Visiting the UK

Every year, thousands of visitors come to the UK on holiday, or to spend time with family and friends. Many more visit on business, or to take advantages of services available here, such as private medical treatment.

If you are from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, you may need a visitor visa to come to the UK. Whether you need to apply for a visit visa depends on which country your passport or travel document is from.

You can apply for a visitor visa in order to:

  • Come for a holiday in the UK
  • Visit friends and family
  • Come to the UK for business
  • Come to the UK as a visiting academic
  • Take part in sports or creative events
  • Receive private medical treatment

These are only examples. There are many other reasons why it may be appropriate to apply for a visitor visa to come to the UK. Our qualified solicitors can advise you on the particular circumstances of your case.


To obtain a visitor visa you must show, among other things, that:

  • You will leave the UK at the end of your visit
  • You are able to financially support yourself and any dependents for the duration of your trip
  • You are able to pay for your return or onward journey and any other costs relating to your visit
  • You will also need to explain and provide evidence of any business activities that you plan to undertake whilst you are in the UK

You will not be allowed to:

  • Study for more than 30 days
  • Take up employment in the UK whilst you are here on a visitor visa.

How much leave will I be granted?

A visitor visa will usually be granted for 6 months but may be granted for 11 or 12 months in certain circumstances.

If you can show that you have an ongoing need to visit the UK frequently, you may be eligible to apply for a long-term visit visa.

Why obtain legal advice?

The immigration rules are very strict. The refusal of a visa can affect your ability to come to the UK in the future. Obtaining good legal advice ought to reduce the stress of the visa application process and the chances of a refusal.

It is particularly important to obtain legal advice if you have previously been refused entry to the UK.

If you are faced with a refusal, we can advise you on your options and whether you have a right of appeal or administrative review.

Why use Bishop & Sewell?

Our immigration lawyers have the expertise and experience to help you to come to the UK as a visitor. Our team has assisted numerous individuals throughout the UK and worldwide, no matter how complicated their case, to obtain a positive result. We have been ranked in both Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 as experts in immigration law.

What should I do now?

If you are thinking about making an application for a visit visa our immigration lawyers can provide you with quality legal advice to achieve the best possible outcome. Our immigration team can answer your questions about the legal process, your rights and what the best option is for you.

For initial advice or to arrange a meeting with one of our Immigration solicitors please contact us on 020 7631 4141.

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Who to contact

For more information the following lawyers will be able to help with Visiting the UK.

Mariam Khaliq
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Karma Hickman
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