In this article, we cover the general requirements and documents one will need to apply for a UK visitor visa.
All visa nationals are required to apply for a visitor visa online from outside the UK before coming to the UK. Applications should not be made more than three months before the date of intended travel. Applications for a UK visitor visa can be made from any country regardless of the applicant’s country of residence. For example, an Egyptian national can apply for a UK visitor visa from India.
There are several categories of UK visitor visas, ranging from standard visitor visas for tourists, visitor visas for marriage, business, short-term studies, medical treatment and more. A standard visitor may apply for a visit visa of 6 months, 2,5 or 10 years validity. This allows multiple visits to the UK within the period of validity, but each stay in the UK must not exceed the permitted length of stay endorsed on the visit visa (usually 6 months).
For more information on the different types of UK Visitor Visas, please visit our UK Visitor Visa page. Also, you can now check which visa you need to apply for on the UK government website.
Requirements for a UK Visitor Visa
To be eligible for a standard UK visitor visa, you must be able to prove that you meet the requirements as listed below. It is crucial that you get this right the first time as there is no appeal for this visa category and the fee is non-refundable. You must be able to prove that you are a genuine visitor and that you:
- will leave the UK at the end of your visit; and
- will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home; and
- are genuinely seeking entry or stay for a purpose that is permitted under the visitor route; and will not undertake any of the prohibited activities set out in V 4.4. to V 4.6 in the Immigration Rules as listed below:
- Must not intend to take up work in the UK or establish a business unless expressly allowed under the permitted activities set out in Appendix Visitor: Permitted Activities
- must have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to their visit without working or accessing public funds, including the cost of the return or onward journey, any costs relating to their dependants, and the cost of planned activities.
- If you will be staying with your family members in the UK: If someone else (your sponsor) is providing your travel, maintenance or accommodation you should provide evidence showing:
- what support is being provided and whether it extends to any dependent family
- how this support is being provided
- the relationship between you and the sponsor, for example if they’re your family member or your friend)
- the person supporting you is legally in the UK (if applicable), for example if they have a British passport or residence document
Documents required to apply for a UK Visitor Visa
You will need to provide a valid passport or travel document which should be valid for the entire duration of your stay in the UK and contact a page for your visa. Any documents that are not in English must be translated and certified. Through your documentation, you will be required to prove the following:
- the dates you’re planning to travel to the UK
- details of where you’ll be staying during your visit
- how much you think your trip will cost
- your current home address and how long you’ve lived there
- your parents’ names and dates of birth (if known)
- how much you earn in a year (if you have an income)
- details of any criminal, civil or immigration offences you may have committed
- If you are not applying for a Standard UK visitor visa, you will be required to provide more documentary evidence relating to the category you are applying for, for example if you are doing applying to marry in the UK, you will need to supply evidence such as venue bookings.
Cost of a standard UK visitor visa in 2021
Some of the costs associated with the standard UK visitor visa are listed below:
|Home Office Fee – 6 months Standard Visitor Visa||£95|
|Home Office Fee – 2 year Standard Visitor Visa||£361|
|Home Office Fee – 5 year Standard Visitor Visa||£655|
|Home Office Fee – 10 year Standard Visitor Visa||£822|
|Document translations||Upto £400|
|Priority Services||£220 – £956|
UK Visitor Visa and COVID
Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you need to complete a passenger locator form before you arrive in the UK. You may also need to self-isolate for up to 14 days when you arrive in the UK.