The UK visitor visa which is also known as the Standard Visitor Visa is a UK short stay visa that allows its holder to stay in the UK for up to 6 months. However, the embassy has the right to issue visas for a shorter period of time. This visa is established for those that wish to travel to the United Kingdom for purposes of:
- To visit family members.
- Medical treatment.
- For professional reasons.
The Standard Visitor visa has replaced the following types of visas:
- 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.
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:
- Check if you are eligible for a tourist visa.
- Complete the online application form.
- Collect the required documents.
- Schedule an appointment.
- Attend the interview.
Documents required for a UK Tourist visa application
The documents required to apply for a UK tourist visa are as follows:
- UK tourist visa application form VAF1A. You should complete the form online.
- Two photographs in accordance with the UK guidelines. They should be taken within the past six months and be in color.
- Your valid passport with at least one blank page. It must be valid for three more months beyond the date you plan to leave the UK after your trip.
- Proof of financial means to cover living costs while you are in the UK. This may be your bank statements for the last six months or payslips for the same period.
- Specifics about your accommodation in the UK. You will need to present a document that shows where you will be accommodated while in the UK. Note that you do not have to fully pay a hotel/hostel in UK before getting the visa, just to get such a document. This could also be:
- ID information and living address of a person covering your travel costs.
- ID information and passport number of any relative living here.
- Detailed travel itinerary. It has to contain dates of your onward and backward travel. Submit a travel plan that gives all the information regarding how and what you are planning to do in the UK. Include the travel dates, places you will visit, meeting agenda, booked tour, festival agenda, etc.
- Previous travel history. This has to cover the period of the last 10 years. It can be proven through visas and entry/exit border stamps in current and older passports, or through separate residence titles.
- Specifics about your living address in the home country. Also, you’ve to show how long you’ve been living there.
- Biometric information. If you are applying for a visa that lets you stay in UK for more than 6 months, you will need to submit your biometric information. This includes giving your fingerprints and a digital photograph taken at the appropriate application center.
- Letter of invitation from the host.
- Paid UK visa fees. You should submit the receipt that confirms you have paid the visa fee as required.
- Certified translations of any document that is not in either English or Welsh.
- Recognized certificate of English language.
- Your criminal history.
- If you are a student: Academic and professional certificates.
- The names and birthdates of your natural/adoptive parents. This has to be supported by information about the number of their annual earnings.
- If you are employed in your home country: Contact and information of your existing employer.