UK Standard visitor visa

2022 saw UK immigration rules becoming stricter. Many people mistakenly think that a UK visa is as easy to obtain as a Schengen visa. It is not, and even more so, if you have already been to the UK several times and your immigration record is crystal clear, you can still get an unexpected visa refusal with a 10-year entry ban.
We recommend that you get in touch with immigration advisors who would give you up-to-date advice about collecting correct documents and evidence of your clean immigration record.
If you want to come to the UK to visit friends and relatives, you need a UK Standard Visitor visa. You can apply for a UK Standard Visitor visa for six months, two years, five years, or 10 years, depending on the purpose of your visit.

Two main types of UK standard visitor visa

  • Short-term;
  • Long-term.

Let’s have a look at who can apply for a UK Standard Visitor visa. This visa allows you to stay in the UK for a minimum of 6 months. However, you may be able to stay longer under the following circumstances:

  • You travel to the UK as a tourist with your family;
  • You are visiting the UK for medical treatment for up to 11 months;
  • You are an academic and meet eligibility requirements for academics. You and your family can stay in the UK for up to a year. You will need to prove that you are highly qualified, for example, you have a PhD;
  • You are donating an organ to a family member or close friend.

If you want to stay in the UK for a long time, you will need a long-term UK Standard Visitor visa for two, five or ten years. You can stay in the country for up to six months at a time. On this visa, you may regularly visit your friends and relatives, take part in sports competitions and music festivals, and travel around the UK.
If you have an invitation letter and financial support from someone else, you still need to prove that you can support yourself during the trip.

Documents you must provide to apply for UK standard visitor visa by invitation

  • A valid passport and all expired passports, if any;
  • A letter from your employer about how much you earn in six months;
  • Tour personal income tax certificate;
  • A bank statement (you must have enough savings to cover the cost of the trip);
  • Proof that you own a property in your home country;
  • An invitation letter from the receiving party;
  • A copy of your receiving party’s passport/residence permit;
  • Evidence that the receiving party has the funds to pay for your trip;
  • Proof that you have been employed by the receiving party.

You must provide certified translations into English of all the documents that are not in English.

Interesting fact

The English are very reserved; they value their privacy. Relationships or money are not usually discussed even among family members.

UK Standard Visitor Visa Fees In 2023

Visa Type Visa Fee

Visa Extension


6 months – £100 

£200 (11 to 12 months)


2 years – £376 

You will have to reapply

5 years – £670

10 years – £837

Professional and experienced immigration advisors will take the hassle out of obtaining a UK Standard Visitor visa and save you time.

Interesting Fact

Since early 2020, new polymer banknotes have been in circulation in the UK. They are waterproof, hard to tear and impossible to counterfeit. Besides, they last much longer than old paper banknotes.

Eligibility requirements for UK standard visitor visa

  • You must be 18 or over;
  • You are visiting the UK for tourism or to see your family and friends;
  • You can support yourself and you can prove it;
  • You do not intend to work in the UK;
  • You are not in transit unless you are passing through the UK to the Channel Islands, the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man.

The documents required to apply for a UK standard visitor visa are as follows:

  • A valid passport;
  • A bank statement proving that you can support yourself;
  • A letter from your employer about your position and earnings;
  • A confirmation of your purpose for visiting the UK – to study or for medical treatment;
  • Documents to support the information you provide in your visa application (for example, evidence of your ties to the country of residence);
  • A return ticket.

Documents required to apply for a visa if you are under 18

  • A birth certificate;
  • A letter from the school;
  • Letters from your parents’ employers;
  • Your parents’/sponsor’s bank account statement;
  • Certified copies of your parents’ passports;
  • If you are travelling with one of your parents, you will need consent from the other one;
  • A sponsor’s letter;
  • You must provide genuine translations of all the documents that are not in English.

When applying for a UK Standard Visitor visa, you must submit your documents in person.

Why use immigration advisors when applying for UK visa

  • Immigration advisors are regulated to work in the UK;
  • They will review your application taking into account your circumstances;
  • They will assess your chances of getting a visa refusal;
  • They will help you prepare all the documents, certificates, statements, letters, and confirmations;
  • They will arrange for certified translations to be done;
  • They will fill in the forms according to the Home Office requirements;
  • They will provide full legal support.

Special document requirements for medical visits to UK

A UK Standard Visitor visa for medical reasons may be granted in three cases.
You can apply on medical grounds if:

  1. You travel to the UK for private medical treatment. You must:
    • Prove that you have a medical condition that needs a consultation with a qualified doctor or special treatment;
    • Provide evidence that you do not have an infectious disease;
    • Have made arrangements with a doctor and be ready to provide your treatment plan, its timings and costs.
  2. You are visiting for treatment at a publicly funded NHS hospital, but your treatment will be fully paid for by your insurance company under a special healthcare arrangement. You will have to provide an agreement, an authorisation form and an official confirmation that your insurance company will pay for your treatment.
  3. You have decided to donate organs to a family member or a friend. This option applies to potential organ donors and those undergoing preliminary tests to make sure they are in good health and a donor match for the recipient.
    You must prove to the Home Office that you have decided to donate an organ to your relative, partner or friend. The recipient must be a UK resident.
    You must provide a letter from the transplant team containing all the mentioned data, as well as information about when and where the transplantation will take place.

On a UK standard visitor visa, you can come to the UK:

  • As a visitor, a tourist and to meet your friends and relatives;
  • To participate in voluntary activities or volunteer for up to 30 days;
  • To pass through the UK to another country;
  • To attend planned meetings;
  • To take part in a language exchange programme;
  • To do a training course, take a test or an exam;
  • As an academic, senior doctor/dentist;
  • For medical reasons;
  • To deliver lectures free of charge.

On a UK standard visitor visa, you can’t:

  • Work illegally;
  • Claim public benefits;
  • Stay in the UK once your visa expires;
  • Get married, unless you are on a UK Marriage Visitor visa.

Getting a visa refusal can be psychologically hard. You will have to change your plans or cancel them altogether.
A UK visa can be refused for many reasons. However, you must review your situation and take steps to rectify it.

Most common grounds for visa refusal:

  • Your package of documents is incorrect or incomplete;
  • A Home Office caseworker suspects you are going to stay in the UK illegally once your visa expires;
  • Information in your bank statement does not match the financial information you provided in your application;
  • A willful misrepresentation in your application. If this is discovered, you may be banned from entering the UK for 10 years.

Experienced immigration advisors stay up to date with British immigration rules, so they can always provide customised solutions for their clients.

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