Long Term Visit Visa UK Multiple Entry Visa Rules

This relates to Long Term Visit Visa UK viz. 2, 5, 10 Year Standard Visa for family, tourist and business visitors. In the light of UK Multiple Entry Visa Rules, the post tries to answer questions such as What constitutes a genuine intention to visit the UK on a regular basis? What does Multiple Entry UK Visa Mean? What is UK family visitor visa 180 days rule? How many days can a visitor live in the UK? When a single-entry visa for less than 180 days is issued?

Long Term Visit Visa UK | UK Visa Type C Multiple Entry
Long Term Visit Visa UK

A visitor is a person coming to the UK up to 180 days for a temporary purpose. If a 6 months visit visa UK is granted to an individual in past for visiting the UK as a family, tourist, business visitor and now the validity of the visa is either expired or about to expire then a long-term standard visitor visa can be applied if an applicant is able to state a clear purpose of visiting the UK frequently. 

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.

2, 5, 10 Year Standard Visitor Visa UK

The long-term visit visa is issued for a validity of 2, 5 and 10 years. On some websites, a UK Visitor Visa for a validity period of one year is also mentioned, which is incorrect and there is no prescribed fee for a UK Standard Visitor Visa having a validity period of one year.

Accordingly, there are only four validity periods for which a Standard Visitor Visa is issued i.e. 6 months, 2, 5 and 10 years and from April 6, 2018, the visa application fee from outside the UK is £93, £350, £636 and £798, respectively.

In a visitor intend to extend a Standard Visitor Visa during the stay in the UK then the fee is £993 for applications by post and £1,603 for applications in person.

A Standard Visitor visa costs £93. The fee for a long-term Standard Visitor visa depends on its length: 2 years – £350, 5 years – £636 and 10 years – £798

UK  Visit Visa Extension Fees: £993 for applications by post and £1,603 for applications in person

2 Year Visitor Visa UK

It is not appropriate to directly apply for a 2-year visitor visa UK and it should be applied if a UK visa 6 months multiple entry has been granted to an applicant in the past and an applicant needs to frequently visit the UK for business, tourism or meeting family.

5 Year Visa UK

This is best suited for those applicants who have visited the UK at least 3-4 times during the past and have been a holder of a 2-year visitor visa that has expired in the recent past or is about to expire. 5 year tourist visa UK is suitable for avid travellers, who intend to visit UK at least once in a year and have good travel history, income and affordability.

10 Year Visit Visa UK

The UK 10 year visa for regular travellers to the UK was first introduced in July 200210 year family visitor visa UK is really helpful for parents for British Citizens as they intend on meeting their sons, daughters, grandchildren maybe either once in a year or biannually.

As of today, a new 10-year multiple entry visa will be available for regular travellers to the United Kingdom.

UK Multiple Entry Visa Rules

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.

UK Multiple Entry Visa 180 Days

The conditions relating to the frequency of visits and duration of the visit are stated in  Paragraph V1.6 of Appendix V, Paragraph 9 of the Immigration Rules and Section 4 of Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000.

Immigration Rules Appendix V

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.

Immigration Rules Part 1: Leave to Enter or Stay in the UK

9. The time limit and any conditions attached will be made known to the person concerned either:

(i) by written notice given to him or endorsed by the Immigration Officer in his passport or travel document; or

(ii) in any other manner permitted by the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000.

The Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000

Extent to which Entry Clearance is to be Leave to Enter
4.—(1) A visit visa, during its period of validity, shall have effect as leave to enter the United Kingdom on an unlimited number of occasions, in accordance with paragraph (2).

(2) On each occasion the holder arrives in the United Kingdom, he shall be treated for the purposes of the Immigration Acts as having been granted, before arrival, leave to enter the United Kingdom for a limited period beginning on the date of arrival, being:

(a) six months if six months or more remain of the visa’s period of validity; or
(b) the visa’s remaining period of validity, if less than six months.

(4) In this article “period of validity” means the period beginning on the day on which the entry clearance becomes effective and ending on the day on which it expires.

In most of the cases, in accordance with Section 4 of Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000, a six months, 2, 5 and 10 years visitor visa are issued for Multiple Entries with a duration of stay for 180(days) per visit. 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 occasion with a duration of stay per visit up to 180 days.

Single Entry Visa UK

Contrarily, in terms of Paragraph 9(i), an Immigration Officer has the authority to endorse Single Entry Visa UK instead of Multiple Entry if the ECO is not very clear about the need of frequent visits to the UK. Moreover, the ECO can also issue a visitor visa having a duration of stay less than 180 days i.e. 30, 60, or 90 days.

UK 180 Day Rule Per Visit or Per Year

Here it is important to note that on some websites it is incorrectly stated that if a person has visited the UK on several occasions during a year then the cumulative total must be 180 days in the preceding 12 months as there is no such Immigration Rule for visitors. A strict interpretation of the Rules enables a visitor to cumulatively stay in the UK for more than 180 days during a year.

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

A Genuine Visitor Can Stay in the UK for more than 180 Days

For example, a visitor can stay in the UK for 175 days and then return to the Home Country and after 10-15 days again visit the UK and stay up to 180 days as allowed during the Rules. As per the Rules relating to the frequency of visits and duration of the visit under section 4 of Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000, a holder of a 5 or a 10 ten year multiple entry visit visa can repeat this throughout the validity of the visitor visa; however, there should be a genuine reason for living so many days per year in the UK as a visitor. If the reason is not genuine then the leave to enter or remain can be curtailed and visitor can be removed or deported from the UK, the next application of visitor, even a family visitor such as parents, could be refused solely due to the reason of living in the UK for such an extended period of time i.e. rather temporarily visiting the UK to meet family, the visitor has made UK his/her home, which is not allowed in the visitor rules. 

UK Visit Visa Extension

If due to any reason a visitor, holder of 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

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.

Reasons for Limiting the Duration

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.

Back to Top | Long Term Visit Visa UK

Related: How hard is it to get a Standard Visa?Long-Term Visitor Visa UK Processing Time and Business Visitor Visa UK