UK Visitor Visa - NEW 2021 Requirements & Guide
short-term UK visitor visa is a comprehensive document that includes multiple
purposes. It is a one-in-all visa that has replaced the UK tourist visa,
business visa, and family visit visa, among others.
The document allows you to
stay in the UK for up to six months and hence, is the best option when you plan
to enter the country for a short visit. To give you further clarity, here’s our
detailed guide on the standard visitor visa.
When Should You Apply for a Standard
standard visitor visa has taken over all the regular, earlier types of
short-term visas such as:
- Family visitor visa
- UK Tourist visa (tourism,
- Child visitor visa
- Business visitor visa
- Sports visitor visa
- Entertainer visitor visa
- Prospective entrepreneur visa
- Private medical treatment visitor
- Approved destination status (ADS)
can apply for a standard visitor visa if you want to enter the UK for:
holidays, and tourism: A standard visiting visa allows non-EEA nationals to
travel to the UK and stay here for up to six months if they arrive for leisure
purposes. These activities can include family visits, sightseeing, holidays,
regular visits, and travel.
A standard visit visa allows you to attend conferences, meetings, training,
events or business appointments provided the required time is six months.
Other professionals like academics undertaking research or accompanying
students to attend a study-abroad programme OR doctors/dentists aiming to take
clinical attachment or observer post OR foreigners wanting to appear for the
Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or Objective
Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) -- are all eligible for a standard visa.
Standard visit visas are also applicable to professionals partaking in sports
events or competitions.
Artists, entertainers, or musicians coming to the UK to perform can apply for a
standard visit visa as well.
treatment: A standard visitor visa offers you the option to avail private
medical treatment in the UK.
If you wish to secure funding to start, acquire, join or run a business in the
UK, you can again apply for a standard visitor visa.
A standard visit visa also allows you to study for up to 30 days, as long as
it’s not the main reason for your visit.
A short-term standard visa does not allow you to engage in any paid or unpaid
work, reside in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits, get
public funds, or marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of
marriage or civil partnership. Please contact us for further information or to discuss your application in detail.
a broader perspective, here’s what you need to prove when applying for a
- You will exit the UK once your visit
period is over
- During your stay in the UK, you have
enough funds to support yourself and your dependents
- You are financially sound to pay for
your return or onward ticket
- You have evidence of the activities
you intend to carry out in the UK
for Academic Purposes
short-term standard visa, used for academic purposes, can be issued for a stay
up to 12 months. However, you must have solid proof, validating that you are a the highly qualified individual in your subject or on a sabbatical from your
institute in your home country.
visas allow you to:
- Partake in an exchange program with
a partnering institute in the UK
- Conduct your own research or be a
part of someone else’s research, teaching or clinical practice. Of course, you
cannot take up a permanent job with this visa
for Private Medical Treatment
already mentioned, a standard visa allows you to travel to the UK to receive
treatment for a medical condition, which demands private consultation.
this purpose, you need to prove that you have:
- Already paid for the scheduled
consultations or treatment
- Enough funds to carry out your
treatment, support yourself, and return or travel to another country
- Proof that you will exit the UK once
your visa expires or your treatment is over
- Evidence that you do not carry an
infectious disease, which can affect the public health
If you are traveling to the UK as an organ donor, you must be able to prove
that you are donating an organ(s) to a family member with whom you share a genetic
connection. The patient can also be a close person such as a friend or spouse.
The person who will accept the organ must be a legalized citizen of the UK.
What Documents do I need for Uk Visitor Visa?
that you have a fair idea of the requirements, needed for each type of
short-term standard visas, here’s a rundown of the documents needed to apply
for the same:
- A current passport, which is valid
for your planned stay in the UK and has a minimum of one unused page. A
passport can be replaced with a valid travel identification as well
- If your documents are not in English
or Welsh, they need to be certified and translated
- Travel history for the past 10 years
- Evidence of sufficient funds in the
form of bank statements, building society books, or a letter from your employer
stating the details of your employment. You can also submit proof that a
legally authorized third party in the UK will be able to offer financial
support to you. Of course, in this case, they will need to present proof of the
- Evidence of legal residence (if you
are not a national of the country of origin or your passport does not specify
your right to reside)
- Details of your academic or
professional background. This can be a letter from your employer on a company
letterhead, detailing your employment specifics; a letter from your educational
facility, stating your date of enrollment and grant of leave. If you are
self-employed, you can attach your business registration documents.
Additional Documents for Specific
for Business & Entertainment Visits
- If your visa is for carrying out any
business activities in the UK, you have to share a letter from your employer
explaining the entire details of the trip (people you will meet, expenses or
payment etc.), accompanied by a letter of invitation from the hosting
organization in the UK.
- For performances and entertainment
visitors, details of where and what you will be performing in the UK. This
should be accompanied by a letter of invitation from the organizer, detailing
the performance dates and payments to be received by you.
for Academic Visits
- A letter from your employer in the
country of origin, validating that you have been granted a sabbatical for the
exchange or research work.
- A letter from the hosting
organization in the UK, stating that you have made the required arrangements to
carry out the said research activities.
for Private Medical Treatment
visas for private medical treatment can be issued in six, as well as, 11
- You must submit a letter from the medical professional in the UK, which contains the details of your ailment, the
expected cost and time of the treatment, the location of the treatment center.
can also extend the stay period provided by this visa -- if you can submit a
letter from a registered medical practitioner, working at a private clinic or NHS
hospital, who is employed in an NHS consultant post or whose name is present in
the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council. The letter should also
state that your medical condition needs additional treatment. Additionally, you
have to prove that you have already paid for the treatments received to date.
for Prospective Entrepreneurs
- A letter of support, issued by a
registered venture capitalist firm, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct
- A letter of support from a UK entrepreneurial
seed funding competition, endorsed by a UK government department
for Training Purposes
- A letter from the General Medical
Council & Nursing and Midwifery Council, which confirms that you have made
arrangements for appearing for the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board
or Objective Structured Clinical Examination Tests
- Confirmation that you have taken up
unpaid clinical attachments or dental observer posts in the UK
for Permitted Paid Engagements
- An invitation letter from a higher
education institution, a creative arts or entertainment facility, a sports
a research organization, or an aviation training institute (under the United
Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority)
- Proof of your profession in your
for Tourism/ Family Visit
- Holiday booking confirmation
- Proof of staying arrangements in the
The list of documents for a UK standard visitor visa is exhaustive and the immigration the department may ask for additional papers as well if required. If you get a
little confused, you can seek the help of your expert team who will help you in
this process and fasten your approval process.
Application Procedure & Fees
application for a short-term standard visit visa is online. However, before
proceeding with your application, you need to book an appointment at a visa
application center. During your appointment, the center will take your
fingerprints and photographs.
you finish your online application, you can submit your completed visa application
within 48 hours and three months from your planned travel dates. But you should
remember that the visa processing time can take up to three weeks for
applicants who are not from the EEA and Switzerland.
from non-EEA countries usually need to pay £95 for a short-term visit visa. But
this amount can vary slightly, depending on your country of origin.
all short-term standard visit visas allow a foreigner a maximum stay of six
months. According to immigration rules, you cannot use this visa for frequent
or successive visits. If you belong to the United States, China, Pakistan,
India, and other non-EEA countries, you can also apply for a long-term visit
visa. They come in stay durations of two years, five years or ten years. We
have covered the details of these visas in detail in our long-term visa section here.
if you have already applied for a short-term visa and wish to extend its
tenure, here’s how you can go about it.
- You should lodge an application before
your current visa expires.
- If your purpose is receiving private
medical treatment in the UK, you can extend your visa by further six months,
provided you have already paid for the past treatments, can afford to cover the
additional costs for the extended stay, and continue to meet all the
eligibility requirements. A UK-registered medical practitioner or NHS the consultant must share evidence of your arrangements for the treatment, a letter
stating the duration of the treatment, a progress report of the treatment.
- You need to apply online for a visa
- You have to submit biometric information and supporting documents
- You have to make an appointment at a
UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVACS) service point for
submitting the biometric information
- Supporting documents can be uploaded
online or scanned during the UKVCAS appointment. You must not travel outside of
the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
- For visa extension, you need to pay
a fee of £993 and £19.20 for giving the biometric data
it will take around eight weeks for the immigration department to provide you
with a decision. If your reason is urgent and you opt for super-priority
services, you can get a decision by the end of the next working day, following
your UKVCAS appointment. If your appointment is at the weekend, you might have
to wait for two working days.
you receive the approval, it will take another 10 days for the biometric
residence permit to arrive. However, if there are discrepancies in your
documentation or you need to attend an interview, the decision might take
longer and the authorities will contact you. Once you get the permit, you can
stay in the UK up to the approved stay period.