This relates to Standard Visitor Visa UK, which is the most popular type of UK Visitor Visa as it covers the common purposes of travelling and visiting the UK such as tourism, meeting family, business and medical treatment. The other types UK Visitor Visa are Permitted Paid Engagement, Parent of a Tier 4 Child and Marriage Visitor Visa.
Standard Visitor Visa Guidance
Appendix V of the Immigration Rules provides the definition of a visitor in the UK. A visitor is a person who is visiting the UK for a temporary purpose to visit friends or family or to carry out a business activity or for tourism.
A visitor is a person who is coming to the UK, usually for up to six months, for a temporary purpose, for example as a tourist, to visit friends or family or to carry out a business activity.
An applicant can apply for Standard Visitor Visa online at AccessUK; however, an applicant is required to clearly specify the purpose of visiting the UK, besides furnishing supporting and additional documents for substantiating that the visitor has ample funds, intends to leave the UK at the end of the visit and can meet the costs of onward journey.
Each visitor must meet the requirements of these Visitor Rules, even if they are travelling as, for example, a family group, a tour group or a school party.
Applications are decided based on the information provided by the applicant and any other relevant circumstances at the date of decision.
Purpose of Visiting the UK
The Standard Visitor Visa covers the following types of purposes for visiting the UK, depending on the frequency of visits, a visitor can also apply for a long-term visitor visa
For leisure and sightseeing – either for the first time or at periodic intervals.
To visit the UK either to meet family and relatives or to see friends.
For conducting matters relating to business such as:
- meeting the distributors in the UK if the applicant is an exporter of goods from Pakistan to the UK.
- inspecting machinery and negotiation with the exporter in the UK, if one is an importer/manufacturer,
- to attend a conference, meeting or training.
An academic doing research or accompanying students on a study abroad programme.
A Doctor or a dentist is coming to the UK to take a clinical attachment or observer post.
PLAB or OSCE
The applicants coming for a Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).
A prospective entrepreneur visiting UK to get funding to start, take over, join or run a business in the UK.
Participation in Sports
To take part in sports and in creative events.
For receiving private medical treatment with no recourse to public funds.
Standard Visitor Visa UK Cost from April 6, 2018
From April 6, 2018, the cost of different types and durations of Standard Visitor Visa Application are as under:
- Cost of UK 6 month visitor visa fees, single or multiple entry is £93;
- 2 years visit visa UK fees is £350 Note 1- Application fee of £93 where the applicant is a Chinese national applying in mainland China under the Chinese visa scheme;
- 5 years visit visa UK fees is £636;
- Longer-term (valid for up to 10 years) £798;
- Visiting academic – more than 6 months but less than 12 months £186;
- Private medical treatment visa – more than 6 months but less than 11 months £186.
The UKVIs Service Standard is to process 90% of Standard Visitor Visa Applications within 15 working days or 3 weeks. If a person has purchased the priority service (costs £212 from April 6, 2018) then the priority visa processing time is 5 working days or 1 week. The super-priority service (costs £956 in addition to visa application fee), which is available in a few countries and select UKVACs, enables processing of a Standard Visitor Visa within 24 hours.
Here it is important to note that purchase of either priority or super-priority neither guarantees a favourable outcome nor processing within the requisite time, especially if the application is not straightforward due to an adverse travel history and complex personal and professional circumstance, which necessitates additional checks and verifications.
During the processing time, an applicant can take an update on the application by either writing an email or calling the UKVI’s International Contact Centre. The cost of Email Service (per query) is £5.48 and that of Telephone Helpline £1.37 per minute.
UKVIs Service Standards for Non-Settlement Applications
90% of non-settlement applications within 3 weeks, 98% within 6 weeks and 100% within 12 weeks of the application date (where 1 week is 5 working days)
UK Visa 180 Day Rule
The Standard Visitor Visa is usually issued for 6-months, 2, 5, and 10 years; however, a visitor on a Standard Visitor Visa is not allowed to stay in the UK for more than 180 days out of any 12 months in the UK, except:
- a visitor coming to the UK for private medical treatment, who may be granted a visit visa of up to 11 months; or
- an academic employed by an overseas institution and is carrying out the specific permitted activities paragraph 12 of Appendix 3, and his/her spouse or partner and children, who may be granted a visit visa of up to 12 months; or
- a visitor under the Approved Destination Status Agreement (ADS Agreement) may be granted a visit visa for a period of up to 30 days.
UK Visa Type C Multiple Entry
In a great majority of the cases, multiple entry visitor visa UK are granted, which in terms of Paragraph V1.6 of Appendix V enables the holder to visit the UK on multiple occasions during the validity period of the visa. However, as explained above, a visitor is usually not allowed to stay in the UK for more than 180 days in a year.
V 1.6 Within the period for which the visit visa is valid, a visitor may enter and leave the UK multiple times, unless the visit visa is endorsed as a single- or dual-entry visa.
Visitor Cannot Work or Study in the UK
A person on Standard Visitor Visa cannot do paid or unpaid work, live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits, get public funds, marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership.
Visitors cannot work or study in the UK unless this is allowed by the permitted activities that are set out in these Visitor Rules.
A visitor is allowed to conduct any type of business-related activities mentioned in the UK Visitor Rules, study for up to 30 days, as long as it’s not the main reason for visiting the UK, take part in an exchange program or educational visit (if the applicant is under 18) and convert civil partnership into a marriage.