Applying for Entry Clearance for Standard Visitor Visa
Different British Embassies/Visa Centres have varying application procedures and processing times. Although the majority of complete, valid applications are usually processed within 15 days we recommend allowing longer for an application to be processed, as Embassies/Visa Centres get especially busy in the summer months. You can also check historical visa processing time online.
The Standard Visitor visa has replaced the:
- Family Visitor visa
- General Visitor visa
- Child Visitor visa
- Business Visitor visa, including visas for academics, doctors and dentists
- Sports Visitor visa
- Entertainer Visitor visa
- Prospective Entrepreneur visa
- Private Medical Treatment Visitor visa
- Approved Destination Status (ADS) visa
Although there are standard documents that any applicant requires, individual posts might also ask for slightly different things. It is recommended an applicant makes contact with the Embassy to check their procedures and requirements first. The standard documents required for a Visit (standard) visa application are:
- Complete the correct online application form (where the online application process is not available, the applicant must follow the instructions provided by the local visa post or application centre on how to make an application)
- Pay the correct application fee
- Provide your biometrics if required
- Provide a valid travel document
- A recent passport-sized colour photograph.
- Evidence that the visitor has access to sufficient funds to cover the costs of accommodation and living expenses for the visit. For example: bank statements or payslips from the last three months, or evidence of support from a sponsor or family member.
- Evidence that the visitor will leave the UK at the end of the visit (for example a letter from their employer and details of their return travel arrangements).
- A letter from the person they are visiting explaining their relationship with them and the purpose of their visit (see a sample letter below).
- A copy of the passport data page (the page containing their photograph) of the person they are visiting and if applicable, evidence of their immigration status in the United Kingdom.
It is also advisable to show:
- Evidence of accommodation arranged, such as a contract or hotel booking.
Sample Invitation Letter
You should also write an invitation letter to them for the entry clearance or immigration officer to read. Here is an example of what you should write:
I am writing to invite you to visit me for a holiday/to attend my graduation in the UK between (dates). I am currently studying full-time at the University of Warwick and I enclose a letter from the University confirming my registration details.
I have arranged accommodation for you in my rented house/a hotel. I enclose a copy of my tenancy agreement/a letter from my landlord/a hotel reservation to show the details.
I will be able to pay for your daily expenses whilst you are in the UK and I enclose my recent bank statements to show that I can afford to do this/ I understand that you are going to pay for your trip.
I enclose the data and visa pages from my passport to show that I have permission to stay in the UK as a student until….
For further information, I can be contacted at…… I am looking forward to seeing you soon.
Don Magsino MBA is a student of Oxford Brookes University at Post-Graduate Degree in Law in Oxford, England, UK. He is a graduate of Ateneo De Manila University Graduate School of Business. He is a qualified and practicing Immigration Law in the UK. 07446888377 / 0207 316 3027. His London Office is located at Regus, 239 Kensington High Street, London W8 6SN. He is accredited by the Law Society in England and Wales and regulated by the OISC Level 3 (highest level in immigration professions). He has represented clients in the First-tier Tribunal, Immigration Detention Courts and Deportation and Bail Hearings and to the Upper Tribunal and won many difficult cases in immigration law in the United Kingdom.