additional documents.
Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and find out the required list of documents in support of your application.
UK Standard Visitor visa duration of stay
The UK Standard Visitor visa is typically valid for up to six months, but it can also be issued for longer periods of time in certain circumstances. During their stay, visitors are not allowed to work or study in the UK, and they must leave the country before their visa expires.
What you cannot do on a UK Standard Visitor visa?
- You cannot do paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
- You cannot live in the UK for long periods through frequent visits
- You cannot claim public funds (benefits)
- You cannot do a course of study that lasts longer than 6 months
- You cannot marry or register a civil partnership or give notice of marriage or civil partnership. You will need a Marriage Visitor visa instead
Can you stay in the UK for longer than 6 months?
As a rule, all Standard UK visitor visas are short-term visas limiting the holder to a maximum stay of six months. Immigration rules also prevent you from bypassing this restriction by using the visitor visa or frequent or successive visits, but you are free to enter and leave the UK at will during the time that your visa is valid.
For visitors from the United States, China, Pakistan, India, and other non-EEA countries can, however, apply for a long-term visit visa for UK travel. These are available at an extra cost and can be held for two years, five years, or ten years.
Beware that these visas still restrict you to a maximum single visit of six months or less. However, you can enter and leave the UK multiple times within the allotted time. A long-term Visitor visa is a great route to take if you know that you will need to return to the UK multiple times within a certain period.
Extend your UK Standard Visitor visa
You cannot switch from a Standard Visitor visa to another type of visa. You can only extend your stay for specific reasons, for example needing further private medical treatment.
If you want a visa to do something other than visiting, for example, work or longer-term study, you will need to leave the UK and make a new application.
You may be able to extend your visitor visa as long as the total time you spend in the UK is less than 6 months. For example, if you apply for a 3-month visa, you can apply to extend it for 3 more months.
UK tourist visa processing time
The processing time for a UK Student Visitor visa can vary depending on the country where the application is made and the time of year.
Generally, the Home Office (UKVI) aims to process most visitor visa applications within 3 weeks. However, some applications may take longer to process, especially if they require additional administrative processing or if the applicant has a complex case.
UK Visitor visa fees
The fee for a UK Visitor visa can vary depending on the type of visa and the length of stay. You can also find the latest UK visitor visa fees on the GOV website.
|Type||Fee||Maximum length of stay|
|Standard Visitor visa||£120||6 Months|
|Standard Visitor visa for medical reasons||£200||11 Months|
|Standard Visitor visa for academics||£200||12 Months|
|2 year long-term Standard Visitor visa||£400||6 months per visit|
|5 year long-term Standard Visitor visa||£804||6 months per visit|
|10 year long-term Standard Visitor visa||£1004||6 months per visit|
How much does a UK visitor visa application cost?
The cost of a UK Visitor visa application varies depending on the type of application you are applying for and lenght of the stay.
Here are some common costs associated with applying for a UK Visitor visa:
- £120 Standard Visitor visa application fee
- Immigration lawyer fees (if using legal services to boost your chances of success & avoid mistakes)
Please note that the above is a general list of costs associated with UK Visitors visa applications. There may be additional costs depending on your circumstances.
Immigration lawyer fees
Our expert UK immigration lawyer will guide you through every step of the UK Visitor visa application process including advice about legal requirements and eligibility criteria.
At Rex Law Chambers, our immigration lawyer charges a fixed fee between £800-£1000 for our complete legal services in relation to your Visitor visa application. The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
Immigration lawyer for the UK tourist visa
As part of our immigration services for your immigration application, our expert immigration lawyer will:
- advise you about eligibility criteria and the requirement;
- provide you with a comprehensive checklist of supporting documents;
- fill in and submit your Visitor visa application;
- check all the supporting documents;
- upload all the supporting documents online in their correct format and order;
- schedule your biometrics appointments;
- prepare a cover letter or letter of representation to support your application;
- dealing and responding to any enquiries or correspondence from the Home Office (UKVI);
- do all the follow-up work on your visa application until a decision is received from the Home Office (UKVI).
Contact our experienced and friendly immigration lawyer on 0161 989 9370 or fill in our enquiry form to get reliable & confidential immigration advice and legal assistance with a UK Visitor visa application or any other immigration matter.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Here are some commonly asked questions about UK Standard Visitor visas:
In most cases, it is not possible to switch from a UK Visitor visa to another type of visa from within the UK. The UK government's immigration rules state that visitors are not allowed to switch to another immigration category from within the UK unless they have specifically been granted permission to do so.
There is no specific minimum bank balance required for a UK Visitor visa. However, applicants are required to provide evidence of their financial status and ability to support themselves during their stay in the UK.
The amount of money required can vary depending on the purpose and length of the visit, as well as the applicant's personal circumstances.
As a general guideline, applicants should have enough funds to cover their travel and accommodation expenses, as well as their daily living expenses during their stay in the UK.
UK Immigration law is an extremely fast-changing and complex area of law. There are high chances of getting a visa refusal if you are not fully aware of relevant immigration law(s) and eligibility criteria.
Most of the applicants seek professional legal help with their UK Standard Visitor visa applications from highly experienced immigration lawyers to boost their chances of success. A well-prepared application can significantly increase your chances of success.