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UK Visitor Visas allow people to enter the UK for short periods for leisure, to engage in limited business activities, or simply to travel through the UK en-route to elsewhere.
The standard visitor visa allows people to enter the UK for several reasons. This includes travel, tourism, and leisure purposes; as well as short term business appointments, academic conferences, participating in sporting events or creative/artistic work, and receiving private medical treatment in the UK. Usually, unless you are from a national Country you do not need to apply for a visit visa in advance. You will be granted this on entry to the UK.
This visa is usually issued for 6 months. However, it can be extended in the following circumstances:
This visa is available for a wide array of short term business and work engagements, these include:
Applicants for the Standard Visitor visa must meet several eligibility requirements for their visa to be granted. All applicants must:
Standard Visitor applicants must supply sveral documents with their application. These include:
Additional documents may also be needed depending on the specific purpose of the visit.
The Permitted Paid Engagement visa is a short term visa which allows non-EEA nationals to enter the UK for up to a month to take part in a paid engagement. Such as a public speaking engagement, chairing a meeting, or attending a conference.
This visa is issued for no longer than 1 month.
Applicants for the Permitted Paid Engagement visa must meet several eligibility requirements for their visa to be granted. All applicants must:
Permitted Paid Engagement visa applicants must supply several documents with their application. These include:
If you are from a national Country you will need to apply for a visit visa before you can enter the UK. Typically nationals of "Western Countries" and Countries with a high average standard of living do not need to apply for Visitor Visas to travel to the UK. The list of countries for which a visa is needed for a visit to the UK is available below, as is the list of countries which require a visa to travel through the UK (Direct Airside Transit Visa).
Even if your country does not appear on this list, you may need a visa for other reasons, such as getting married in the UK.
You should apply for a UK visitor visa either using the UK government's online service, or at a British Embassy or Consulate in the country where you are normally and legally resident. You should plan to apply for your travel visa well in advance of your proposed travel date. Some travel visas may be processed in 24 hours, but others may take longer, especially in cases where an interview is required. The process could take up to several weeks.
Once you have a valid UK travel visa, you should be allowed entry to the UK on arrival unless your circumstances have changed, you gave false information, or you did not tell the entry clearance officer important facts when you applied for your visa. The final decision, however, rests with the immigration officer at the UK port of arrival.
If you are a citizen of one of these countries, you will normally need to apply for a UK visitor visa if you wish to visit the UK:
|Albania||Lebanon||Korea (North)||Equatorial Guinea|
|Central African Republic||Pakistan||Tajikistan||Guinea Bissau|
|People's Republic of China||Philippines||Thailand||Ecuador|
|Colombia||Qatar||Togo||Sao Tome e Principe|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Dominican Republic||Uganda||Sierra Leone|
|United Arab Emirates||Uzbekistan||Ukraine|
You do not need a transit visa if you are travelling from the same UK airport on the same day and you, or a person you are traveling with, holds any of the following:
If you wish to enter the UK as a visitor, either for business or pleasure, the first question to ask is: Do I need to get a visa in advance?
Generally, most people travelling on passports issued by Western countries do not need to obtain a visa before entering the UK as a visitor – they can simply fly (or sail) to the UK and will be granted a visit visa at the port of entry. Nationals of the countries listed below (generally referred to as visa nationals); need to obtain a visa before travelling and should apply for entry clearance at a British Embassy or Consulate in their country of citizenship or usual residence.
In order to make a visa (entry clearance) application using the online service or at a British Embassy or Consulate, you will need to present: