Long Term Visit Visa UK Multiple Entry Visa Rules

This post highlights UK Multiple Entry Visa Rules of Long Term Visit Visa UK (6 months, 2, 5 and 10 years) for which a UK Visitor Visa can be applied/granted for and the type of entry (single or multiple) that can be given in different circumstances.

UK visitor visa applications are usually applied for 6 months, 2, 5 and 10 years for Standard Visitor Visa UK Multiple Entry. However, if an applicant fails to satisfy the ECO in his/her application then instead of a multiple-entry for a predetermined duration, single-entry visa for a limited period might be issued, if not a refusal of entry clearance. Accordingly, the post covers the following issues in this regard:

Long-Term Multiple Entry Visitor Visa UK- 2, 5, 10 Years

Long Term Visit Visa UK Multiple Entry Visa Rules

Under the Immigration Rules, an applicant can apply for UK visa type c multiple entry, which grants the visitor to undertake multiple visits, each visit up to six (6) months in duration, over a period of:

  • 2 year multiple entry visa UK;
  • 5 year multiple entry visa UK;
  • 10 years UK Visa;

For instance, if an applicant is granted a five (5) years multiple visit visa then the applicant can visit the UK on more than one, i.e. multiple, occasions but the time duration of stay during each of these visits should be less than 180 days.

Applicants applying for a long-term visitor visa are required to abide by all the relevant visitor rules so as to satisfy the ECO to decide: whether or not to grant the length/duration of visit visa that is applied for by an applicant. Therefore, an applicant needs to satisfy the ECO that he/she has a genuine intention to visit the UK on a regular basis:

  • Credible Reason to Visit the UK  – An applicant needs to demonstrate that he/she has a Credible Ongoing Reason to Visit the United Kingdom such as a family in the UK or a business connection or an inveterate traveller. However,  there should be no reason(s) to doubt that the applicant intends to make the UK his/her home.  For instance following types of visitor are incredible to demonstrate that they have a likely ongoing reason to visit the UK:
    • for marriage or to form a civil partnership in the United Kingdom;
    • unaccompanied children;
    • for medical treatment;
  • Stability of Circumstances – an applicant needs to demonstrate that his/her financial and personal circumstances, and also ties to his/her home country, would not change significantly during the validity of the visitor visa;
  • Travel History – although an applicant does not need to have previously held a UK visitor visa or travelled to the UK before being granted a multiple entry visit visa; however, an applicant’s history of international travels shows the individual’s compliance with the UK or other immigration laws. This could be relevant and pertinent during the assessment process (but not a necessary condition) i.e. whether or not an applicant plans to leave the United Kingdom (UK) at the end of each visit to the UK;

If an applicant is able to meet the visitor visa rules but is not able to demonstrate the need/reason that he/she will be able to visit the UK at regular intervals then the applicant is not qualified for a long-term visitor visa. In such instances, a visitor visa for up to six (6) months is usually granted and no refund (full or partial) is made to the applicant i.e. if an applicant applies for a two (2) years visitor visa and if instead of an intended duration the applicant is granted a six (6) months visitor visa then no refund will be paid to the applicant. In such situations, a statement of reasons is usually provided to the applicant explaining the details of granting a visitor visa for a shorter duration when the passport is returned to an applicant.

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Extending Long-Term Multiple Entry Visitor Visas Inside the UK

If due to any reason a visitor, holding a Standard Long-Term Multiple Entry Visitor Visa, intends to stay for longer than his/her visitor visa expiry date in the UK then it is plausible to apply for an extension of the leave for a maximum period up to six (6) months.

For instance, a visitor arriving in July, with a visa expiring in August,  can extend his/her visa up to 6 months, until December, as a standard visitor. A single entry or six (6) months visitor visa can also be extended to complete six (6) months in the United Kingdom as a visitor. For further details, please refer Allowed Visa Extensions

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When a Single Entry UK Visitor Visa is Issued?

Most UK visitor visas – except for Permitted Paid Engagements (PPE) and Approved Destination Scheme (ADS) – allow the holder to enter the United Kingdom on multiple occasions during the validity period of the visa.

However, in certain cases, only a single entry visitor visa is issued such as:

  • in the event of a charity sponsoring a visit visa of a child;
  • if an applicant is unable to satisfy apparently and there are is residual doubt that although a claimant meets the immigration rules, nonetheless there is a lingering doubt that the application lacks a clear, well-established, compelling and verifiable reason to visit the UK;

Moreover, there are quite a few instances which necessitate grant of a single entry visitor visa such as:

  • if a visitor is a non-expert but key witness at a criminal, family or civil court case;
  • if a visit is requested by the police or any such agencies so as to assist an enquiry;
  • if the visitor is coming to the UK for attending the funeral of an immediate/close family member in the UK;
  • if a visitor is coming to the United Kingdom for attending a particular one-off genuine event for which he/she is invited to, for example, a religious, business, or a professional convention;
  • if the visitor is visiting to conduct a particular business transaction in the United Kingdom and his/her attendance is crucial;
  • if the visitor intends to meet an immediate/close family member who is either pregnant or seriously ill.

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Reasons for Limiting the Duration of a Long Term Multiple Entry

Until and unless there are grounds for not issuing a multi-entry or long-term visit visa, the applicant usually gets the type of the visa that he/she has applied for. The length of a visa can be restricted in the following instances:

  • Children reaching eighteen (18) years of age – children, who should only be granted a long-term visa which is valid to 6 months past their 18th birthday – for instance if two siblings one 15 years of age and the other 17 years of age applies for a two (2) years long-term visit visa, then the
    • visa expiry date for the 15-year-old child will be two (2) years from the date on which the visa is granted, i.e. until the time the child will reach seventeen (17) years of age;
    • whereas for the 17-year-old child,  the visa expiry date will be limited to the date which is six (6) months after the applicant’s 18th birthday i.e. instead of a two (2) years visit visa, this child will get an eighteen (18) months visit visa;
  • Grant of a Single Entry Visa – when the ECO may deem appropriate to issue a single entry visit visa – as detailed in the preceding sections of this post;
  • Applicant’s Travel Documents – when the applicant holds a travel document:
    • with permission to enter another country that must be exercised before an explicitly given date;
    • that restricts the duration i.e. how long the applicant may be outside of his/her country of normal residence.

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Related: UK Standard Visit Visa Application Processing and RepresentationStandard Visit Visa UK- Family, Business, Tourist ApplicationsUK Visitor Visa Applications Assessments and Reasons for RefusalUK Visit Visa Applications, Documentary Evidence, Refusal ReasonsUK Visit Visa Application Supporting Documents Generally RequiredUK Visitor Visa Applications- Additional Supporting DocumentsDocuments Checklist for UK Visit Visa Applications and Standard Visitor Visa.