The UK’s visa policy grants citizens of the EU and over 60 other countries the ability to enter the UK visa-free for up to six months. However, all non-UK citizens must apply for a visa if they intend to stay longer.
For example, if you are a US citizen, you can visit the UK without a visa for up to six months. But if you plan to work, study or move to the UK, you need to apply for the appropriate visa regime.
UK Tourist Visa
If you are looking to make a short-term stay in the UK, then the Standard Tourist Visa (UK) is probably the visa you will need to apply for. UK tourist visas allow you to travel for short-term stays of up to six months and can be used for leisure and business, among other reasons.
The tourist visa can act as a short-term business visa, a UK holiday tourist visa, an academic visit visa, a wedding visa to get married or enter into a civil partnership and much more. If you are coming to the UK for travel, tourism, leisure, short-term business needs or private medical treatment, the Standard Visit Visa (UK) will give you permission to come to the UK to do so.
What is the standard UK tourist visa and who is it for?
Leisure – Are you a non-EEA citizen looking for a holiday visa? UK visas for international travelers can sometimes be confusing, but the standard visa to visit UK territories will cover you for up to six months for any leisure purpose. Whether you are coming for a family visit, sightseeing or general travel, your needs fall under the standard visa because it works like a UK General Visitor Visa and a UK Tourist Visa. For UK holidaymakers from non-EEA regions, the standard tourist visa is the way to go.
Business – If you need to enter the UK for short-term business needs such as conferences, events or business appointments, the UK General Visitor Visa will allow you to travel to the UK to carry out business here for up to six months.
Another reason – The standard tourist visa may also allow you to travel to the UK if, for example, you are receiving private medical treatment.
If you are not a citizen of an EEA country or Switzerland, you may need to follow the online application form on gov.uk to obtain a standard visa. However, UK visa eligibility can be confusing and there are exceptions.
What documentation do I need to prove my eligibility for the tourist visa?
To demonstrate your eligibility for the UK Tourist Visa, it is important to provide the Home Office with evidence of your general eligibility requirements as part of your UK Visit Visa requirements and application.
As a citizen with a non-EEA visa, you will need to demonstrate that:
- You fully intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit and do not expect to stay for more than six months.
- You have proof of all the activities you intend to carry out while in the UK, including business and other activities.
- You can afford round trip travel including flights.
- You have access to sufficient funds to support and house yourself and any dependents during your stay without accessing public funds.
It’s one thing to know what you have to prove, it’s another thing to understand how to do it. Immigration rules are strict and the Home Office refuses many visas on the basis of a lack of supporting evidence.
Additional documents you may need to provide include:
- Travel documents detailing the dates you plan to travel.
- A record of immigration and a history of international travel. UK visa laws require a lot of information to be provided.
- An estimate of the cost of your visit and proof of sufficient funds such as bank statements.
- Your contact details and your address abroad.
- Details of any overseas employer company for which you are traveling to the UK.
The list goes on and the truth is, there is no limit to the amount of supporting evidence that can help you prove your eligibility and make your case.
What documents are required?
Below is a general checklist of documents usually required for UK Standard Visitor Visa applications:
- Current valid passport of the applicant;
- The dates you plan to travel to the UK;
- Where you will stay during your visit;
- How much do you think your trip will cost;
- Your current home address and how long you have lived there;
- your parents’ names and dates of birth (if known);
- how much you earn in a year (if you have an income);
Details of any criminal, civil or immigration offenses you may have committed.
How to apply for a UK tourist visa
To apply for a UK tourist visa, you will need to complete the following key steps:
- Check whether you need a visitor visa before proceeding
- Complete and submit a UK tourist visa application online (note: if you are coming to the UK with your family members, each family member will need to submit their own application and pay the required fee)
- Pay the registration fee
- Book an appointment at a local Visa Application Center (VAC).
- Attend your VAC appointment to provide all documents required by the Home Office and have your photo taken and fingerprints scanned (biometrics)
- In most cases, you can expect to receive a decision on your visitor visa application within 3 weeks.
Can you extend your tourist visa?
The UK Tourist Visa is only intended to allow a short stay, however, it may be possible to extend the Tourist Visa if it has been issued for less than 6 months up to a maximum of 6 months. It will only be possible to extend your visitor visa beyond 6 months if you are here for medical reasons, as an academic or if you are a graduate who needs to retake a PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board) test or complete a clinical attachment. The fee to extend a tourist visa is currently £1,000.
Applying for a UK visit visa after refusal
In some cases, the best option is to reapply for a UK tourist visa rather than contest the previous refusal.
When applying for a UK visit visa after refusal, you will need to address the previous refusal letter so that the chances of success of the new application are maximum.
Our experienced visitor visa lawyers can help you reapply for a UK visitor visa and we will also address your previous refusal letter so you can maximize your chances of success.
UK Visitor Visa Lawyer Fees
Our immigration lawyers charge a fixed fee starting from £700 – £1200 for our professional legal services in relation to UK visitor visa applications. The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the practices involved in the matter.
- If your tourist visa is refused, we will charge £600 – £2000 to dispute the refusal letter.
How can we help you with your UK visa application?
Our experienced UK immigration lawyer will guide you through every stage of the application process, including advice on the legal requirements, eligibility criteria and required documents.
- Detailed immigration advice
- List of documents and evaluation of supporting documents
- Direct access to the case manager and supervisor
- Remote and face-to-face service
- Submitting your immigration application after your approval
- Let’s book an appointment to register your biometric data
- We prepare our legal representations/cover letter
- We upload all supporting documents
- Unlimited tracking of letters to the Home Office
- We keep you updated on every stage of your request
- 24/7 support in urgent matters