Category Archives: Visit Visas

Short Term UK Visas: Legal Changes to Keep in Mind

UK Migration Lawyers are one of the UK’s leading Immigration Solicitors. If you are looking for a short-term visitor visa our team has put together a post that explains what you need to know. When you are ready to arrange your short-term visitor visa get in touch on 0121 777 7715.

Looking for a short-term visitor visa for a UK visit? In the past, there were several separate short-term visit visas that applied to different groups of visitors with differing rules and eligibility criteria. These included:

  • The Standard Visitor visa
  • Marriage Visitor visa
  • Parents of Tier Four Student Visa Holders visa
  • Permitted Paid Short-term Engagement visa
  • Student Visitors visa
  • Visitors in Transit visa

Needless to say, all of these opportunities created much confusion. To make the rules clearer and to simplify the visa application process, the government has now replaced all of the six above-mentioned short-term stay visas with the single Standard Visitor visa. Here’s everything that you need to know about these changes and how they will affect you.

Who can Apply for a Standard Visitor Visa?

You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you plan to visit the UK for leisure (ie. tourism and sightseeing, visiting a friend), for business or for another private reason (such as to receive medical treatment).

There are certain categories of visitor who may be exempt from having to apply for a standard visitor visa at all and our expert immigration legal team can advise you if you fall into this category. The specific eligibility requirements for those who do require a Standard Visitor visa, however, differ depending on your circumstances and our expert team can provide comprehensive advice specific to your situation.

In essence, the Standard Visitor visa has replaced all of the six short-term visas mentioned above, as well as a couple of other visas previously available like:

  • Sports Visitor visa
  • Entertainer Visitor visa
  • Private Medical Treatment Visitor visa
  • Approved Destination Status (ADS) visa

A general rule of thumb is that if you’re planning to visit the UK for less than six months and you normally reside in a country outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you will likely need a Standard Visitor visa. Rules do vary depending on the country in which you are normally resident and, once again, our expert team can advise you.

Applying for a Standard Visitor Visa

As part of your application, you’ll be required to visit a Visa Application Centre in your country where your photograph, fingerprints and signature will be taken digitally. This biometric process only takes 5 minutes and there is no ink or mess involved.

Our team can help you find the closest Visa Application Centre to you, making it easier for you to plan this hassle free process. People who are already in the UK on a Standard Visitor visa may be eligible to apply for an extension without leaving the country in exceptional circumstances.

Bear in mind that there’s a standard processing fee of £85 (correct at the time of writing) and a further fee if you wish to extend your visa. A decision about your Standard Visitor visa status will usually be made within three weeks of your visit to the Visa Application Centre and the submission of the necessary documents.

In order for your application for a Standard Visitor visa to have the greatest chance of success, it is important that you provide ample supporting documentation with your application that provides comprehensive evidence that you meet the eligibility requirements for this visa. Our expert legal team can guide you through the complex array of documentation that must accompany your application, taking into account your full travel and immigration history.

All of the original documents you provide will be sent back to you after your visa application has been examined. During your visit to the Visa Application Centre, you may also be asked to provide some additional information that isn’t backed up by documents. Some of the additional information could include dates of previous UK entry and departure, where you’ll be staying during this visit, your current address and your current income level.

A Few Additional Factors to Keep in Mind

A Standard Visitor visa allows you to stay in the UK for a period of up to six months. There are options available, however, if you need to visit the UK more frequently and regularly over a longer period without having to apply for a new Standard Visitor visa for each trip. Long-term multiple entry visit visas allow you to make multiple visits to the UK of up to 6 months at a time over a time period of 1, 2, 5 or 10 years.

Successfully applying for a long-term multiple entry Standard Visit visa is complex and our expert legal team will ensure that your application and supporting documentation demonstrate that you have a credible ongoing reason to visit, that your personal and economic situation is unlikely to change and that your travel and immigration history shows previous compliance with immigration rules.

While in the UK on a Standard Visitor visa, you’re not allowed to work or earn an income. You are also ineligible to receive public funds, to marry a partner in the country or or to live in the UK for extended periods of time by acquiring multiple Standard Visitor visas.

If you need to stay in the UK for a longer period of time, you should either apply for a long-term visa or provide information that a medical treatment or another reason why you’re visiting the country will necessitate a state that will exceed six months.

Getting Started

For the best chance of success in your application for a Standard Visitor visa, or even if you just want to know that this is the right visa for you, call our expert immigration legal team today.

With a wealth of knowledge and experience, our expert immigration legal team will simplify every part of the application process and guide you away from the hidden dangers and pitfalls that litter this seemingly simple application. Our success rate is market leading and is why, time after time, our clients come back to us for their immigration needs.

Call our expert immigration legal team today on 0121 777 7715

UK Migration Lawyers is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number 497640). Accredited immigration Law Solicitors. UK Migration Lawyers Ltd. / All rights reserved. Company Registration No 06702262 / Registered in England and Wales.