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Tourist Visa - UK

The UK or the United Kingdom is comprised of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. To visit any of these four countries, you would need a UK tourist visa. UK tourist visas are valid for 6 months. However, the embassy has the right to issue visas for a shorter period of time.

The UK tourist visa application process takes a long time. Make sure to start your UK visa process at least two months from your intended date of the travel to the UK. The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel. This visa is established for those that wish to travel to the United Kingdom for purposes of:

  • a holiday or to see family and friends

  • a business trip or meeting

  • a short course of study

You must apply for a Marriage Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK to get married or register a civil partnership.


If you have a visitor visa you cannot take a job in the UK. 


How to Apply for a UK Visitor Visa?
The application for a UK visitor visa must be made from outside the UK. The earliest you can apply for this visa is 30 days prior to your planned travel to the UK.  To apply for a visa to visit the UK you will go through these simple steps:

You must be able to show that:

  • you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit

  • you’re able to support yourself and your dependants during your trip (or have funding from someone else to support you)

  • you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey (or have funding from someone else to pay for the journey)

  • you’ll not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home

Visa Fees

You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa, or if you visit the UK regularly you can choose to apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa instead.

  • Standard Visitor visa    £100    6 months

  • Standard Visitor visa for medical reasons    £200    11 months

  • Standard Visitor visa for academics    £200    12 months

  • 2 year long-term Standard Visitor visa    £376    6 months per visit

  • 5 year long-term Standard Visitor visa    £670    6 months per visit

  • 10 year long-term Standard Visitor visa    £837    6 months per visit

Documents required for a UK Tourist visa application

You must have a passport or travel document that is valid for the whole of your stay in the UK. There must be a blank page in your passport for your Standard Visitor visa.

You’ll need to provide the following information in your online application:

  • the dates you’re planning to travel to the UK

  • where you’ll be staying during your visit

  • how much you think your trip will cost

  • your current home address and how long you’ve lived there

  • your parents’ names and dates of birth (if known)

  • how much you earn in a year (if you have an income)

  • details of any criminal, civil or immigration offences you may have committed


Depending on your circumstances, you might also need to provide:

  • details of your travel history for the past 10 years

  • your employer’s address and telephone number

  • your partner’s name, date of birth and passport number

  • the name and address of anyone paying for your trip

  • the name, address and passport number of any family members you have in the UK

  • a certificate proving that you’ve had a tuberculosis (TB) test if you’re visiting for more than 6 months


You need to provide additional documents if you’re visiting the UK:

  • to study

  • as an academic

  • for medical reasons


You must provide certified translations of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.

Proving your identity and providing your documents

As part of your online application, you need to book an appointment at a visa application centre. Allow time to attend your appointment, as the visa application centre could be in another country.

At your appointment, you’ll need to:

  • prove your identity with your passport or travel document

  • have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken

  • provide the required documents that show you’re eligible for a Standard Visitor visa


The visa application centre may keep your passport and documents while processing your application.

How long it takes to get a decision

Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. It’s currently taking 7 weeks on average to get a decision on Standard Visitor visas. You’ll get an email or a letter containing the decision on your application. This will explain what you need to do next.

If you need to change or cancel your application

If you need to change something in your application after you’ve sent it, contact UKVI.

You can ask to cancel your application. You’ll only get your fee refunded if the application has not been processed yet.

Need visa assistance?

Get in touch so we can start working together.

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