Perhaps, after visiting the UK on a 6-months visa, applicants intend to apply for a long term visit visa. Therefore, this relates to successfully applying for UK long term 2, 5 and 10-year standard visitor visa. And also explains: what constitutes a genuine intention to visit the UK on a regular basis? And also: what to do after long term visitor visa UK refusal?

UK Long Term 2, 5 and 10 years visit visa

Indeed, the UK 2, 5 or 10-year standard visa is commonly known as long term visit visa. Since, in terms of Appendix V of the Immigration Rules, a visitor is a person who is coming to the UK for a temporary purpose. Therefore, a holder of a long term visit visa can only stay in the UK for up to 180 days per visit. Moreover, it is normally not expedient to directly apply for a UK long term 2, 5, 10 years visit visa. Therefore, for a successful application, it is a prerequisite to have a 6 months visa in the recent past. Perhaps, only if an applicant is able to state a clear purpose of frequently visiting the UK.

A Credible Ongoing Reason

In fact, for getting a long term visitor visa an applicant needs to demonstrate that he/she has a Credible Ongoing Reason of visiting the UK as:

  • meeting a family member – for instance a brother, sister etc.
  • meeting a business connection such a export/import partner, supplier etc.
  • tourism or sightseeing if the applicant is an inveterate traveller

However, there should be no reason(s) to doubt that the applicant intends to make UK his/her home. For instance, following are not credible ongoing reasons to visit the UK:

  • marriage or civil partnership
  • unaccompanied children
  • medical treatment
  • PLAB Test

What an applicant needs to demonstrate?

Indeed, a long term visitor visa applicant needs to demonstrate the he/she has:

  • stable financial and personal circumstances
  • strong ties to the home country
  • adequate overall circumstances, which will not change significantly in the foreseeable future

Avoid long stays

A holder of a long term visit visa can stay in the UK for up to 180 days per visit. However, this does not mean that a visitor may stay for up to 180 days. Perhaps, most of the visitors don’t stay for more than 10-15 days per visit. In fact, a long stay on a multiple entry visa may lead to doubt the intentions of a visitor. Therefore, if a person is planning to get a long term visitor visa UK for up to 10 years then it is advisable to keep the duration of stay short. And the number of trips to a bare minimum.

Does travel history increase the chances?

Yes, of course, an application’s travel history is a contributing factor in the grant of the long term standard visitor visa UK. Accordingly, an applicant’s history of international travels shows the individual’s compliance with the UK or other immigration laws. However, an individual’s circumstances can change over time. Therefore, travel history cannot provide a definitive measure of the future.

For example, in the case of a 10-year visitor visa, the travel history cannot predict the future economic and financial stability of an applicant. Therefore, travel history may be a necessary condition but surely not a sufficient condition for the grant of a long term visitor visa UK. 

When it is not prudent to apply for a long term visit visa UK?

It is not prudent to directly apply for a long-term visit visa i.e. if an applicant intends to apply for a 2-years multiple entry UK visitor visa then in the recent past, he/she must be either a holder of at least one 6-months visa, which is usually a prerequisite for issuance of the long-term term visitor visa or there is some genuine need/reason that an applicant can establish conclusively for frequently visiting the UK. 

What is the benefit of having a long term visitor visa UK?

Quite certainly, the long term visit visa UK provides peace of mind. And also the convenience of not applying for a UK visa after regular intervals. Accordingly, a person can plan a trip more conveniently. Moreover, the UK long term 2, 5 and 10 years standard visitor visa also help in establishing an applicant’s credibility for getting a visit visas of other countries such as USA B1/B2, Canada, Australia, Schengen, Ireland, New Zealand etc. All in all, the long term standard visitor visa UK definitely has an overall impact on a person’s well being and social prestige! 

Is there a long term visit visa UK for one year?

No. Apparently, an applicant can only apply for a UK long term 2, 5 or 10 years visitor visa. However, some websites quite erroneously also mention a validity period of one year for a visitor visa. Certainly, this is incorrect. Quite clearly, there is no provision in the online application form to apply for a one-year standard visa. Moreover, the application fee from outside the UK is only for 6 months, 2, 5 and 10 years standard visitor visas. Therefore, prima facie it is not possible to apply for a one-year visa. 

UK long term 2, 5 and 10 years visit visa fees

From April 6, 2020, the UK long term 2, 5 and 10 years visitor visa fees are £361, £655 and £822, respectively. Apparently, in comparison to a 6 months visa fees (£361), the charges for UK long term visit visa seems to be on a higher side. However, given the extended validity period, the cost of 2, 5 and 10 years UK long term visit visa have an implicit discount of £19, £295 and £1,078, respectively.

The implicit discount

The price of a 6-months visitor visa is £95 and if we multiply it by 4 (for 2 years), 10 (for 5 years) and 20 (for 10 years) then the corresponding figures are £380, £950 and £1,900. Therefore, the amount of an inbuilt discount in the pricing structure of 2, 5 and 10 years visitor visa application over the 6-months visa application is £19, £295 and £1,078, respectively. 

UK long term visit visa processing time

In fact, the service standard of UKVI for long-term visitor visa applications is to process 90%, 98% and 100% of the applications within 15, 30 and 60 working days, i.e. 3, 6 and 12 weeks, respectively. However, for priority service, the service standard of UKVI is one week.

In fact, the purchase of priority service neither guarantees a favourable outcome nor a grant of a long-term visa for the intended duration. Therefore, an application may not be disposed of within 5 working days in spite of purchasing priority service. Perhaps, due to further checks, verifications and even interviewing an applicant before concluding the application.

Furthermore, usually most of the long term visit visa UK applications process within 10-15 working days i.e. 2 to 3 weeks. However, in some cases, the decision exceeds 15 days, but may likely to conclude within 30-60 days. If the applicant has purchased the priority service then there is quite a fair probability that the visa application may process within 2-5 workings days. If an applicant doesn’t receive the decision within 15 working days or 3 weeks of the application then it is quite certain that the delays are due to the extended evaluation process.

When an applicant may not get a long term visit visa UK?

Perhaps, if an applicant meets the requirements but fails to demonstrate the need of visiting at regular intervals then the applicant may not qualify for a long term visitor visa UK. In such instances, an applicant gets a visa for up to six (6) months with no refund. However, an applicant may receive a statement of reasons explaining the reasons for granting a visa for a shorter duration. In a few instances, an applicant may receive the statement of reasons when the passport returns with a visa vignette for a shorter duration. 

What to do after UK long-term standard visitor visa refusal?

If a long-term visitor visa is refused then the better option is to challenge the refusal through judicial review. In fact, in the case of reapplication, an applicant is likely to get a 6-months visa. Perhaps, despite paying the fee for a long-term visitor visa, which is non-refundable.

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How to sequence the UK long term visit visa applications?

Perhaps, at times after 1-2 visits, applicants are not sure whether to apply for a 2 or 5-year visa. Similarly, after 2 years visitor visa, applicants are uncertain whether to apply for a 5 or 10 years visitor visa! Indeed, the sequencing depends on the personal circumstances, travel history and most importantly the purpose of frequently visiting the UK on a regular basis. Certainly, the purpose of visiting the UK on a regular basis is quite easy to establish for family visits. And also not difficult for visiting the UK for tourism or business.

When applying for a 2-year visa is appropriate?

In fact, it is not appropriate to directly apply for a 2-year visitor visa UK. Therefore, it is prudent to apply for a 2-year visitor visa UK if a 6 months visitor visa has been granted to an applicant in the past. And also an applicant has a cogent reason to frequently visit the UK for business, tourism or meeting family.

Can frequent travellers apply for a 5-year visa?

Perhaps, the 5-year visa is for those applicants who have visited the UK at-least 3-4 times. And the applicant’s 2-year visitor visa has either expired in the recent past or is about to expire. Accordingly, the 5-year tourist visa is for those avid travellers, who intend to visit the UK at least once a year and have good travel history, income and affordability.

Who is likely to get a UK long term 10-year visit visa?

The UK 10 year visa is for regular travellers. The long term 10-year visit visa UK introduced in July 2002 for all purposes of standard visit visa. Perhaps, the chances of getting a long term 10-year visa depend on the stability of an applicant’s future circumstances.

In fact, getting a long term 10-year visit visa UK is a mark of social success and personal achievement. Therefore, nearly all the successful businesspersons, landlords and professional visa nationals eventually like to have 10-year visa vignette on their passports.

Furthermore, long term 10-year family visit visa UK is really helpful for parents of British Citizens. Perhaps, most of the parent like to meet their sons, daughters, grandchildren at-least once or twice in a year.

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