Blacks Solicitors’ specialist Immigration team provide clear, cost-effective advice to individuals looking to visit the UK.
If you are a non-EU national looking to visit the UK for up to six months and are from a country on the Visa National List (available here) then you will need to apply for a Visitor Visa.
If you are from a country not on this list (a ‘Non-Visa National’) then you are entitled to visa-free access to the UK – although in certain situations it might still be advisable to obtain a Visitor Visa before you travel.
If you are on a Visitor Visa then you are highly restricted in terms of what you can do in the UK. You are generally prohibited from taking work, unless the work is a ‘permitted activity’.
Most Visitor Visas are refused due to the Home Office not believing the individual has a ‘genuine intention to visit’, and they are highly alert to individuals not going home in accordance with their Visa and stated intentions.
There are several different types of Visitor Visas however most individuals will visit the UK in order to undertake an activity which is permissible under a General Visitor Visa (these are marked as ‘General’ below).
Business Visitor Visa (General)
Individuals can come under a General Visitor Visa if they are undertaking what is classed as general business activities. This includes attending meetings, conferences, seminars and interviews.
Individuals may also undertake ‘intra-corporate activities’, which amounts to an employee of an overseas based company undertaking certain activities on a specific internal project with UK employees of the same corporate group.
Academics, scientists, and researchers are also allowed to undertake certain defined work under a Business Visitor Visa.
Family, Tourism and Leisure Visitor Visa (General)
Perhaps the most common reason to visit the UK is to visit friends and family, or to come to the UK for a holiday.
Although this is a common purpose of visit, an applicant citing this as a basis for their visit can expect a rigorous examination of their Application and in particular the individual’s intention to return home.
Sports Visitor Visa (General)
A sportsperson (as defined by the Home Office) can come to the UK to undertake certain sporting activities, such as taking part in a sports tournament or event (as an individual or as part of a team).
Work-Related Training Visa (General)
Overseas graduates from medical, dental, or nursing schools can come to the UK to undertake certain prescribed activities, such as to undertake a clinical attachment or dental observer post.
Study Visa (General)
Under certain limited circumstances an individual can come to the UK under a General Visitor Visa for up to 30 days, where the study is not the main purpose for which the visitor is coming to the UK.
For example, where a visitor is coming to the UK for a holiday and also undertakes an English Language course.
Medical Treatment Visa
Visitors can enter the UK under a General Visitor Visa to access medical treatment in the UK provided it is paid treatment. The only exception to this rule is an organ donation.
Permitted Paid Engagements Visa
There is a separate Permitted Paid Engagements category which allows individuals to undertake permitted activities in the UK for up to one month.
This includes: visiting examiners or assessors; visiting lecturers; qualified lawyers; or arts, entertainment or sporting professionals.
Marriage/Civil Partnership Visa
In order to enter the UK to get married or enter a civil partnership, an individual will need to obtain a specific visitor visa, known as a Marriage Visitor Visa.
For more information about any of the above, or to find out more about Blacks’ immigration services, please email or call us today on 0113 322 2842.