Visit visas

Visitor visas

Anyone wishing to come to the UK for tourism, to visit friends and family or for certain other permitted activities must apply for a visitor visa unless you are an EEA or a non-visa national. In certain circumstances it is still advisable for non-visa nationals to apply for a UK visitor visa before travelling, for example, if your personal circumstances make it possible you may be denied entry to the UK. There are several reasons why a person may be denied entry at the border, such as an adverse immigration history or criminal convictions.

There are general conditions associated with any visitor visa application:

  • You must intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit;
  • You can only remain in the UK for a maximum of 6 months in any 12-month period;
  • You must have sufficient funds available to cover the cost of your trip;
  • You cannot work whilst in the UK

Visitor visas are granted for periods of 6 months, 2 years, 5 years and 10 years. If you plan to travel frequently to the UK you may wish to apply for one of the longer visitor visas, although these are more expensive.

As well as the standard visitor visa for tourism and family visits you can also apply to visit the UK for several other permitted reasons:

  • A marriage visitor visa – This visa is issued to someone who wishes to come to the UK for the purpose of getting married. You must leave the UK after your marriage and you cannot apply to stay in the UK whilst here as a marriage visitor
  • A prospective entrepreneur – A person issued with a standard visitor visa is entitled to travel to the UK to research a prospective business. A person in the UK for this purpose can apply to stay in the UK under the Start-up and Innovator routes
  • Paid permitted engagement visitor – This visa is for those who wish to travel to the UK for a short-term paid engagement, for example, an academic giving a short series of lectures, or a sports / entertainment person travelling to the UK for an event.

You cannot appeal a refusal of an application for a visitor visa and there is also no right to administrative review. It is therefore important that your application is prepared thoroughly by an experienced immigration adviser. At HS Immigration Consultants we have many years of experience preparing visitor visa applications, including those with previous negative decisions.

Contact us

If you would like to contact us about your case and discuss how we can help you, please call us on 0121 698 2187. Alternatively, you can email us at

You can also use our free immigration advice service (this is suitable for general enquiries about immigration requirements).