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Visit the UK as a Standard Visitor

Visit the UK as a Standard Visitor

As a Standard Visitor, you are allowed to visit the UK for tourism, business, research (up to 6 months), and other permitted activities.

In most cases, you can stay in the UK for up to 6 months. In specific instances, such as receiving medical treatment, you may be allowed to ask for a longer stay.

Content Source – Gov.UK – Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0. If you require any further information related to Red, Amber and Green List countries rules please visit GOV.UK website. (link opens in new window)

What you need to do

  1. Check if what you plan to do in the UK is allowed as a Standard Visitor.

  2. Check you meet the eligibility requirements.

  3. Check if you need to apply for a visa to visit the UK.

  4. Apply for a Standard Visitor visa online - if you need one.

What you can and cannot do (‘permitted activities’)

You can visit the UK as a Standard Visitor:

  • for tourism, for example on a holiday or vacation
  • to see your family or friends
  • to volunteer for up to 30 days with a registered charity
  • to pass through the UK to another country (‘in transit’)
  • for certain business activities, for example attending a meeting or interview
  • to take part in a school exchange program
  • to do a recreational course of up to 30 days, for example a dance course
  • to study, do a placement or take an exam
  • as an academic, senior doctor or dentist
  • for medical reasons

You cannot:

  • do paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
  • claim public funds (benefits)
  • live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent or successive visits
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership - you’ll need to apply for a Marriage Visitor visa

Check you meet the eligibility requirements

You must have a passport or travel document to enter the UK. It should be valid for the whole of your stay.

You must be able to show that:

  • you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit
  • you’re able to support yourself and your dependents during your trip (or have funding from someone else to support you)
  • you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey (or have funding from someone else to pay for the journey)
  • you’ll not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home

You may need to meet extra eligibility requirements if you’re visiting the UK:

  • to study, do a placement or take an exam
  • as an academic, senior doctor or dentist
  • for medical reasons

The rules on what you’ll need to enter the UK may be different if you’re travelling from Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man.

Check if you need a visa to visit the UK

Depending on your nationality, you’ll either:

  • have to apply for a Standard Visitor visa before you travel to the UK
  • be able to visit the UK for up to 6 months without needing a visa

You can check if you need a visa before you apply.

If you do not need a visa, you must still meet the Standard Visitor eligibility requirements to visit the UK. You may be asked questions at the UK border about your eligibility and the activities you plan to do.

If you’ve previously been refused entry to the UK or have a criminal record, you may want to apply for a Standard Visitor visa (even if you do not need one).

If you have to apply for a Standard Visitor visa

You must apply for a Standard Visitor visa online before you travel to the UK.

A Standard Visitor visa costs £95 for up to 6 months. The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.

If you visit the UK regularly, you can choose to apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa instead.

You can pass through the UK to another country on a Standard Visitor visa. If transiting is your only reason for coming to the UK, you can apply for a Visitor in Transit visa instead for £64.

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Disclaimer

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