UK Visitor Visas – Apply Today
Acquiring a visitor visa UK may be on your priority list if you are planning to visit the UK briefly. Whether you want to stay in the country briefly for a tourism adventure, business trip, or short study period, or to visit a loved one, it’s crucial for you to understand how to acquire the visa and the rights you’ll gain if your visitor visa UK application is successful.
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Remember that you should apply for the visa before you embark on your UK trip. To help you understand how to navigate through the process, let’s take you through the basic eligibility requirements for the visa, the application process, and associated costs, as well as the average turnaround time here.
Standard Visitor Visa UK vs Long-term Visitor Visa UK
A standard UK visitor visa allows you to stay in the UK for a maximum of 6 months and now allows students to come and study in the UK for a course of up to 6 months. The short-term study route is now limited to individuals who wish to study an English language course that is six months to 11 months long. Please note that you can’t apply for a standard visit visa from inside the UK.
The permitted period might be less than six months, depending on the documented purpose of your visit in the visa application form. You can also apply to have your stay extended on some reasonable grounds, for instance, if you are sick and need to seek medical treatment before exiting the country.
You cannot make multiple visits to the country within the six-month validity period of the standard visa. So, should you leave the country in the course of the period, you can only be allowed to re-enter upon acquiring another visitor visa after six months.
In case you intend to make multiple visits to the UK within a specific period, preferably over a period exceeding six months, a long-term Standard Visitor visa will be the more convenient option as compared to the standard visitor visa. The validity of a long-term visitor visa UK ranges from two years to ten years. Specifically, you can apply for a two-year, five-year, or ten-year long-term Standard Visitor visa.
However, similarly to its standard counterpart, a long-term Standard Visitor visa also restricts you to a single visit per a 6-month period or less.
It is worth noting that these two visas replace the Family Visitor visa, Child Visitor visa, Entertainer Visitor visa, Sports Visitor Visa, Private Medical Treatment Visitor visa, and ADS visa. So you might be able to stay longer under certain circumstances. For example, to get private medical treatment.
How Much Does a UK Visitor Visa Cost?
The total cost of acquiring a visitor visa UK depends on the prevailing Home Office visitor visa application fees, medical assessment fees to be incurred, and translation fees (if any of the required documents is not written in English or Welsh), among other costs. If you need the help of a UK immigration solicitor, you need to factor in the relevant charges too.
At Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, we have competitively priced packages for various services associated with the UK visitor visa application process. Whether you want to know your eligibility level, assistance with documentation, visitor visa extension help, or any other relevant need, we have a customized package tailored for your specific needs. Reach out to us for a free quote.
How to Apply for a UK Visitor Visa?
1. Check Your Eligibility
You need to check if you are eligible for a visitor visa UK, considering that nationals from the US, EU, and selected Commonwealth countries can enter and stay in the UK for up to six months without the visa. Check if you need a visitor visa. Note that your application will be rejected if the Home Office establishes that you have the right of abode in the UK.
If you are from a country where citizens are required to obtain a visa even for short UK stays, you should ascertain that you don’t fall into the general grounds for refusal of UK entry clearance. The eligibility criteria may vary from one visitor visa applicant to another, depending on the reason for the UK visit.
However, some eligibility requirements are cut across the board. For instance, every applicant has to:
- Have and prove a defined purpose for their intended UK visit
- Demonstrate their intention to leave the UK after the defined period of the visit
- Prove their ability to support themselves and their dependents during their entire visit without relying on public funds.
Besides, you must be able to supply the home office with the necessary details by completing the online application form and providing the required supporting documentation.
2. Establish you Need a Visitor Visa UK and then Apply
Once you establish that you need a Visitor Visa to enter and stay in the UK briefly, the next thing you ought to do is to send your application by completing and submitting the online application form. You should do this before you travel to the UK, at most three months before the scheduled travel.
This process can be tricky, and to avoid any confusion and to ensure that your application has the best chance of succeeding, consult our immigration lawyers in London for assistance.
3. Gather and Submit the Required Documents
Apart from the online visa application form, other documents you should submit to support your application include:
- Two coloured photographs taken within the last six months
- A travel passport with a validity running through the three months following the date you intend to leave the UK. The passport should have a blank page to accommodate the visa stamp.
- Your past six month’s bank statements or payslips to prove your ability to support yourself and your dependents (if any) fully throughout your stay in and return from the UK.
- A document showing your prospective place of accommodation during your stay in the country.
- A comprehensive travel plan detailing the objective of your visit and scheduled travel dates for all your prospective UK destinations.
- Certified translations if any of your required documents are not written in English or Welsh.
- Tuberculosis test results. However, this doesn’t apply to everyone; it depends on the country you’re traveling from.
- A receipt showing that you’ve paid the required visa fee
- A letter of invitation if you intend to be hosted by a UK legal resident or citizen.
Biometric information in the form of a digital photograph of yourself and your fingerprints taken at an authorized UK visa application center.
4. Book an Appointment
To get your biometric details taken, you need to book an appointment at an authorized UK visa application centre. If you choose our immigration solicitors to handle your application for you, we will book this appointment and inform you of the time and place.
Please note that the centre might not necessarily be in your country because of limited UK consular services in certain countries. However, please rest assured, if you choose us to handle your application, we’ve helped thousands of people across the globe with booking such appointments effortlessly.
5. Attend the Interview
Upon booking an appointment with a visa centre, you’ll be notified of the date you need to show up for an interview, which will include taking your biometrics. During the interview, you’ll be asked numerous questions concerning your proposed UK visit.
The answers that you give will influence the determination of your application by the Home Office. So, besides keeping time, ensure that you answer questions the best way possible. Our immigration lawyers will rehearse with you before your appointment to make sure that you are ready to discuss your need for a tourist visa with no issues.
You can count on the expert guidance from Gulbenkian Andonian’s UK immigration experts to boost your chances of passing the interview questions.
6. Wait for The Decision
Once the Home Office receives your application with all the required documents and details provided, it will take a couple of weeks to conduct background checks and give the final verdict. You’ll receive the decision via the email address you provided during the application. The average turnaround time for a Visitor Visa UK is eight weeks if the standard application service is used and one day for premium application service. If you instruct us, we will inform you as soon as your application has received a result.
Each of the five application steps has its own fair of challenges. However, with the right assistance, none of it should be an uphill task for you. We, the Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, are committed to being there for you every step of the way to ensure that you realize your UK visit plans without any inconvenience. Get in touch with us anytime.
Ask our Expert Legal Team
At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.
Call us on +44 (0) 207 269 9590 or fill out the form below. We usually reply within a few hours.
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Dr Bernard Andonian – the Co-Founder of Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, is an experienced Immigration Solicitor, former Judge, and recipient of a PhD in Law from the University of West London. He has over four decades of experience practising UK Immigration, Human Rights and Civil Litigation Law. He has served on the Law Society Immigration Law Panel, achieved numerous groundbreaking decisions in higher courts and is featured in the Legal 500’s Hall of Fame.