The visitor visa is the most popular single route for individuals coming to the UK for tourism, visiting family as well as business visits.  There are also some limited special other reasons acceptable for a visit visa.

Reasons why you may wish to visit the UK

There are numerous reasons why an individual may wish to come to the UK for a short period. In addition to visiting family, sightseeing or visiting on business, people may wish to visit the UK to get married, arrange plans for studying in the UK, undertake a short course, attend important events, visit the UK as a representative of a company or conduct research or sit a test in the UK.

General requirements for coming to the UK as a visitor

Individuals intending to visit the UK must be able to demonstrate that they wish to visit the UK for no more than six months and that they will be leaving the UK at the end of the visit. In addition, individuals must be able to show that they have sufficient finds to maintain and accommodate themselves (and any dependants) without assistance from UK public funds.

The exceptions to this general rule for length of stay are for academic visitors and parents of children at school in the UK who are entitled to stay in the UK for a maximum period of 12 months.

Categories of the Visitor Visa

It is important that if you intend to visit the UK that you are clear about the reasons and provide the right supporting documentation to support your application.

Whilst the visa issued is the same for all visitors the reason under which thr application is made can be as follows.

Visiting Family

Visiting Friends


Business Visitors   – be very careful with this one

Academic visitors

Advisers, consultants, trainers, trouble shooters who are employed abroad by the same company which has the UK branch

Individuals undertaking specific, one off training in techniques and UK work practices

Sports Visitors

Entertainer Visitors

Special Visitors

Visitors for private medical treatment in the UK

Visitors intending to marry in the UK

Parents of a child at school in the UK

Special paid assignments