General visitor visa is also known as the "Standard Visitor" and replaces all the sub-categories that were available prior to the changes on the 6th of April 2015. ICS Legal has the immigration expertise at the highest levels and we specialise in complex immigration matters including UK Visit Visas. Immigration rules in the UK are constantly evolving and our team are regulated Immigration Lawyers and case workers who will guide you through every step of the process toward your successful UK Visit Visa application. We cut through the red tape so you don't have to.
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UK Visitor Visas are required by many foreigners who wish to enter the UK for short stays. Whether you need a visitor visa depends on your nationality, the purpose of your visit and how long you need to stay. The UK Visitor Visa category includes a number of specific visitor visas that allow people to the holiday, visit family, get married, study a short course, sit the PLAB as well as many other purposes.
Under the Standard Visit Visa, this category has replaced the entire visit visa routes, however, considers the following as part of that visa:
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.
If you visit the UK on business.
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.
On the Standard Visitor's visa, you can do the following:
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);
convert your civil partnership into a marriage.
On the Standard Visitor's visa, you cannot do the following:
do pay or unpaid work;
live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits;
get public funds;
marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership.
How long it will take
You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. Check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in the country you’re applying from.
How long you can stay
You can usually stay in the UK for up to 6 months. You might be able to stay for longer if:
you apply (and pay an extra fee) for a long-term visit visa and you can prove you need to visit the UK regularly over a longer period;
you’re coming to the UK for private medical treatment - up to 11 months;
you’re an academic on sabbatical and coming to the UK for research - you, your spouse or civil partner may be able to stay for up to 12 months.
If you’re staying in the UK as an academic or to receive private medical treatment for longer than 6 months, you must apply for a biometric residence permit. You might be able to get a visit visa for up to 30 days if you’re a visitor under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) Agreement.
Immigration into the UK is becoming harder and the rules ever more demanding. With Home Office refusal rates at an all time high, ICS Legal Lawyers continue to achieve consistently positive outcomes on behalf of our clients.
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