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Posts tagged "immigration"

Immigration: Visa applications open under UK's post-Brexit system

New immigration rules will be "simple and flexible", ministers have promised, as the UK's points-based post-Brexit system prepares to go live.

From Tuesday all foreign nationals, including from the European Union, who want to work in the UK from 1 January will have to apply online for a visa.

Those seeking a skilled worker visa will need a job offer, to be proficient in English and earn at least £25,600.

Free movement from and to the EU will come to an end on 31 December.

EU citizens already living in the UK by 31 December and their families do not have to go through the new system but instead can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, and have until 30 June 2021 to do so.

If they are successful, they will be able to remain in the UK and claim the same benefits as UK citizens if they become unemployed.

Irish citizens do not need to apply to the scheme and will not require permission to come to the UK, as the UK and Ireland are both part of a Common Travel Area.

The UK left the EU on 31 January but has been largely following its rules during the subsequent 11-month transition period, as the two sides try to reach agreement over a trade deal.

As talks continue in London, the UK is stepping up its preparations for leaving the EU's single market and customs union at the end of the year.

The government has announced it is setting up a new Border Operations Centre, which it says will ensure round-the-clock surveillance of goods and passengers coming in and out of British ports for the first time.

Border preparations stepped up

Cutting-edge software will be used to gather information about the flow of goods and passengers in the hope of minimising the amount of "short-term" disruption at the border in the days and weeks after 1 January.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said the new system, which will be manned 24/7, would enable the authorities to identify and get on top of bottlenecks "quickly and decisively".

Business groups have said delays at the border are inevitable given the looming changes to customs procedures while Labour said "glaring questions" remained unanswered about what businesses needed to do.

"The government is putting the burden on businesses to prepare for the end of the transition period when it has not explained what it is those businesses are getting ready for," said shadow minister Rachel Reeves.

"The government is re-badging a basic element of preparation but still can't tell us how many customs agents are recruited or trained or whether crucial IT is ready."

 

To tackle what the Cabinet Office calls the "challenges" of potential disruption at the UK border next year, a Border Operations Centre will use big data technology to try to "identify the root causes" of hold-ups to passengers and freight.

The software system is produced by the controversial US tech firm Palantir and will pull together information from different government computers to monitor the flow of people and vehicles across the UK border.

Palantir has courted controversy in the United States, where its systems are used by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This has led the human rights organisation Amnesty International to warn of "a high risk that Palantir is contributing to serious human rights violations of migrants and asylum-seekers".

The company denies the suggestion and says it remains extremely concerned about protecting human rights, privacy rights, and civil liberties in general.

The UK government has stressed that Palantir will only process data in Britain and that strict measures are in place to protect personal information.

 

What is changing in immigration?

The UK's new immigration system will determine who can work in the country from 1 January.

Online applications for visas via a range of new "routes" will open on Tuesday.

Applications for skilled worker visas will be judged on the basis of a points system, which is modelled on the system in place in Australia for many years.

Points will be awarded for a job offer at the appropriate skill level in an eligible occupation, knowledge of English and whether applicants meet a salary threshold - which will typically be at least £25,600.

The cost of applying will be between £610 to £1,408 and people will have to show they have enough money to support themselves as well as having proof of identity.

Applicants will have to wait about three weeks to find out whether they have been successful.

Route for 'exceptional talent'

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the system would be "simple, effective and flexible" and enable employers to fill skills gaps while also placing a greater onus on firms to train and invest in British workers.

Ms Patel and other critics of free movement have long argued it has left British firms overly reliant on low-skilled workers from the continent and put applicants from the rest of the rest of the world at a disadvantage.

But unions have warned of a looming crisis over the recruitment of social care staff under the new rules and says action is also needed to support those foreign-born NHS workers whose visas are expiring.

Applications also opened on Tuesday for Global Talent, Innovator and Start-Up visas designed to attract "those who have an exceptional talent or show exceptional promise in the fields of engineering, science, tech or culture".

New rules for international students came into force in October.

The rights of the more than three million EU citizens already working in the UK are protected under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement signed by the UK and EU earlier this year.

As of 30 September, 2.1 million people had been granted settled status and 1.6 million pre-settled status - ensuring they can remain in the UK.

 

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-55133506

 

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Innovator visa

Overview

You can apply for an Innovator visa if:

Funds you’ll need

You must have at least £50,000 in investment funds if you want to set up a new business. You do not need funds if either:

  • your business is already established and has been endorsed for an earlier visa 

  • you’ve changed your business and already agreed it with your endorsing body

Getting endorsed

You must be able to show that your business idea is:

  • new - you cannot join or invest in a business that is already trading
  • innovative - you must have an original business idea which is different from anything else on the market
  • viable, with potential for growth

Read the endorsing bodies list - you should only approach ones that are suitable for your business idea.

How long it takes to get a visa

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.

ExampleYou can apply from 16 March if you plan to travel on 15 June.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.

Find out about paying for a faster decision.

Fees

How much you pay for an Innovator visa depends on your situation and where you apply from.

Who you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Extend or switch (in the UK) You £1,021 £1,277 You (if you’re from Turkey or Macedonia) £966 £1,222 All dependants £1,021 each person £1,277 each person

Healthcare surcharge

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

If you’re applying to extend or switch in the UK

You’ll need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.

How long you can stay

You can stay for 3 years if you:

You can apply to extend for another 3 years when your visa is due to expire. There’s no limit on the number of times you can extend.

You may be able to apply for settlement (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) once you’ve been in the UK for 3 years.

If your endorsement is withdrawn

Your visa may be cut short if your endorsement is withdrawn. If you want to stay longer, you must re-apply with a new endorsement before your current visa expires.

What you can and cannot do

You can:

  • set up a business or several businesses
  • work for your business - this includes being employed as a director, or self-employed as a member of a business partnership
  • bring family members with you

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source:https://www.gov.uk/innovator-visa

You cannot:

  • do any work outside your business, for example work where you’re employed by another business
  • work as a doctor or dentist in training
  • work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach
  • get public funds
Home Office does not know how many people are in UK illegally, National Audit Office report finds

An estimate of the number of illegal immigrants in the UK has not been produced for 15 years, the National Audit Office says.

An up-to-date estimate of the number of illegal immigrants in the United Kingdom has not been produced for 15 years, according to a report.

The National Audit Office (NAO) said the last estimate in 2005 suggested there were around 430,000 people in the country with no right to remain.

 

But independent research since has put the figure at more than one million, Whitehall's spending watchdog said.

Priti Patel says over eight million people are economically inactive           February: Priti Patel on immigration overhaul

The NAO's report into the Home Office's immigration enforcement directorate said the department had estimated demand for immigration enforcement activity.

This was put at between 240,000 and 320,000 cases a year.

 

But the report said there was no baseline given against which progress can be measured or to demonstrate whether demand is rising or falling.

The watchdog concluded that despite collecting information around its mission and objectives, the Home Office often cannot demonstrate whether its measures are working.

source: https://news.sky.com/story/home-office-does-not-know-how-many-people-are-in-uk-illegally-national-audit-office-report-finds-12008373

Coronavirus (COVID-19): immigration guidance

Guidance on immigration provisions made by the Home Office for individuals affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).

Published 17 February 2020Last updated 27 February 2020 — see all updates From:  

Contents

  1. Chinese nationals in the UK whose visa has recently expired or is about to expire
  2. Non-Chinese, non-EEA nationals in the UK normally resident in China
  3. Chinese nationals in the UK whose visa was granted by Irish authorities (British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS)
  4. Chinese nationals in the UK whose visa was granted by the Crown Dependencies
  5. Switching to a Tier 2 category in the UK
  6. Information for Chinese or third country nationals in China
  7. British nationals in China who need to apply for a passport
  8. Licensed Tier 2, Tier 4 or Tier 5 sponsors: absences due to coronavirus
  9. Additional immigration queries
  10. Coronavirus Immigration Helpline
  11. Additional resources

Due to travel restrictions because of coronavirus some individuals may be facing uncertainty in relation to the expiry date of their current visa or leave to remain in the United Kingdom. The Home Office understands that in many cases this is because of circumstances outside of your control.

Subject to the below guidance, most people in the UK whose immigration status is affected by the coronavirus outbreak will get an automatic extension of their visa until 31 March 2020.

Read the guidance below to find out if your visa will be automatically extended or if you need to contact the Home Office’s dedicated coronavirus immigration helpline to discuss your circumstances and arrange an extension.

The helpline can only speak to the visa holder or applicant about individual cases. If a third party wishes to speak on their behalf, they must have the visa holder’s permission.

Chinese nationals in the UK whose visa has recently expired or is about to expire

If you are a Chinese national in the UK and have been compliant with the conditions of your visa prior to the coronavirus outbreak, your visa will be automatically extended to 31 March 2020 if your visa has an expiry date between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020.

You’ll also get an automatic extension if you’re in the UK on a long-term standard visitor visa that lasts 2, 5 or 10 years and you have reached the maximum stay of 180 days between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020.

You don’t need to do anything to get this extension.

You will remain subject to the same immigration conditions attached to your visa during the extension period.

You will not automatically receive a new visa or Biometric Residence Permit card.

Your new expiry date (31 March 2020) will be added to UK Visas and Immigration’s systems.

If you need a status letter confirming this extension, or a new Biometric Residence Permit with a revised expiry date, you should contact the coronavirus immigration helpline.

If you have already applied to extend your visa you don’t need to do anything.

If you are intending to apply to extend your stay in the UK before 31 March 2020 you should continue to do so.

Non-Chinese, non-EEA nationals in the UK normally resident in China

If you are a non-Chinese or non-EEA national in the UK but are normally resident in China and your visa in the UK has an expiry date between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020 you should contact the coronavirus immigration helpline.

The team will be able to extend your visa to 31 March 2020 if you can demonstrate you are normally resident in China.

You will remain subject to the same immigration conditions attached to your visa during the extension period.

Chinese nationals in the UK whose visa was granted by Irish authorities (British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS)

If you are a Chinese national in the UK with a visa that was granted by the Irish authorities and has an expiry date between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020 you should contact the coronavirus immigration helpline to discuss your circumstances.

Chinese nationals in the UK whose visa was granted by the Crown Dependencies

If you are a Chinese national in the UK with a visa that was granted by a Crown Dependency and has an expiry date between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020 you should contact the coronavirus immigration helpline to discuss your circumstances.

Switching to a Tier 2 category in the UK

If you are a Chinese national in the UK on a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa and want to switch to a Tier 2 General visa you normally need to return to China to make your application.

You can exceptionally apply to switch from a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer to a Tier 2 General visa from within the UK if your visa has an expiry date between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020.

You will still need to pay the relevant fee and meet all the requirements of a Tier 2 General visa, other than the requirement that you usually have to apply in China.

Information for Chinese or third country nationals in China

UK Visa Application Centres in China are currently closed.

The Home Office continues to monitor the situation and updates on when the VACs will re-open will be available on VFS’s website.

Bookings for Secure English Language Testing (SELT)

Access to approved Secure English Language Testing (SELT) facilities across China is also currently restricted in line with national requirements, and tests scheduled for March 2020 have been cancelled.

These dates are being kept under review as the situation develops.

Test takers who have already taken their test will receive their Test Report Form (TRF) by mail.

For all the latest information, please visit the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)’s website, or contact your test centre directly by email.

Chinese or third country nationals whose passport is at a Visa Application Centre (VAC)

UK Visa Application Centres in China are currently closed.

Where possible we will return passports currently held in VACs to customers via courier, where courier return has been requested. This will not be possible in all locations.

If your passport is currently held in a VAC, but you have not previously arranged for it to be returned by courier, please contact VFS Global directly.

The Home Office continues to monitor the situation and updates on when the VACs will re-open will be available on VFS’s website.

As soon as we are able to re-open the VACs we will prioritise the return of all documents to our customers.

British nationals in China who need to apply for a passport

Due to the closure of Visa Application Centres (VAC), it is not currently possible to apply for a British passport from China. If you urgently need to travel to the UK, you can apply for an emergency travel document.

British passports that were due for collection at a VAC have now been delivered to the British Embassy in Beijing, or the Consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou. You will be contacted to make arrangements to collect your documents.

The Home Office is monitoring the situation, and as soon as we are able to re-open the VACs we will prioritise the return of documents to our customers.

Licensed Tier 2, Tier 4 or Tier 5 sponsors: absences due to coronavirus

Some Tier 4 students or Tier 2/5 employees may be prevented from attending their studies or employment due to illness, the need to serve a period of quarantine or the inability to travel due to travel restrictions caused by coronavirus.

Sponsors do not need to report student or employee absences related to coronavirus which they have authorised.

Sponsors do not need to withdraw sponsorship if they consider there are exceptional circumstances when:

  • a student will be unable to attend for more than 60 days
  • an employee is absent from work without pay for four weeks or more

Decisions on whether to withdraw a student from their studies or terminate an employment are for sponsors to make. The Home Office recognises the current situation is exceptional and will not take any compliance action against students or employees who are unable to attend their studies/work due to the coronavirus outbreak, or against sponsors which authorise absences and continue to sponsor students or employees despite absences for this reason.

The Home Office will keep this under review, especially if the length of absences mean a potential repeat of period of studies become necessary.

Additional immigration queries

You can also contact the coronavirus immigration helpline if you have any other immigration queries related to coronavirus, including questions about urgent, compelling, compassionate case where a Chinese national or other visa national based in China needs to travel to the UK.

If your query doesn’t relate to immigration provisions associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) please contact the general immigration helpline on 0300 123 2241.

Coronavirus Immigration Helpline

Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Calls are free of charge.

Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk

Due to Data Protection Regulations we can only speak to the visa holder or applicant about their specific query.

If you are a third party (for example family member or sponsor) and wish to speak on their behalf, we must have the visa holder’s permission. This can be provided by verbal consent to the coronavirus immigration helpline or written consent via email. The email to verify consent must be sent from the email address provided on the visa holder’s application to CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk to enable us to provide a response. Without consent we are unable to discuss person-specific details with a third party.

Additional resources

We will keep our guidance under regular review. You can keep up to date by reading the latest Public Health England advice which includes the latest advice for travellers.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has also produced guidance for British people travelling and living overseas following the outbreak, and you can find country-specific information on their travel advice pages for all countries you’re planning to visit or transit.

Published 17 February 2020Last updated 27 February 2020 + show all updates source:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-immigration-guidance-if-youre-unable-to-return-to-china-from-the-uk

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EU settlement scheme: Vulnerable 'struggling to apply'

The Home Office has been slow to respond to concerns that vulnerable people are struggling to access the EU settlement scheme, campaigners say.

A group representing EU citizens, the3million, claimed some people were "struggling to apply" or still do not know about the scheme.

It comes after the government's immigration watchdog criticised the Home Office's handling of the scheme.

All EU citizens who want to stay in the UK after Brexit have to apply.

A House of Commons report says 3.1 million people have done so, so far.

A separate report by David Bolt, the chief inspector of borders and immigration, praised some of the Home Office's work to help vulnerable applicants, but also raised concerns and made several recommendations for improvements.

'Hidden costs'

The immigration watchdog said: "Most of the recommendations were aimed at improving the way the scheme operates for vulnerable and hard-to-reach individuals, and applicants who are finding the process difficult."

But he said the Home Office's response had been "less positive and constructive than I had hoped".

The government department accepted all but one of the report's recommendations, which called for the system, which people do not have to pay to use, to be made "genuinely free".

It denied that applicants were subjected to "hidden costs" identified in the report, such as phone operator charges when calling the scheme's helpline and charges imposed by some councils for ID document scanning services.

It conceded some applicants may incur costs but said help and information was available by a variety of means, suggesting the costs could be avoided.

'Long delay'

David Bolt's report covers the five months to the end of August 2019, although Mr Bolt said most of the inspections were carried out between April and June.

Charity Migrant Voice said the relevancy of the report was "called into question by the long delay in its publication".

Migrant Voice director Nazek Ramadan said: "The scheme has seen a big uptick in applications in the six months since the inspection ended and existing problems are likely to have been exacerbated (and new ones generated) in that time."

It follows press reports about mistakes, including the story of a 101-year-old Italian man who has been living in the UK for more than 50 yearswho was asked to get his parents to confirm his identity, after the computer system incorrectly processed his year of birth as 2019, not 1919.

Maike Bohn, co-founder of the3million, said David Bolt's report "echoes our key concerns that not enough has been done to reach, inform and assist EU citizens through this crucial process".

"Like David Bolt we hoped for more positive and constructive responses from the Home Office," he added.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Labour's shadow immigration minister, said: "It is unacceptable that government departments have been less than co-operative when the status of millions of EU citizens is at issue."

A Home Office spokesman said: "We're pleased that the inspector praised the Home Office's management of the EU Settlement Scheme and recognised the wide range of support available online, by phone, and in person."

source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-51675813?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/c302m85qe1vt/uk-immigration&link_location=live-reporting-story

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Different types of UK VISAS
  • Work Visas.
  • Business Visas.
  • Study Visas.
  • Visitor Visas.
  • Family Visas.
  • Settlement Visas.
  • Transit Visas.
  •  
  • What you need to do

    Check if you need a UK visa, apply, manage your application, biometric residence permits

  •  
  • EU, EEA and Commonwealth citizens

    Settled and pre-settled status for EU citizens, EEA family permits, UK Ancestry visa

  •  
  • Visit the UK

    Visit for a holiday, business or a short stay (up to 6 months), airport transit visas

  •  
  • Study in the UK

    Short-term study visas and visas for longer courses, degrees and independent schools

  •  
  • Work in the UK

    Paid and voluntary work, entrepreneur and investor visas

  •  
  • Family in the UK

    Partner, spouse and family member visas and permits

  •  
  • Live permanently in the UK

    Ways to settle in the UK and routes to British citizenship

  •  
  • Seek protection or asylum

    Claiming asylum as a refugee, the asylum process and support

  •  
  • Immigration appeals and status problems

    Appeal against a visa, settlement or asylum decision, immigration status problems

  •  
  • Travelling to the UK

    Moving your belongings, going through customs and tax

  •  
  • https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration
Tuberculosis tests for visa applicants

Overview

You’ll need to have a tuberculosis (TB) test if you’re coming to the UK for more than 6 months and are resident in any of these listed countries.

You’ll be given a chest x-ray to test for TB. If the result of the x-ray is not clear you may also be asked to give a sputum sample (phlegm coughed up from your lungs).

If your test shows that you do not have TB, you’ll be given a certificate which is valid for 6 months from the date of your x-ray. Include this certificate with your UK visa application.

Who does not need to be tested

You will not need a TB test if any of the following apply:

  • you’re a diplomat accredited to the UK
  • you’re a returning UK resident and have not been away for more than 2 years
  • you lived for at least 6 months in a country where TB screening is not required by the UK, and you’ve been away from that country for no more than 6 months

Children

All children must see a clinician who’ll decide if they need a chest x-ray. Children under 11 will not normally have a chest x-ray.

You must take your child to an approved clinic and complete a health questionnaire. If the clinician decides your child does not have TB they’ll give you a certificate. Include this certificate with your child’s UK visa application.

Pregnant women

You can choose:

  • an x-ray with an extra shield to protect you and your unborn child in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters
  • a sputum test (phlegm coughed up from your lungs) - there may be an extra fee and you could wait up to 8 weeks for results
  • to wait until after delivery

If you do not want to be tested you can use an x-ray taken within the last 3 months at a UK-approved screening clinic. Ask a clinician at an approved clinic to review your x-ray. If it’s accepted the clinician will give you a certificate to provide with your UK visa application.

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Applying for a visa to come to the UK

Choose a visa

You may need a visa to come to the UK to study, work, visit or join family.

There are different visas depending on:

  • where you come from
  • why you want to come to the UK
  • how long you want to stay for
  • your personal circumstances and skills

Before you apply, you must check if you need a visa and what type you need. Depending on your nationality, you might not need a visa.

Your application must be approved before you travel.

If you want to visit the UK

Check which visa you need to visit the UK:

If you have a visitor visa you cannot take a job in the UK. You can do up to 30 days of study, as long as it’s not the main reason for your visit.

If you’re travelling through the UK

You might need a visa if you’re travelling through the UK on your way to another country, for example if you have a layover between flights.

Apply for a visa to travel through the UK.

If you want to study in the UK

Your course length, type and place of study affect which visa to apply for.

short-term study visa lets you to study for up to 6 months (11 months if you’re over 16 and studying an English language course).

general student visa is for a longer course. You must be sponsored by a licensed college or university and have a confirmed place. You can do some work on this visa.

child student visa is for 4 to 17 year olds who want to study at an independent school. If you’re 16 or over, you can do some work on this visa.

If you want to work or invest in the UK

You can work in the UK on a short or long-term basis with a work visa. There are many types of work visa.

The visa you need depends upon:

  • your skills and qualifications
  • if you have a job offer and sponsorship
  • if you want to bring your family with you
  • what you’ll be doing - for example sporting, charitable or religious work

You can also invest money in the UK with an Investor visa. You can set up a business with a Start-up visa or an Innovator visa.

If you want to join family in the UK

If you’re a spouse, partner or family member of someone who has British citizenship or settlement in the UK, you can apply for a family visa to join them. They may need to show that they can support you financially.

You may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after a set amount of time living in the UK.

Family reunion visas for refugees

If you were separated from your partner or child when you were forced to leave your country, you can apply for them to join you in the UK.

To apply you must have been given asylum or 5 years’ humanitarian protection, and not have British citizenship.

Other ways to get permission to live in the UK

Commonwealth citizens

You can apply for an Ancestry visa to work in the UK if you have a British grandparent and meet other eligibility criteria.

You may have right of abode to live in the UK.

If you’re a Commonwealth citizen and cannot prove your right to be in the UK, read about the Windrush scheme.

Returning residents

If you had indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and left the UK for more than 2 years you’ll need to apply for a returning resident visa to come back.

Other visas

There may be another visa that’s right for you based on your circumstances. Check what other visas you’re eligible for.

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Business VISA UK

Points Based System Applications including Tier 2 & Tier 5 Applications

  • Investor visa - applications for anyone wanting to come to the UK to invest
  • Entrepreneur visa - applications for anyone wanting to start a business in the UK
  • Sponsorship Licences - for anyone wanting to bring overseas workers to the UK
  • Temporary Workers - for anyone wanting to come to the UK on a short term contract
  • Minister of Religion - for anyone needing to bring a religious workers and ministers to the UK
  • Illegal Working Compliance - matters to set up the employer with the relevant checks to insure they are not employing anyone illegal and also to assist anyone who may be caught employing someone who doesn’t have the right to work in the UK.
Standard Visitor visa

Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Eligibility
  3. Documents you must provide
  4. If you're under 18
  5. Apply
  6. Extend your visa

Overview

You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK:

  • for leisure, for example on holiday or to see your family and friends
  • for business, or to take part in sports or creative events
  • for another reason, for example to receive private medical treatment

Check if you need this visa if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

Your application will not be accepted and you will not get a refund if you have the right of abode in the UK (for example you’re a British citizen). You need to apply for a certificate of entitlement instead.

The Standard Visitor visa has replaced the:

  • Family Visitor visa
  • General Visitor visa
  • Child Visitor visa
  • Business Visitor visa, including visas for academics, doctors and dentists
  • Sports Visitor visa
  • Entertainer Visitor visa
  • Prospective Entrepreneur visa
  • Private Medical Treatment Visitor visa
  • Approved Destination Status (ADS) visa

If you visit the UK on business

You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK for business-related activities, for example:

  • you’re coming to the UK for a conference, meeting or training
  • you want to take part in a specific sports-related event
  • you’re an artist, entertainer or musician and coming to the UK to perform
  • are an academic and are doing research or accompanying students on a study abroad programme
  • you’re a doctor or dentist and are coming to the UK to take a clinical attachment or observer post
  • you want to take the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or sit the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • you want to get funding to start, take over, join or run a business in the UK

Check the Visitor Rules to find the full list of business-related activities you can do with a Standard Visitor visa.

If you’re being paid by a UK company to visit as an expert in your profession, you should apply for a Permitted Paid Engagement visa.

What you can and cannot do

You can:

You cannot:

  • do paid or unpaid work
  • live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits
  • get public funds
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership

Read the guidance for more information about what you can and cannot do with a Standard Visitor visa.

How long it will take

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.

ExampleYou can apply from 16 March if you plan to travel on 15 June.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.

Find out about paying for a faster decision.

How long you can stay

You can usually stay in the UK for up to 6 months.

You might be able to stay for longer if:

  • you’re coming to the UK for private medical treatment - up to 11 months (£190 fee)
  • you’re an academic on sabbatical and coming to the UK for research - you, your spouse or civil partner may be able to stay for up to 12 months (£190 fee)

If you’re staying in the UK as an academic or to receive private medical treatment for longer than 6 months, you must apply for a biometric residence permit.

You might be able to get a visit visa for up to 30 days if you’re a Chinese citizen visiting under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) Agreement.

If you need to visit the UK regularly

If you need to visit the UK regularly over a longer period, you can apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa that lasts 2, 5 or 10 years. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit.

If you’re under 18 years old when you apply, your long-term Standard Visitor visa will only be valid for up to 6 months after you turn 18.

Fees

A Standard Visitor visa costs £95.

The fee for a long-term Standard Visitor visa depends on its length:

  • 2 years - £361
  • 5 years - £655
  • 10 years - £822

source: https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa

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