Visit Visas UK

If you are an overseas individual who is looking to visit the UK for a short stay, you will need a Standard Visitor Visa.

This visa allows you to come to the UK for tourism, visiting your family and friends, for certain business activities, for studying courses up to 6 months, and other permitted activities.

A Standard Visitor Visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to 6 months. You may be able to apply to stay for longer in certain circumstances, e.g. to get private medical treatment.

What am I permitted to do on a Standard Visitor Visa?

When you are visiting the UK on this visa, the permitted activities you can do are:

  • Come for tourism and vacation purposes.
  • See your family and friends.
  • Volunteer for up to 30 days with a registered charity.
  • pass through the UK to another country (‘in transit’).
  • certain business activities, for example attending a conference, interview, trade fair, site visit, to negotiate a deal, or to give a talk (which is unpaid).
  • Attend work-related training, if you work overseas, but the training is unavailable in your home country.
  • Take part in a school exchange programme.
  • Do a recreational course of up to 30 days, such as a performing arts course.
  • Study, do a placement, or take an exam.
  • As an academic, senior doctor or dentist.
  • For medical reasons.

How do I know if I am already a British citizen?

People who are already British citizens don’t have to apply to gain British citizenship. They can apply for a UK passport immediately.

You are already a British citizen if:

  • you have a British parent
  • were born in the UK or a British overseas territory
  • were born in a British colony before 1983

To check if you are a British citizen, visit the Gov.UK website here.

What can I NOT do on a Standard Visitor Visa?

While in the UK on a Standard Visitor Visa, you cannot:

  • Undertake any paid or unpaid work for a UK company, or as a self-employed person. You will need to apply for a work visa for this.
  • 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 would need to apply for a Marriage Visitor Visa

If you are being paid by a UK organisation as an expert in your profession, you may be granted permission to visit the UK for a Permitted Paid Engagement.

How do you apply for a Standard Visitor Visa

You fill out the application form online, via this Gov.UK webpage. The Home Office processes all applications. The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.

You will usually hear back with a decision within 3 to 4 weeks. Click here to find out the current visa decision waiting times. You will receive an email or letter when a decision has been made.

Depending on your nationality, you may not need a visa to visit the UK. Click here to check if you need a visa before you apply.

What are the requirements for obtaining a Standard Visitor Visa?

When applying for a Standard Visitor Visa, you will usually need to submit the following supporting documents:

  • A valid passport and travel documents, confirm your identity and nationality.
  • Evidence of the purpose of your visit to the UK.
  • Bank statements, confirming that you can pay for your return or onward journey (or that you have funding for this).
  • Proof that you have been accepted onto a course provided by an accredited UK institution (if you are visiting the UK to attend a short course, which is no more than 6 months long).
  • Proof that you will not make the UK your main home, and that you will return to your home country at the end of your proposed visit.

You may need to submit additional documents, if UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) asks for them. 

How much does a Standard Visitor Visa cost?

It costs £100 to visit the UK on a Standard Visitor Visa for up to 6 months. If you visit the UK regularly, you can choose to apply for a long-term Standard Visitor Visa instead.

If transiting (passing through the UK to another country) is your only reason for coming to the UK, you can apply for a Visitor in Transit Visa instead for £64.

Can you extend a Standard Visitor Visa?

Yes, you may be able to extend your stay in the UK as a Standard Visitor, for a total of 6 months. You can only apply to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months if you are:

You must apply to extend your stay and pay the £1000 fee regardless of your nationality.

You need to apply while you are still in the UK and before your current visa or permission expires

It costs:

  • £1000 to extend your stay as a Standard Visitor
  • an extra £800 if you use the super priority service

You will also need to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken – there is no fee for this. You will also have to submit your supporting documents, to prove your eligibility.

You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision- if you do this, your application will be withdrawn.

Click here to apply to extend your stay as a Standard Visitor.

Can I bring my partner and children with me to the UK on a Standard Visitor Visa?

  • Yes, you can bring your family with you when you are a Standard Visitor to the UK. They will need to make a separate application.

Can my application for British citizenship be rejected?

Yes, you can bring your family with you when you are a Standard Visitor to the UK. They will need to make a separate application.

Does a tourist in the UK need to have travel insurance?

No, it is not a requirement to take out travel insurance when you visit the UK.

But the UK Government highly recommends visitors to take out travel insurance with medical cover before your trip, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition.

Having travel insurance means you can safeguard yourself against any unexpected sickness, injuries, or unanticipated circumstances during your trip to the UK.

Can a Standard Visitor Visa be denied?

Your visa may be refused if the Home Office is not satisfied that you meet the requirements. 

Your rejection letter will outline the reason(s) for refusal, and tell you your next steps. The letter will tell you if you have the right to an administrative review or an immigration decision appeal.

Your application may be rejected if: 

  • Your application is incorrect, insufficient, misleading, or fraudulent. 
  • Your supporting documents are insufficient, inconsistent, in the wrong format, or fraudulent. 
  • You have not included enough detail about the purpose of your visit to the UK.
  • The Home Office suspects that you are looking to work in the UK.
  • The Home Office suspects that you have no intention of returning to your home country.
  • You have applied for the wrong visa. 
  • You have failed to disclose any previous criminal convictions. 
  • You have previously breached immigration laws, or if your travel and immigration history is questionable.
  • You have followed improper advice.

Where can I get help on my Standard Visitor Visa application?

The immigration professionals at Synergy Immigration Solutions understand the complexity of the UK’s immigration laws and the issues that can arise during the application process.

That is why we house all the support services you need for immigration applications, under one roof. This means one cost only, for complete support on your visa application.

We enjoy working with individuals who need assistance with their visa applications.

  • We will liaise with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on your behalf- saving you the time, effort, workload, and stress.
  • We will answer your questions and address any concerns. We are proud to offer a bespoke personalised service, tailoring our advice to suit your needs and ensure that your application has the best chance of success.
  • We process all applications in an efficient and timely manner and keep our clients well-informed throughout the process.

It is vital that the correct documentation is in place to ensure the application is approved.

We would always recommend that you appoint a specialist such as Synergy Immigration Solutions to manage this process for you.

    Get in touch