According to the UK Home Office website, you can visit the United Kingdom as a Standard Visitor for tourism, business, study (courses up to 6 months) and other “permitted activities”. You can usually stay in the UK for up to 6 months. You might be able to apply to stay for longer in certain circumstances, for example to get medical treatment.
What you need to do
- Check if what you plan to do in the UK is allowed as a Standard Visitor.
- Check you meet the eligibility requirements.
- Check if you need to apply for a visa to visit the UK.
- Apply for a Standard Visitor visa online – if you need one.
What you can and cannot do (‘permitted activities’)
You can visit the UK as a Standard Visitor:
- for tourism, for example on a holiday or vacation
- to see your family or friends
- to volunteer for up to 30 days with a registered charity
- to pass through the UK to another country (‘in transit’)
- for certain business activities, for example attending a meeting or interview
- to take part in a school exchange programme
- to do a recreational course of up to 30 days, for example a dance course
- to study, do a placement or take an exam
- as an academic, senior doctor or dentist
- for medical reasons
- do paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
- claim public funds (benefits)
- live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent or successive visits
- marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership – you’ll need to apply for a Marriage Visitor visa
Check you meet the eligibility requirements
You must have a passport or travel document to enter the UK. It should be valid for the whole of your stay.
You must be able to show that:
- you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit
- you’re able to support yourself and your dependants during your trip (or have funding from someone else to support you)
- you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey (or have funding from someone else to pay for the journey)
- you’ll not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home
You may need to meet extra eligibility requirements if you’re visiting the UK:
The rules on what you’ll need to enter the UK may be different if you’re travelling from Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man.x
If you need a Standard Visitor visa, you must apply online before you travel to the UK and attend an appointment at a visa application centre.
The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
Depending on your nationality, you may not need a visa to visit the UK. You can check if you need a visa before you apply.
You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa, or if you visit the UK regularly you can choose to apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa instead.
|Fee||Maximum length of stay|
|Standard Visitor visa||£100||6 months|
|Standard Visitor visa for medical reasons||£200||11 months|
|Standard Visitor visa for academics||£200||12 months|
|2 year long-term Standard Visitor visa||£376||6 months per visit|
|5 year long-term Standard Visitor visa||£670||6 months per visit|
|10 year long-term Standard Visitor visa||£837||6 months per visit|
This is the link you need to use for applying a standard visit visa.
If there are other family members with you who wishes to apply, each person must have their own application and pay the fee separately. They need to attend their own appointment at a visa application centre.
You can apply on behalf of your partner and child, if they cannot apply for themselves.
When you can extend your stay
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.
You can only apply to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months if you’re:
- a patient receiving medical treatment
- an academic and you still meet the eligibility requirements
- a graduate retaking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or doing a clinical attachment
You must apply to extend your stay and pay the £1000 fee regardless of your nationality.
You need to apply while you’re still in the UK and before your current visa or permission expires.
- £1000 to extend your stay as a Standard Visitor
- an extra £800 if you use the super priority service
You’ll also need to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken – there’s no fee for this.
Do you want to instruct me? If you are looking for personal legal advice or help with your case, we have three different services available for different budgets:
- Ask us anything on video link or telephone legal advice in 30 min session for £120.
- Application checking service for £450 if you have prepared your application yourself but want it checking for your peace of mind
- Full legal representation from £1,250 where we run your case for you.
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