A visitor is a person who is coming to the UK, usually for up to 6 months, for a temporary purpose, for example as a tourist, to visit friends or family or to carry out a business activity. Visitors cannot work or study in the UK unless this is allowed by the permitted activities in the Immigration Rules.
We can advise you throughout the legal process of obtaining a visitor visas, regardless of where you are based.
What are the requirements for a visitor visa?
Before making your visitors visa application, you should be aware that those who are UK nationals, EU nationals or nationals of non-UK visa national countries may enter the UK without obtaining prior permission via entry clearance.
The responsibility is on you to satisfy the Home Office that:
You are genuinely seeking entry for a purpose that is permitted by the immigration rules;
You will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits;
You will not make the UK your main home;
You will not undertake any prohibited activities such as work, receive payment, marry etc (unless you are specifically permitted to do so)
You have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to your visit without working or accessing public funds; and
You will leave the UK at the end of your visit.
If you are successful in obtaining your visa, you must leave the country by the time stated in your initial application. If you stay beyond the period stated in your application, this may affect your future applications to the UK.
The maximum length of stay that can be granted for each type of visitor:
Standard visitor may be granted a visa of up to 6 months, except:
A visitor who is coming to the UK for private medical treatment may be granted a visit visa of up to 11 months.
An academic, who is employed by an overseas institution and is carrying out the specific permitted activities may be granted a visit visa of up to 12 months.
A visitor under the Approved Destination Status Agreement (ADS Agreement) may be granted a visit visa for a period of up to 30 days
Marriage / civil partnership visitor may be granted a visa up to 6 months.
Permitted Paid Engagements (PPE) visit may be granted a visa of up to 1 month.
Transit visitor may be granted a visa of up to 48 hours except for leave to enter as a transit visitor under the Transit Without Visa Scheme which may be granted until 23:59 hours on the next day after the day the applicant arrived.
Can you extend your visitor visa?
A general visitor who is granted visa for less than 6 months when they entered the UK can be granted an extension of stay to bring their total stay up to six months.
It may be possible for you to apply for leave to remain for a period beyond six months if one or more of the following criteria are met:
there are compassionate grounds, e.g. illness of a close relative;
you in a category allowed a total stay of up to 12 months; and/or
you are unable to obtain a flight, but the application was made within the original period of leave and you can produce evidence of your confirmed flight booking.
What if your visit visa application is refused?
There is no right of appeal against the refusal of an application for entry clearance as a General Visitor and the refusal can only be challenged by way of Judicial Review in the High Court.
The alternative option available is to submit a separate application dealing with each of the points contained within your refusal.
We charge a fixed fee of £1,200 plus VAT for representing you in your application to visit the UK. We are aware that this adds a significant amount onto your visit visa application and that this may not be suitable for all applicants. Please note that we also offer consultancy and document checking services as an alternative to full representation.
We believe a fixed fee makes it easier for you to budget for your application and therefore will not vary from this price unless we feel that your application will require significantly more work than a standard application. In this event, we will explain why in advance of work beginning on your matter.
This fee includes:
Taking instructions and providing advice on your matter;
Considering the documents that you provide us with;
Preparing and submitting an application on your behalf;
Drafting legal representations to support your application;
Liaising with the Home Office as and when necessary until a decision is reached on your application.
Our Immigration and Human Rights Team
This fee does not cover Home Office fees, interpreters, travel expenses, expert reports or attending interviews in relation to your matter.
This fee covers work up until a decision is reached on your application but where further advice or work is required thereafter, additional fees will be chargeable. You will always be advised of any additional charges before we carry out work on your behalf.
Once we receive the appropriate documents from you, we will submit your application promptly and generally within 10 days of receipt of these. We will take note of your preferences when it comes to application submission and try to work to with you to achieve your desired outcome.
We are unable to guarantee how long the Home Office will take to decide on your application. You can read their current processing times guidance here: