Monday, January 20, 2014

UK Visitor Visa

What Kind of Visitor Visa Do I Need?
In general a visitor visa for the UK lasts six months, however, there are exceptions to this rule and some applicants can stay up to a year. Some nationalities, such as those from European Union countries, do not need a UK tourist visa. If you are not from a visa waiver country, however, you will need to apply for your visiting visa to the UK before your visit and confirm on your UK Visitor Visa application form that you do not intend to undertake any paid work while in the country and present proof that you have the funds to support yourself during your stay.

There are a number of different visa types, and while they allow you to do different things while in the UK, they only last for the same sort of period and are required for the same countries.

The different types of UK Visitor Visa include:
  • Tourist and visiting friends: this Visitor Visa lets you stay with friends or in hired accommodation (ie. hotels or apartments) in the UK. There are restrictions on what you can and can’t do while here – for example, you can’t get married while in the UK on a Tourist Visa.

  • Visiting family: You can come and stay with family who live in the UK under this visa. There are adult and child versions of the Visiting Family Visa which allow you to stay for up to 6 months. If you want to see your family for longer, you will need to speak to our consultants about the options available to you as the Visitor Visa will not allow a longer stay.

  • Visiting for business: This visa allows business people – including doctors, academics, and researchers – to come to the UK for short assignments. There are a number of visas that may be a better fit depending on your job and circumstances, such as the Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor Visa, which allows you to do short-term, paid work. If you would like to come to the UK as an entrepreneur but need to begin discussions and conduct research, you can come to the UK as a Prospective Entrepreneur.

  • Visiting to study: You can study for up to 6 months on any course, or up to 11 months on an English Language course on a Student Visitor Visa. If you have a child under 12 who’s studying temporarily in the UK, you can also come and accompany them as a Parent of a Child at School.
Visitor Visas are also available to people who are coming to the UK as sportsmen, entertainers, and to receive private medical care. Our consultants will provide full information on the rules and restrictions on these visas to ensure you have the best visa to fit your requirements.

Can I Extend My Visitor Visa?
Whether or not you can extend your stay on a Visitor Visa depends on why you are visiting the UK, and how long you have already stayed.

A general Visitor Visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to 6 months. If your initial visa was only for 3 months and you could like to extend to the full 6, you may be able to apply for an extension and prolong your stay.

If, however, you have stayed for the maximum allowable time, you can’t extend your visit further or switch to another immigration category. It’s essential that you leave the country before your visa expires, or you may not be allowed to travel to the UK again for any reason.


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