United Kingdom

Website: httpsss://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y

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Standard Visitor visa

Overview

You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK: for leisure, eg on holiday or to see your family and friends, for business, or to take part in sports or creative events, for another reason, eg to receive private medical treatment.

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 

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 Check the the Visitor Rules to find the full list of business-related activities you can do with a Standard Visitor visa.

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 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 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.

You must apply for a biometric residence permit if you’re staying in the UK as an academic or to receive private medical treatment for longer than 6 months.

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.

You can also apply for a long-term visit visa if you can prove you need to visit the UK regularly over a longer period. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit and your visa can last for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years.

Fees

You must pay £85 to apply, plus an extra fee depending on the length of your long term-visit visa:

1 year – £324

2 years – £324

5 years – £588

10 years – £737

Work Visas

General visa

You can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if:

  • You’ve been offered a skilled job in the UK
  • You’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland

Getting sponsored

You need to be sponsored (ie have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor) before you can apply to come to the UK to work.

The work you do in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.

How long it will take

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the date you travel to the UK.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

You can check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

Fees

How much you pay for a Tier 2 (General) visa depends on your situation, where you are and how you apply.

Tier 2 General (up to 3 years)

Who you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Extend or switch in the UK Extend or switch in person in the UK (premium service)
You £564 £651 £1,051
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia £509 £596 £996
All dependants £564 each person £651 each person £1,051 each person

 

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

 

Tier 2 General (more than 3 years)

Who you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Extend or switch by post in the UK Extend or switch in person in the UK (premium service)
You £1,128 £1,302 £1,702
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia £1,073 £1,247 £1,647
All dependants £1,128 each person £1,302 each person £1,702 each person

 

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can come to the UK with a Tier 2 (General) visa for a maximum of 5 years and 14 days, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter.

Your stay must start no more than 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship.

You can apply to extend this visa for up to another 5 years, as long as your total stay is not more than 6 years.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job in the same sector and at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week
  • do a job which has a shortage of workers in the UK for up to 20 hours per week
  • do voluntary work
  • study as long as it doesn’t interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • bring family members with you

You can’t:

  • own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares (unless you earn more than £155,300 a year)
  • get public funds
  • start working before you get the visa
  • apply for a second job until you’ve started working for your sponsor

You’ll need to make a new application if you want to do a second job that’s not in the same sector as your main job.