Visitor Visas

If you are coming to the UK as a visitor, you are allowed to stay for up to six months in most cases. To be allowed to enter or pass through the UK, you must meet certain requirements.

General Visitor
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As a general visitor, you can visit the United Kingdom for up to 6 months or up to 12 months if you are accompanying an academic visitor. As a general visitor you must be able to show that:

-You are 18 or over;
-You only want to visit the United Kingdom for up to six months, or up to 12 months if you are accompanying an academic visitor;
-You intend to leave the United Kingdom at the end of your visit;
-You have enough money to support and accommodate yourself without working or help from public funds, or you and any dependants will be supported and accommodated by relatives or friends;
-You can meet the cost of the return or onward journey; and
-You are not in transit to a country outside the common travel area.

Business Visitor
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You will only need permission (known as ‘entry clearance’ or ‘a visa’) to come to the United Kingdom for a business visit of up to 6 months if you are a visa national.

If you are an academic visitor and want to come for more than 6 months, you will need permission to come whatever nationality you are.

Multiple entry visas are available for business visitors for 6 months, and 1, 2, 5 and 10 years.

Sports Visitor
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You will only need permission to come (known as ‘entry clearance’ or ‘a visa’) to the United Kingdom for a sports visit of up to six months if you are a visa national. See the visa services website for more information.

If you a non-visa national, permission to come as a sports visitor for up to six months is not needed.

Multiple entry visas are available for sports visitors for 6 months, and 1, 2, 5 and 10 years.

To come to the United Kingdom as a professional or amateur sports visitor you must be able to show that you:

-Only want to visit the United Kingdom for up to six months;
-Plan to leave the United Kingdom at the end of your visit;
-Have enough money to support and accommodate yourself without working, help from public funds or you will be supported and accommodated by relatives or friends;
-Do not intend to charge members of the public for services provided or goods received;
-Do not intend to study;
-Can meet the cost of the return or onward journey; and
-Intend to take part in a particular sporting event.
-Intend to take part in a specific one-off charity sporting event and that you will not be paid other than cash prizes or for board and lodging and other reasonable expenses;
-Intend to join as an amateur a wholly or mainly amateur team and that you will not be paid other than for board and lodging and other reasonable expenses;
-Intend to be a member of the support staff of a visiting sportsperson or an official (including those officials coming on a voluntary basis) attending the same event as the visiting sportsperson;
-Intend to undertake personal appearances or promotional activities;
-Intend to undertake a trial provided it is not in front of an audience, or training provided that they are not basing themselves in the UK and they participate in friendly or exhibition matches only.

Entertainer Visitor
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You can come to the UK as an entertainer visitor for a maximum of 6 months. You will be an entertainer visitor, if during the course of your short visit, you intend to:

-Take part as a professional in one or more music competitions; or
-Fulfil one or more specific engagements as an individual amateur entertainer or as part of an amateur group; or
-Take part, as either an amateur or a professional, in a cultural event that is included in the list of specific events to which this applies; or
-Be a member of a visiting entertainer’s support staff or an official attending the same event as the visiting entertainer; or
-Take part in broadcasts or public appearances, provided you are not being paid; or
-Do an audition, provided this is not performed in front of an audience.

Special Visitor
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You can come to the United Kingdom as a special visitor if you are coming:

-As child visitor;
-For private medical treatment;
-For marriage;
-As a parent of a child at school;
-As a student visitor;
-As a prospective student;
-As a visitor in transit.

Special visitors can come to the United Kingdom for up to 6 months unless:
-You are a parent of a child at school, you can stay for up to 12 months; or
-If you are a visitor in transit, you can stay for 48 hours.