What do you need to know about UK Tourist and Short Stay Visas?
This visa is required by mainly foreigners who wish to enter the UK for short stays. A standard visa is valid for 6 months.
In some cases, they can be issued for longer periods such as 1, 2, 5, or 10 years. However, those with longer-term visas can still only stay in the UK for a period of 6 months at a time. Almost without question, countries in the Schengen Area – a coalition of 26 mostly European countries as far as north as Norway and as far south as Greece – allow tourist to visit for up to 90 days without a visa.
Legal guidance at a glance:
- Advise on your Rights
- Assessment of your Claim Free
- Assessment of Good Character
- Prepare documents in support of claim
- Prepare your Naturalisation Application
- Keep you informed of all developments
How do you apply for a UK Tourist and Short Stay Visa
Step 1: You can apply for your UK visa at any UK Application Centre closest to you in your country of residence.
Step 2: Visit www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk to find out the type of visa you should apply for. From the UK visa and immigration website, you will find out about your application fee and book your appointment with the UK visa Application Centre.
Step 3: After you have filled the form online, you will be given the GWF number, you should take note of this number because you will need it later. You will also receive an email confirming your appointment date, the location and the required document to take along.
Step 4: You will need to register your details after you have booked your appointment.
Step 5: attend your appointment at the UK application Centre. You are required to bring along the following:
• Printed copies of your online application form appointment confirmation
• Your passport and other required documents such as;
• Financial evidence
• Medical report
• Two passport photos in full colour
• Birth certificate
• Marriage certificate
• Court records (if you have been convicted of a crime etc.)
There is a gradual process after payment of your visa fees; your photo and fingerprints-biometric will be done at the Application centre. After this has been done, your visa fee will no longer be refundable.
Don’t be late for your appointment. Make sure you arrive at the date and time stated on your confirmation email. If you are late, your application process may be delayed as you will have to re-book your appointment.
UK Tourist and Short Stay Visa Application Submission
Applicants are required to submit their application forms after you must have fulfilled the entire requirement as stated by the embassy. This submission is usually done at the embassy application centres. The Embassy expects that all information given is totally genuine else this can lead to denial of such visa application
Visa application processing can take within four to six working days. However, some visa applications can take more time, especially those that have special attention in crime or history of rejection.
You will be informed when the Visa is ready and told when to come and collect it depending on the times the Embassy operates, which will be communicated to you as well. You are expected to come with your application checklist, original photographic ID and a photocopy of the biodata page of the passport. You will be alerted for collection when your passport arrives back at the UK application centre.
Note: A third-party cannot collect your document on your behalf, except you are a government representative, a parent collects for your child or children or you are collecting on behalf of your family if you applied together.
What Documents must I supply for a Tourist Visa to the UK?
- A valid passport (your nationality passport)
- One passport-sized photograph on white background. This must not be more than 6 months old (45mm*35mm wide)
- Visa fee
- Evidence of permission to be in the UK if you are not a national of the UK. E.g. Visa, green card, residence permit etc.
- Photocopy of the passport data page
- Letter of invitation
- Financial proof, original bank statement (at least 6months). This information shows or supports your claim that you will be able to support yourself while in the UK and not be an inconvenience to others around you.
- Birth certificate for children travelling with parents
- Applicants travelling on an official business should attach a letter of invitation/confirmation of training/conference, with full details of the company authorised representative; physical address and phone numbers
- Supporting letter from sponsor/friend
- Utility bills
- Details of hotel/flight bookings
- Marriage certificate if applicable
The above list not exhaustive, and you are able to add further documents which will give credibility to your intention to tour the UK and further confirm that you have every intention to return to your country, once you have completed the trip.
2 Subject to paragraph 3, the following people do not need a visa before they travel to the UK as a visitor:
a) nationals or citizens of the People’s Republic of China who hold a passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; or
b) nationals or citizens of the People’s Republic of China who hold a passport issued by the Macao Special Administrative Region; or
c) nationals or citizens of Taiwan who hold a passport issued by Taiwan that includes in it the number of the identification card issued by the competent authority in Taiwan; or
d) people who hold a Service, Temporary Service or Diplomatic passport issued by the Holy See; or
e) nationals or citizens of Oman who hold a diplomatic or special passport issued by Oman; or
f) nationals or citizens of Qatar who hold a diplomatic or special passport issued by Qatar; or
g) nationals or citizens of the United Arab Emirates who hold a diplomatic or special passport issued by the United Arab Emirates; or
h) nationals or citizens of Turkey who hold a diplomatic passport issued by Turkey; or
i) nationals or citizens of Kuwait who hold a diplomatic or special passport issued by Kuwait; or
j) nationals or citizens of Bahrain who hold a diplomatic or special passport issued by Bahrain; or
k) nationals or citizens of South Africa who hold a diplomatic passport issued by South Africa; or
l) nationals or citizens of Vietnam who hold a diplomatic passport issued by Vietnam; or
m) nationals or citizens of Indonesia who hold a diplomatic passport issued by Indonesia.
Immigration Rules part 9, paragraphs 320-322
A caseworker or entry clearance officer must consider refusing a person on general grounds if there is any evidence in their background, behaviour, character, conduct or associations that shows they should not enter or remain in the UK for one or more of the grounds set out in paragraphs 320 and 322 of the Immigration Rules, such as: –
- False representation Fraud and forgery Non-disclosure of material facts
- Failure to cooperate with Criminal history
- Exclusion conducive to public good Secretary of State
- Exclusion Deportation order
- Travel ban
- A threat to National security
- Adverse Immigration History Medical grounds
The standard statements on a refusal letter are; “I am not satisfied under the circumstances outlined… that you would comply with any leave granted… it would appear from the limited information available to me that you wouldn’t meet the majority of the requirements”…
If you are the UK Sponsor and the Application has been refused do not hesitate to contact Shabana for further guidance on +44(0)1634 828 288.