Immigration Rules for Visitors
This route is for a person who wants to visit the UK for a temporary period, (usually for up to 6 months), for purposes such as tourism, visiting friends or family, carrying out a business activity, or undertaking a short course of study.
Each Visitor must meet the requirements of the Visitor route, even if they are travelling as, for example, a family group, a tour group or a school party.
A visa national as set out in Appendix Visitor: Visa National list must obtain entry clearance as a Visitor (a visit visa) before arrival in the UK.
A non-visa national can normally seek entry on arrival in the UK.
There are 4 types of Visitor:
- Standard Visitor: for those seeking to undertake the activities set out in Appendix Visitor: Permitted Activities, for example, tourism and visiting family, usually for up to 6 months. A Standard Visitor may apply for a visit visa of six months, two, five or 10 years validity, however, each stay in the UK must not exceed the permitted length of stay endorsed on the visit visa (usually six months).
- Marriage/Civil Partnership Visitor: for those seeking to come to the UK to marry or form a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership.
- Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor: for experts in their field coming to the UK to undertake specific paid engagements for up to one month.
- Transit Visitor: for those who want to transit the UK on route to another country outside the Common Travel Area and who will enter the UK for up to 48 hours by crossing the UK border unless Appendix Visitor: Transit Without Visa Scheme applies.
Visitors cannot work in the UK unless this is expressly allowed under the permitted activities set out in Appendix Visitor: Permitted Activities.
Further information of how long each Visitor can stay and what they can and cannot do in the UK is set out at V 17.2 and Appendix Visitor: Permitted Activities.