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Visa Applications

How to Obtain a Visit Visa for the UK

Image of a passport.

Apply for a visit visa if you want to visit the UK or see your family and friends, do business, or receiving private medical treatment, go to creative events. There are a few steps to take on obtaining a visit visa.


Visa for Business

You are allowed to apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK for Business, for example:

  • You are taking part in a sports-related event.
  • You are a performer, artist, musician coming to perform in the UK.
  • An academic that is doing research or accompanying students on a study abroad programme.
  • You are a doctor or a dentist that is coming to the UK to take part in a clinical attachment.
  • You want to join or run a business in the UK by getting started with funding.
  • Taking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or sit the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).
  • You are coming to the UK for a meeting or conference.


What You Can and Can’t Do

During your stay in the UK, there are things that you can and cannot do. Here is a quick list of the things that you can do:

  • You may take part in any business-related activities.
  • You can study for up to 30 days.
  • You are able to go through the UK in transit.
  • You may be able to convert your civil partnership into a marriage.


Here is a short list of the things that you cannot do:

  • You will be unable to get public funds.
  • You cannot live in the UK for long periods of time through regular visits.
  • You cannot complete paid or unpaid work.
  • You will not be able to register a civil partnership or give notice of marriage or civil partnership.

To find more information about the things that you can and can’t do during your visit, please refer to the government guidance here.


When Can I Apply?

The earliest time you can apply for a visit visa is 3 months before you travel. The decision on your visa should be made within 3 weeks.

The times for approval for your visa will depend on the country that you’re applying from. You can check the processing times to see how long it might take to get your visa.


How Long Can You Remain in the UK?

Normally you can remain in the UK up to 6 months.

You may be able to remain longer if:

  • You are receiving private medical treatment. You would be allowed to stay up to 11 months with a fee of £186 (at the time of writing).
  • An academic on sabbatical and visiting the UK for research. You are able to stay for up to 12 months. There may be a £186 fee (at the time of writing).

Although, if you’re remaining in the UK as an academic or to get private medical treatment for longer than 6 months then you must apply for a biometric residence permit.

You may possibly be able to receive a visit visa for up to 30 days if you are a visitor under the ADS (Approved Destination Status) Agreement.


Long Term Stay

You can apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa if you need to visit the UK frequently over a longer period. The long-term Standard Visitor visa that lasts 2,5 or 10 years. You can stay up to 6 months on each visit.

If you are under 18 years old and you apply, then your long-term Standard Visitor visa will only valid for 6 months till you turn 18.


Visa Fees

The cost for a standard visit visa is £93 and the fee for a long-term standard visitor visa will depend on the length. These fees may change.

These are the costs for long-term standard visas of various lengths of time:

  • 2 years is £350
  • 5 years is £636
  • 10 years is £798


Contact Us for Entry Clearance Advice

If you’re in the West Midlands and need help and advice from our expert immigration solicitors, please get in touch with us and we can discuss your situation and needs.

Call us on 0121 356 4556 or you can email us at enquires@jmwilsonsolicitors.com. We’re always happy to help.


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