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Visitors

Visitors

Standard Visitor Visa

As of the 24th April 2015, 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.

You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK for business-related activities, eg:

  • you're coming to the UK for a conference, meeting or training
  • you want to take part in a specific sports-related event
  • you're an artist, entertainer or musician and coming to the UK to perform
  • you're an academic and are doing research or accompanying students on a study abroad programme
  • you're a doctor or dentist and are coming to the UK to take a clinical attachment or observer post
  • you want to take the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or sit the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • you want to get funding to start, take over, join or run a business in the UK

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • take part in any of the business-related activities mentioned in the Visitor Rules
  • study for up to 30 days, as long as it’s not the main reason for your visit
  • take part in an exchange programme or educational visit (if you’re under 18)

You can’t:

  • do paid or unpaid work
  • live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership
  • get public funds

How long you can stay

  • You can usually stay in the UK for up to 6 months.
  • You might be able to stay for up to 11 months if you’re coming to the UK for private medical treatment.
  • You, your spouse or civil partner and children might be able to stay for up to 12 months  if you’re an academic on sabbatical and coming to the UK for research.

Apply outside the UK

  • When you apply, you must choose the option that best describes why you’re coming to the UK, eg choose ‘general’ if you’re visiting on holiday.
  • You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centreas part of your application.
  • You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you’re in - check with your visa application centre.

Permitted Paid Engagement Visa

You can apply for a Permitted Paid Engagement visa if you:

How long you can stay

  • You can stay in the UK for up to 1 month.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • be a student examiner or assessor
  • take part in selection panels for the education, arts or research organisation you’re invited by as a highly qualified academic
  • give lectures at a higher education institution, as long as it’s not a part-time or full-time role
  • examine UK-based pilots so they meet the standards of the country you come from, by invitation of an approved UK training organisation regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority
  • provide advocacy in a particular area of law
  • take part in arts, entertainment or sporting activities including broadcasting
  • take part in fashion modelling assignments
  • do minor activities related to your work or business overseas, eg meetings

You can’t:

  • do specific paid work unrelated to your main job or area of expertise at home or sell merchandise, other than what’s allowed by your visa
  • extend this visa or switch to another visa
  • live in the UK for extended periods
  • get public funds
  • study - except for 30 days of incidental study
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) with you on your application - they must apply separately

Marriage Visitor Visa

You must apply for a Marriage Visitor visa if:

  • you want to get married or register a civil partnership in the UK
  • you want to give notice of a marriage or civil partnership in UK
  • you’re not planning to stay or settle in the UK after your marriage or civil partnership
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

How long you can stay

  • You can use this visa to visit the UK for up to 6 months.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • You can use this visa to marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK:
  • within 6 months of your arrival
  • in any location licensed for this purpose

You can’t:

  • get public funds
  • bring in family members (‘dependants’) - they must apply separately
  • live in the UK for extended periods through frequent visits
  • extend your visa or switch to another visa
  • work - except for permitted activities related to your work or business overseas, eg attending meetings
  • do a course of study - except for 30 days of incidental study

Short-term Study Visa

you can apply for a Short-term study visa if:

How long you can stay

  • 6 months - for any short course (including English language courses), or short period of research if you’re 18 or over
  • 11 months - if you’re 18 or over and taking an English language course

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • do a short course of study in the UK, such as an English language course or a training course
  • do a short period of research as part of a degree course if you are studying abroad

You can’t:

  • study at a state school
  • work (including on a work placement or work experience) or carry out any business
  • extend this visa
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) with you - they must apply separately
  • get public funds

Parent of Tier 4 child visa

you can apply for this visa if:

How long you can stay

This visa usually lasts for either 6 or 12 months. After that, you can get extensions for 12 months at a time until your child reaches 12 yearsof age.

You’ll be given a shorter visa and won’t be able to extend that visa if your child is going to:

  • have their 12th birthday in the next 12 months
  • finish their final year at school in the next 12 months
  • You must leave the UK when your visa expires in either case, and can’t switch to a different visa category. If your child is staying in education in the UK without you, you must make arrangements for their ongoing care.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • extend your visa for 12 months at a time, as long as you continue to meet the eligibilityrequirements

You can’t:

  • switch into a different immigration category from a ‘Parent of a Tier 4 child visa’ when it expires
  • get public funds
  • make your main home in the UK
  • take paid work
  • study
  • bring other family members (‘dependants’) with you on your application - they must apply separately