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A UK visit visa allows a person to visit the UK for up to six months, the exception being a Student Visitor Visa, which allows maximum entry for up to 11 months.

There are different types of visitor visas. The UK Government may periodically change requirements and/or introduce special/temporary types of such visas.

Working visitor

Visitors carrying out Permitted Paid Engagements. Introduced on the 6th April 2012. This visa category permit entering the UK for a period of up to 1 months in order to carry the following paid engagements:
  • visiting to give a lecture, examining students, participating in or chairing selection panels.
  • overseas designated air-pilot examiners assessing UK pilots to ensure they meet the national air regulatory requirements of those countries.
  • providing advocacy in a particular area of law as a qualified lawyer in a court or tribunal hearing, arbitration or other form of alternative dispute resolution in the UK.
  • professional artists, entertainers or sports-persons carrying out an activity relating to their main profession e.g. artists exhibiting and selling their works; authors doing book signings; entertainers giving one off or a short series of performance and sports-persons providing guest commentary in their field of sport
General visitor

Also known as a tourist type visa. This is a short term visitor's visa to enter the UK for general purposes for a period of 6 months.

Child visitor

The child visitor category is for children aged under 18 years old who want to come to the UK for up to 6 months (or up to 12 months if they are accompanying an academic visitor). This includes children who want to study in the UK for up to 6 months. If a child wants to study here for more than 6 months, they must apply under Tier 4 (Child).

ADS visitor

To be a visitor under the ADS agreement, you must be a national of the People's Republic of China and intend to enter, leave and travel within the UK as a member of a tourist group of 5 or more people under the ADS Memorandum of Understanding. Maximum duration of a visit is 30 days.

Family visitor

To come to the UK as a family visitor, you must be able to show that you will be visiting the following family members in the UK:
  • your husband, wife, civil partner, father, mother, son, daughter, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or first cousin (the son or daughter of your uncle or aunt);
  • the father, mother, brother or sister of your husband, wife or civil partner;
  • the husband, wife or civil partner of your son or daughter;
  • your stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother or stepsister; and/or
  • a person who has lived with you as an unmarried couple for at least 2 of the 3 years before the day when you apply for entry clearance.
Unlike other visitor categories, this category provided a right of appeal if the application is refused.

Business visitor

The business visitor category is for people who want to come and do business in the UK for a short time. This includes academic visitors, visiting professors, overseas news media representatives and film crews on location.

Prospective entrepreneur

This category of visitor is for people who are in discussions with venture capitalists or UK government departments to join, set up or take over - and be actively involved in the running of - a business in the UK. It enables them to enter the UK for a maximum of 6 months so that they can secure funding to meet the financial criteria for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) of our points-based system.

Unlike other visitor categories, this category permits in-country switching into a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category.

Student visitor

If you are an adult and you want to undertake a short course of study in the UK (such as a beginner's English Language course or a work-related training course), you might be able to come here as a student visitor.

Student visitors are allowed to come to the UK for 6 months (or 11 months if they will be studying an English Language course). You cannot extend your stay beyond this period. If need to study longer, you may consider a Tier 4 (Student) route.

Student visitor

You can come to the UK as a prospective student if you intend to study in the UK under Tier 4 of the points-based system but you have not completed all the arrangements for your course of study. For example, you can come here as a prospective student if you have been provisionally accepted on a course, with final acceptance dependent on an interview.

You will be able to remain in the UK for a maximum of 6 months. At the end of that time, you must leave the UK unless you have already switched in-country into Tier 4 of the points-based system to begin your course of study.

Parents of children at school

This category is for parents whose children under 12 years old are receiving their school education in the UK under Tier 4 (Child) of the points-based system, or under the student immigration category that existed before 31 March 2009.

Visitor for marriage

This is a category for those wishing to get married in the UK. Please note that you will not be able to switch in-country into a UK spouse visa category and will be required to leave the UK on order to lodge an Entry Clearance application in the relevant category.

Visitors for private medical treatment

If you want to come to the UK for a short time to receive treatment for a medical condition, you can apply as a visitor for private medical treatment. You will not be able to receive treatment from the National Health Service.
The above options are not exhaustive as we treat every client's case individually. Please do not hesitate to book a phone, Skype or office consultation with us for a professional immigration advice and possible further representation before the UK Border Agency or the First Tier or Upper Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (FTT/UTT IAC).

We offer same day/instant Skype or phone consultations.

You can book your initial Skype or phone consultation with us via the following link: Legal Centre Skype or Phone Consultations