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Visitor Visa

Visitor visa

The visitor visa allows you to enter the United Kingdom for a short period of time, usually up to 6 months, for tourism, business, or other temporary purposes. This visa is intended for people who are not UK or European Union (EU) citizens and who do not have the right to enter the UK without a visa.

What you can do
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What you can do

  • Visit friends and family

  • Travel as a tourist

  • Volunteer for a registered charity

  • Attend a business meeting or interview

  • Take part in a school exchange program

  • Complete a recreational course

  • Sit an entrance exam

  • Visit for a paid engagement or event

Red X Mark

What you can't do

  • Stay longer than 180 days

  • Study a short course longer than 6 months

  • Do paid or unpaid work for a UK company

  • Do work on a self-employed basis

  • Claim public funds

  • Live in the UK frequently or consecutively for long periods of time

  • Marry or register a civil partnership



Valid Passport

Purpose of travel


You must have a passport which is valid for the entire length of your stay in the UK.

You must be able to show that you are coming to the UK for the reasons you have specified in your application form, and you will return to your country of origin by the time your visa expires.

You must be able to show that you have the necessary funds to travel to the UK and support yourself throughout your stay.

Term & Fees

6 months

2 years

5 years

10 years





Green Bar

Whether you apply for 6 months or 10 years, the maximum period of time you will be permitted to stay per visit is 6 months.


ukvi processing time

Current processing times for visitor visa applications are approximately 3 weeks.

Depending on your eligibility and which country you apply from, you may be able to pay for an enhanced service. The 'priority service' should provide you with a decision within 5 working days from the date of your biometrics appointment. The 'super priority service' is even faster, providing a decision within 1 working day.



Next Steps

If your application for a visitor visa is successful, you will receive a visa vignette inside your passport. This will confirm the length and conditions of your entry clearance. 

If your application for a visitor visa is refused, you will receive a refusal letter outlining the reasons. There is no right of appeal or administrative review to challenge refusals. However, you may be able to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum Chamber) if your application involved human rights grounds. It is less common and only applicable to certain situations, but you may seek to challenge the refusal by judicial review.


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