This guidance explains the UK multiple entry 180 days rules for 6 months, 2, 5 and 10 years Type C visitor visa. Moreover, also covers the reasons for issuing a UK single entry Type C visa instead of a multiple entry visa. 

UK multiple entry visa 180 days rules for type-C visitors

Apparently, the UK multiple entry Type-C visa for 180 days is commonly known as standard visitor visa. Indeed, an applicant after getting the short term 6-month visa at least once or twice can subsequently apply for long term 2, 5 and 10 years visitor visa for meeting family, tourism and business. However, the UK multiple entry visa rules are the same for the short term 6 months visitor visa and its long term 2, 5 and 10-year versions.

Immigration Rules

In terms of Section 4 of Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000, a 6-month, 2, 5 and 10-year UK Type-C multiple entry visitor visa is usually issued with a duration of stay for 180 days per visit. For instance, if an applicant has a 5-year multiple entry Type-C visa then can visit the UK on more than one occasion with a duration of stay up to 180 days per visit. Moreover, the conditions relating to the frequency of visits and duration of the visit are stated:

  • Paragraph V1.6 of the Appendix V for visitors
  • Paragraph 9 of the Appendix V for visitors
  • Section 4 of Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000.

Is the UK 180 day rule per visit or per year?

Some websites state that a visitor on C Type multiple entry visa can only stay in the UK for up to 180 days per year. However, this is an incorrect interpretation of the Immigration Rules. Indeed, the Immigration Rules clearly enables a visitor to cumulatively stay for more than 180 days per 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.

GOV.UK

Accordingly, a genuine visitor can stay for more than 180 days per year. However, there must be a compelling genuine reason to do so. For instance, childcare of an ailing relative. Accordingly, such a a visitor can stay up to 180 days per visit and can repeat this throughout the validity of the visa. However, if the reason is not genuine then the leave to enter or remain can be curtailed and visitor can be removed or deported. Moreover, any subsequent application could be refused solely for extended stays and making the UK home.

How many days a visitor usually stays on a Type-C visa?

Certainly, a C-Type visitor can stay up to 180 per visit. And perhaps more than 180 days per year if a visitor is making more than one trip in a year to the UK. However, most of the visitors have an active life in their home country. Therefore, usually, the stay is no longer than 2-3 weeks for business visitors and tourists. Perhaps, even most of the family visitors usually don’t stay longer than 1-2 months per year.

When a visitor can stay for more than 180-days per visit?

Indeed, a visitor on a Type-C visa can stay for more than 180 days per visit if he/she is on a:

  1. 11-month Private Medical Treatment visa
  2. 12-month Academic Visitor Visa. Please note, an academic employed by an overseas institution can visit for carrying out the permitted activities under paragraph 12 of Appendix 3. Accordingly, can stay up to 12 months. Moreover, the dependant spouse/partner and children of an academic visitor can also stay up to 12-month
How soon a visitor can re-enter the UK?

Apparently, the immigration rules don’t specify any particular time duration for re-entering the UK. Perhaps, one can re-enter even within 24 hours. This is possible if a person intends to visit Ireland or any Schengen countries for a very short visit. What’s important are the purpose and genuine intentions.

UK multiple entry 180 days type-C visa rules for extension

Indeed, a visitor on a multiple entry Type-C visa can extend the stay for a duration longer than the visa expiry date. Therefore, can apply for an extension for a maximum period up to 6-month. For instance, a visitor arriving in July 15, with a visa expiring in August, can extend the visa up to 180 days. Accordingly, a visitor can also extend a single entry or 6-months visa to complete 180 days per visit in the UK.

The Max Duration of Stay

A visitor is a person who is travelling to the UK for a temporary purpose to meet friends or family or to carry out a business activity or for tourism. As per paragraph V1.5 Appendix V of Immigration Rules, the maximum length of stay in the UK for:

  1. standard visitors is up to 180 days per visit for meeting family, business, tourism etc.
  2. medical visitors is up to 11 months for private medical treatment
  3. an academic visitor is up to 12 months. Moreover, dependant family members of an academic visitor can also stay for up to 12 months
  4. visitors under Approved Destination Scheme (ADS) is up to 30 days. Please note this route is only available to Chinese nationals to visit the UK in tour groups through authorized agents
  5. marriage or proposed civil partner is up to 180 days
  6. permitted paid engagement (PPE) is up to 30 days
  7. transit visitors is usually up to 48 hours. However, for transit under the Transit Without Visa Scheme is until 23:59 hours on the next day after the day the applicant arrived in the UK

Accordingly, for visitors, the duration of stay depends on the type of the visa. Perhaps, the duration of stay varies from a few hours (transit) to a maximum of 12 months (for academic visits). Moreover, in most of the cases, the allowed maximum duration of stay for visitors is up to 180 days per visit. However, the actual duration of stay on a standard visitor visa is usually 1-3 weeks. Please note, most of the travellers are fairly busy people in their home countries. Therefore, inevitably return to their country of residence after a short stay due to pressing business, professional and personal reasons. 

Limiting the Duration of UK Type-C Multiple-Entry Visas

Until and unless there are grounds for not issuing a short or long term multiple entry visa UK, the applicant usually gets the type of the visa that he/she applied for. However, the decision-maker can restrict the length of a standard visit visa in the following instances:

1. Children under 18 years of age

Children reaching 18 can get a long-term multiple entry visa only up 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 2-year long term multiple entry Type-C visa, then the visa expiry date for the:

  • 15-year-old child will be 2-years from the issuance date
  • the 17-year-old child, will be limited to the date which is 6-months after the applicant’s 18th birthday. Therefore, instead of 2-year the child will only get an 18-months UK multiple entry Type-C visitor visa.
2. Single Entry Type-C Visa

If an ECO deems appropriate to issue a single entry visit visa.

3. Applicant’s travel documents restrict the duration

When the applicant holds a travel document with permission to enter another country before a stated date that restricts the duration.

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When a single entry type-C 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 terms of Paragraph 9(i), an Immigration Officer has the authority to endorse a Single Entry Type-C UK visitor visa if the purpose of visiting on a regular basis is not clear. Moreover, an ECO can also issue a UK Type-C visitor visa for less than 180 days.

Instances of issuing a single-entry visitor visa

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

  • a visitor is a non-expert but key witness at a criminal, family or civil court case
  • police or any such agencies request a person to visit the UK so as to assist an enquiry
  • the visitor is coming to the UK for attending the funeral of an immediate/close family member
  • a visitor is coming to attend a particular one-off genuine event for which he/she has an invitation. For example, a religious, business, or a professional convention
  • the visitor is visiting to conduct a particular business transaction and the attendance is crucial
  • the visitor intends to meet an immediate/close family member who is either pregnant or seriously ill
  • a charity sponsoring a visit visa of a child
  • there is a residual doubt about an applicant’s ability to meet the immigration rules
  • there is a lingering doubts about the purpose of the visit

A single-entry visa to replace BRP

If a person, who has a leave to remain or ILR in the UK, is outside the UK and misplaces his/her BRP, then for entry clearance purpose can apply for a single-entry visa. However, the price of such a single-entry visa (to replace BRP) is £154, instead of the usual £95 fee for the single or multiple entry Type-C visas. Therefore, the single entry visa to replace BRP is not a C-type visa but merely a permission to enter the UK.

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