Certainly, the UK multiple entry visa 180 days rules for type C visa are the same for 6 months visitor visa and its long term 2, 5 and 10-year versions. And also covers reasons for issuing a single entry type C visa.

UK multiple entry visa 180 days rules for type-C visa: FAQs

Who is a visitor under the immigration rules?

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.

What are the common UK visitor visa types?

According to Appendix V of the Immigration Rules, at present, there are 4 types of UK visas for visiting the United Kingdom i.e.
1. UK standard visitor visa
2. UK Marriage visitor visa
3. Permitted paid engagement (PPE) visa
4. Transit visa
Please note: ADS, medical and academic visas are a part of the UK standard visitor visa. Similarly, the UK tourist, family and business visit visas are in fact standard visitor visa. Moreover, it is a prerequisite for marriage, PPE and transit visitors to meet the UK standard visitor visa requirements. However, marriage, academic, PPE and transit visitors also need to meet some additional requirements.

How long a visitor can stay in the UK?

Apparently, for visitors, the permitted duration of stay depends on the type of UK visit 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 UK standard visitor visa is usually 1-3 weeks. Quite indeed, most of the travellers are fairly busy people in their home countries. Therefore, inevitably return to their country of residence after a short stay in the UK due to pressing business, professional and personal reasons.

What is the maximum duration of stay for visitors?

In the light of 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.

What is the meaning of type-C UK multiple entry visa?

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 UK Type C multiple entry visa issues 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.

Moreover, 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.

What is UK multiple entry visa for 180 days?

Apparently, the short term UK multiple entry visa 180 days is commonly known as 6 months visitor visa UK. However, applicants who get the short term 6 months visa at least one or two times, subsequently intend to apply for long term 2, 5 and 10 years visit visa UK.

UK multiple entry long term 2, 5 and 10 years type-C visas

Perhaps, frequent travellers to the UK can apply for UK multiple entry visa 180 days for longer durations. Accordingly, one can apply for long term standard type-C visa for 2, 5 and 10 years for visiting family, tourism and business visitors.

Applicants applying for a long-term multiple entry visa need to abide by all the relevant visitor visa requirements. Accordingly, this satisfies the ECO to decide: whether or not to grant the visit visa for the intended duration. Therefore, an applicant needs to satisfy: genuine intention to visit the UK on a regular basis

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. This is an incorrect interpretation of the Immigration Rules for visitors. Apparently, the Immigration Rules clearly enables a visitor to cumulatively stay in the UK 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.


How many days a visitor usually stay in the UK on a type-C visa?

Certainly, a visitor can stay up to 180 per visit in the UK. And more than 180 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 in the UK.

For how many days a visitor can stay in the UK in a year?

In light of the Immigration Rules, a genuine visitor can stay in the UK for more than 180 days in a year. However, there must be a compelling genuine reason to do so such childcare of an ailing relative.

For example, a visitor can stay in the UK for 175 days and then return to the Home Country and after 10-15 days can re-entry 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 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 the UK his/her home, which is not allowed in the visitor rules.

UK visa 180-day per visit rules exceptions

However, a visitor on a type C visa can stay in the UK for more than 180 days per visit, if he/she is visiting for medical treatment or on as an academic visitor. Moreover, a visitor under the Approved Destination Status Agreement (ADS Agreement) can only stay in the UK for up to 30 days.

Duration of stay per visit for private medical treatment

A visitor coming to the UK for private medical treatment can stay in the UK for up to 11 months.

An academic visitor can stay up to 12 months

An academic employed by an overseas institution can visit the UK for carrying out the permitted activities under paragraph 12 of Appendix 3. Accordingly, can stay in the UK for up to 12 months. Moreover, the dependant spouse/partner and children of an academic visitor can also stay in the UK for up to 12 months.

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.

Is re-entering the UK possible after the visa expires?

No, it is not possible.

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

If due to any reason a visitor, holder of a standard long-term multiple entry type-C visa, intends to stay for longer than the 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 visitor can also extend single entry or six (6) months visitor visa to complete six (6) months in the United Kingdom as a visitor.

What are the reasons for issuing a single entry type-C visa?

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 Single Entry Visa UK. Most noteworthy: if an ECO is not clear about an applicant’s purpose of visiting the UK on a regular basis over an extended period. Moreover, an ECO can also issue a C-type visa having a duration of stay for less than 180 days i.e. 30, 60, or 90 days.

Instances of issuance of single-entry visitor visa

In certain cases, only a single entry type-C visa is issued such as in the event of a charity sponsoring a visit visa of a child. Moreover, if an applicant is unable to satisfy apparently and there is a 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
  • 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 in the UK
  • 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 in the United Kingdom and his/her attendance is crucial
  • the visitor intends to meet an immediate/close family member who is either pregnant or seriously ill.

What is a single-entry visa to replace BRP?

Moreover, 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.

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:

UK multiple entry visa rules for 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 two (2) years long term multiple entry Type C 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 single entry type-C visa

When the ECO may deem appropriate to issue a single entry visit visa. Please refer details in the preceding sections of this post.

Applicant’s travel documents restrict the duration

When the applicant holds a travel document with permission to enter another country that must be exercised before explicitly given a date that restricts the duration i.e. how long the applicant may be outside of his/her country of normal residence.