A brief introduction to the UK Standard Visitor Visa Route by Asif Hanif – Immigration Solicitor at Henry Hyams Solicitors
The information provided in this blog does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice please contact our expert immigration team who will assist you with any queries you may have. We are highly experienced with all immigration matters. Please visit Review a Solicitor and see for yourself how our immigration team has been highly rated by existing Clients of the Firm.
The Standard Visitor Visa route allows you to come to the UK for the following reasons:
• Tourism, for example on a holiday or to see your family and friends
• For certain business activities, for example attending a meeting
• To do a short course of study
• To take part in research or an exchange programme as an academic
• For medical reasons, for example to receive private medical treatment
Requirements that need to be demonstrated as part of the application process
You must be able to demonstrate the following requirements to successfully visit the UK under this category:
• You must show you will leave the UK at the end of your trip
• You must be able to support yourself (and any dependants applying with you) for the duration of your trip
• You must be able to pay for your return or onward journey
• You must provide proof of any business or other activities you want to do in the UK
If you intend to apply for a long-term UK Standard Visitor Visa, then in addition to the above you must also demonstrate the following:
• You must be able to prove that you have a frequent and ongoing need to come to the UK
• You must be able to show that the reason you need to come frequently to the UK is not likely to change whilst your UK Standard Visitor Visa is valid
• You must be able to prove that you plan on leaving the UK at the end of each visit
How long can I stay in the UK under this category?
You will be granted leave to enter usually for 6 months; however, there are certain circumstances when this leave may be longer, for example, where you arrive in the UK for medical treatment or if you are an academic.
The long term visas last for 2, 5, or 10 years, and you can only stay in the UK for a maximum of 6 months on each visit.
You will need to demonstrate at all times you will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home.
What am I not allowed to do under this visa category?
Generally, applicants use this visa category to visit their family and friends in the UK. Certain activities are not permitted under this visa category, such as:
• paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
• live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits
• claim public funds (benefits)
• enrolment on a course of study that lasts longer than 6 months
• marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership.
How to apply
The application for this visa can be found online. As part of the application process, all applicants will need to attend a visa centre to prove their identity and enrol their biometrics.
A Standard Visitor visa costs £95.
The fee for a long-term Standard Visitor visa depends on its length and is as follows:
• 2 years – £361
• 5 years – £655
• 10 years – £822
As with all immigration applications, thorough preparation is vital in such applications.
With changes within the immigration rules over the years, the visitor visa category has become one of the most difficult applications to prepare, especially owing to the type of evidence that needs to be submitted with the application, and this is case-specific, thus it varies for each type of application.
A majority of visitor visa applications are refused, owing to the lack of documentary evidence submitted with the application. In order to submit a strong application, your circumstances need to be addressed and analysed before a qualified Immigration Solicitor, so that he/she may advise you on how to prepare your application in the best possible way, so that a true and accurate reflection of your circumstances are before the Entry Clearance Officer, ultimately leading to a successful grant of your visa.
At Henry Hyams Solicitors we have over 30 years of combined experience in assisting our Clients with such applications and we have a very high success rate.
If you would like to discuss coming to visit the UK, please contact our immigration team. Henry Hyams has a highly experienced immigration team to guide you at every stage of your application. Henry Hyams Solicitors have been providing legal advice for over 80 years. We have experienced solicitors who have been providing immigration advice, assistance to clients nationally and internationally for many years.