What are the Multiple Entry Rules for C-Type UK Visitor Visa?

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.

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Multiple Entry Visa Rules UK
UK Multiple Entry Type-C Visitor and Tourist Visa Rules

UK Multiple Entry Visa 180 Days Rules for Type-C Visitors

The UK multiple entry Type-C visa for 180 days is commonly known as standard visitor visa UK. 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, especially the UK visitor visa 180 days rule, are the same for the short term 6 months visa and its long term 2, 5 and 10-year versions.

UK Visitor Visa 180 Days Per Visit Rule

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. Therefore, if an applicant has been issued a 5-year multiple entry Type-C visitor visa then can visit the UK on unlimited occasions with a duration of stay up to 180 days per visit. However, if the validity of the visa at the time of entry clearance is less than 180 days then a visitor can only stay in the UK up-to the remaining period of validity of the multiple entry type-C visa.

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.

The Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000

In terms of Paragraph V 1.2 Appendix V of Immigration Rules, a holder of Multiple Entry Type-C Standard Visitor Visa can entry and leave the UK on multiple occasions, unless the entry clearance is endorsed as a single or dual entry.

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.

You may be able to extend your stay if you have permission to be in the UK for less than 6 months. You can extend your stay up to a total of 6 months.


UK Multiple Entry Type-C Visitor and Tourist Visa Rules
UK Multiple Entry Visa Rules 180 Days

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    Max Duration of Stay on UK C-Type Multiple Entry Visa

    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 V 17.2 Appendix V of Immigration Rules, the maximum length of stay in the UK for:

    1. standard visitors are up to 180 days per visit for meeting family, business, tourism etc.
    2. medical visitors are 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) are 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 are 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. 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 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.

    Academic Visitors

    In terms of Paragraph 17.2 (a)(ii) an academic visitor (or the accompanying partner or child of such an academic), who is employed by an overseas institution and is carrying out the specific permitted activities at paragraph PA.11.2 of Appendix Permitted Activities may get an entry clearance for up to 12 months. Therefore, UK Multiple Entry Visitor Visa 180 Rule is not applicable for such academic visitors and their accompanying dependants.

    PA 11.2. Academics may:
    (a) take part in formal exchange arrangements with UK counterparts (including doctors); and
    (b) carry out research for their own purposes if they are on sabbatical leave from their home institution; and
    (c) if they are an eminent senior doctor or dentist, take part in research, teaching or clinical practice provided this does not amount to filling a permanent teaching post.

    Immigration Rules Appendix Visitor: Permitted Activities

    Restricting Duration of UK Visa

    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 they applied for. However, the decision-maker can restrict the length of a standard visit visa in the following instances:

    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.

    Single Entry Type-C Visa UK

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

    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.

    Issuance of Single Entry Type-C Visit Visa UK

    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 UK 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 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 they have 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 are 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 their 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.


    Is the UK visitor visa 180 days 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. However, a person on Multiple Entry Type-C Visitor Visa is not allowed to live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits or make the UK their main home.

    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 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 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. Even most of the family visitors usually don’t stay longer than 1-2 months per year.

    When can a visitor 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 they are 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?

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

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