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UK Visit Visa

UK Visit Visa - Updated 2021 Requirements and Overview.

The UK Visit Visa is a versatile visa that consolidates several earlier short-term visas. It’s a comprehensive visa that has now replaced UK’s tourist, business, and family visas, among others.

This versatile document permits a six-month stay in the UK, making it ideal for short visits. Here’s a more in-depth look at what the standard visit visa entails.

When Is The Right Time To Apply For A Standard Visit Visa?

The standard visit visa has effectively replaced several earlier short-term visas like:

  • Family visit visa
  • Tourist visa for leisure and holidays
  • Child visit visa
  • Business-related visas
  • Sports and entertainment visas
  • Medical treatment visas
  • Prospective entrepreneur visas.

Reasons for Applying:

Leisure: Non-EEA nationals planning a leisure trip can stay in the UK up to six months under this visa. Activities could range from family visits to holidays and travel.

Business: This visa allows attendance at business events, training, or appointments for up to six months. Professionals like academics, doctors, or dentists aiming for research or clinical posts are also eligible.

Sports and Entertainment: Individuals participating in sports events or entertainment activities can apply.

Medical Treatment: Private medical treatment in the UK is allowed under this visa.

Entrepreneurship: If you’re looking to secure funding for business ventures in the UK, this is the visa for you.

Education: Short-term courses lasting up to 30 days are also permitted, as long as education is not the main reason for the visit.

Please note: The standard visit visa does not permit any form of paid or unpaid work, long-term residence through frequent visits, accessing public funds, or engaging in marital or civil partnership procedures. For more information, feel free to reach out to us.

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Eligibility Criteria:

To qualify for a standard visit visa, you must prove:

  • Intent to leave the UK after your visit
  • Sufficient funds for your stay and for dependents
  • Financial capability to pay for return travel
  • Documented plans for activities in the UK.


Academic Visas: This visa can last up to 12 months for academic purposes, given you have proof of high qualifications or a sabbatical from your home institution. Academic activities include exchange programs, research, or teaching.

Medical Visas: Proof of paid consultations and sufficient funds for the treatment and stay are required. Also, assurance that you will not pose a public health risk is needed.

Business and Entertainment Visas: Official letters from employers and hosting organizations in the UK are mandatory.

Academic Visits: Employer’s letter confirming sabbatical and hosting organization’s letter for research activities are needed.

Medical Treatment Visas: A letter from the UK medical professional outlining the details of the treatment, its cost, and location is mandatory.

Entrepreneurial Visas: Support letters from registered venture capitalist firms or UK government-endorsed seed funding competitions are required.

Training Visas: Confirmation letters from the General Medical Council & Nursing and Midwifery Council are essential for medical training programs.

Tourism/Family Visits: Confirmed holiday bookings and accommodation arrangements are needed.

Note: Documentation requirements are exhaustive and additional papers may be required. For any confusion, our expert team can guide you through the process.

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Application Procedure & Fees:

The application is online and must be followed by a visa center appointment for biometric data collection. Applications should be submitted within 48 hours and three months before planned travel. Processing time is generally three weeks for non-EEA and Swiss nationals. The standard fee is £95 but may vary.

Visa Extensions:

Typically, short-term standard visit visas allow a six-month stay. Extensions are possible under certain conditions:

  • Application before current visa expiry
  • Payment for past treatments, if extending for medical reasons
  • Payment of £993 for extension and £19.20 for biometric data.

Processing usually takes eight weeks. For urgent cases, super-priority services are available. Once approved, expect the biometric residence permit within 10 days. Additional time may be required for document discrepancies or interviews.

For a decision by the next working day, consider our super-priority service. Weekend appointments may result in a two-day waiting period. After approval, you can stay in the UK for the specified period.

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