UK Visitor Visa

Experienced immigration lawyers assisting clients with obtaining a UK Visitor Visa.

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Understanding UK Visitor Visas​

If you live outside of the United Kingdom and want to visit the UK for tourism, business, study or other short-term permitted activities, you will need to secure a standard visitor visa before travelling. A standard visitor visa will allow you to come and stay in the UK for up to 6 months.

UK visitor visas best suit people who are coming to Britain for the following reasons:

  • For tourism or a holiday/vacation
  • To visit your family and friends
  • To undertake volunteer work for up to 30 days with a registered charity
  • Passage through the UK to visit another country
  • Specific business activities such as an interview or attending meetings
  • For short-term academic reasons, such as a placement or to sit an exam
  • For participation in academic exchange programmes or academic research
  • For medical reasons

Please be aware that if you will not be able to able to do any kind of work, paid or unpaid, claim public funds, marry or register a civil partnership or live in the UK for a longer period than intended.

When visiting the UK you must intend to return to your country of residence or origin at the end of your proposed stay. To do this, you will need to demonstrate a ‘genuine intention to return’. This is crucial for having your visa application granted, most applications are rejected because they do not satisfy these criteria.

If you are thinking about obtaining a UK visit visa and need support with your application, please do not hesitate to get in contact with one of our Immigration law experts. We’re happy to help you through your application from start to finish to ensure that you have the best chance of a successful application.

Eligibility requirements​ for a standard UK Visitor Visa?

If you want to come to the UK for an extended period you will need to obtain a standard visitor visa. In order for your application to be successful you will need to do the following:

  • You must provide evidence that you intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit
  • Prove that you will be able to support yourself and any dependants with you on your trip to the UK
  • You can afford a return ticket or onward travel
  • You must prove that you will not stay in the UK for long periods through your visits or make the UK your main residence.

If you will be receiving funding from someone else, such as a family member or close friend, who will pay for all (or part) of your trip, then you will need to provide sufficient evidence to illustrate this.  You will also need to make sure you have a valid passport or travel documents throughout the full duration of your stay in the UK.  

Big Ben in the UK

Standard Visitor Visa Application Process

You must submit an online application and attend an appointment at a visa application centre before you travel to the UK. 

At your biometrics appointment, you must:

  • prove your identity with your passport or travel document;
  • have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken;
  • provide the required documents to prove your eligibility

You can start your application up to 3 months before travelling to the UK and you are able to save and continue your online application on the government website. If more than 1 person is applying then each individual will need to submit their application and attend their biometric appointment. 

Once you have submitted your online application, proven your identity at the visa application centre and provided your supporting documents, you can expect a decision on your visit visa application within 3 weeks (from the date of your biometric appointment).

In most cases, you can pay extra to get a decision faster (priority service). Whether or not the priority service is available for your application depends on what country you are applying from.

If you need to amend or update any details of your application, before a decision is made, you must contact the UKVI immediately, without delay. In most cases, it is best to take further legal advice when doing so.

The Home Office will confirm their decision on your application in a letter and you will also be sent the decision via email. Both the letter and the email will include the next stages of your application.

Need Support With Your Visa?

Documentation Required

Depending on your reason for needing a standard visitor visa the documentation you are asked to supply may vary. 

However, you could be asked for any of the following documents: 

  • Dates of travel to and from the UK
  • The address you will stay at whilst in the UK
  • A breakdown of the estimated cost of your visit
  • Your current home address
  • How long you have lived at your current address
  • The name and date of birth of your parents
  • Your annual income
  • Details of any criminal, civil, or immigration offences
  • Your last 10 years of travel history
  • Your current employer’s address and telephone number
  • Your partner’s name, date of birth, and passport number
  • Any details of family members you have in the UK
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test certificate if you’re visiting for more than 6 months (depending on the country you are travelling from).

Other Information For UK Visitor Visas


Once you have submitted your application you can expect to receive a decision within 3 weeks of submission.

The standard visitor visa will cost applicants £115. This fee may increase if you use an immigration lawyer to support you with your application. 

The cost of other visitor visas are: 

Standard Visitor visa for medical reasons£20011 months
Standard Visitor visa for academics£20012 months
2 year long-term Standard Visitor visa£4326 months per visit
5 year long-term Standard Visitor visa£7716 months per visit
10 year long-term Standard Visitor visa£9636 months per visit

There are certain criteria you will need to meet to extend your standard visitor visa. 

If your visit was intended to be less than 6 months, you can extend your visa to allow for the full 6-month period. 

You can extend your stay in the UK beyond 6 months if you are: 

  • receiving medical treatment
  • you are an academic and still meet the academic requirements
  • a graduate retaking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or doing a clinical attachment

The cost of extending your visa is £1000, you can also pay an extra £1000 for a super priority service should you require it. 

Contact Our Lawyers

If you would like more advice or to discuss your visa application with one of our UK Visa specialists, you can contact our team of specialists on 0161 843 9000 or complete our enquiry form below.