Standard Visitor visa

A Standard Visitor visa allows you to visit the UK for up to six months for the following reasons:

  • Tourism
  • Visiting family and friends
  • Business trips, including attending meetings and conferences
  • Doing a short course of study (six months at an accredited institution, three months as “leisure”)

Under some circumstances, the Standard Visitor visa allows you to remain in the UK for longer:

  • If you’re taking part in academic research and exchange programmes and meet the eligibility requirements, you might qualify to stay in the UK for up to 12 months, and bring along your spouse and children
  • If you’re travelling to the UK for private medical treatment, you may be granted a visa that allows you to stay for up to 11 months

A long-term Standard Visitor visa (of two, five or 10 years) is available for those who wish to visit the UK frequently. Each visit may not last over six months.

Visitors from some countries do not require a visa to visit the UK.

Visa restrictions

As a condition of entry, you may not undertake any paid or unpaid work in the UK on this visa. You also cannot claim any public funds.

You will need a Student Visa to study for longer than six months and a Marriage Visitor visa to get married in the UK.

You will need to prove to the UK immigration authorities that you will leave the UK at the end of your visit and that you can financially maintain and accommodate yourself in the UK without recourse to public funding or working.

How do you apply?

With the exception of several countries (including South Africa), the visa can be obtained at immigration control upon entry in UK.

If you intend on visiting the UK, please ensure that you contact a visas specialist to check if you are required to have a visa.

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