Standard Visitor visa to the United Kingdom

You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK:

for leisure, eg on holiday or to see your family and friends
for business, or to take part in sports or creative events
for another reason, eg to receive private medical treatment
Check if you need this visa if you’re visiting from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

You might not need a Standard Visitor visa if you qualify for British citizenship. Read the guidance on right of abode (ROA) to find out what you should do instead.

The Standard Visitor visa has replaced the:

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
If you visit the UK on business
You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK for business-related activities, eg:

you’re coming to the UK for a conference, meeting or training
you want to take part in a specific sports-related event
you’re an artist, entertainer or musician and coming to the UK to perform
you’re an academic and are doing research or accompanying students on a study abroad programme
you’re a doctor or dentist and are coming to the UK to take a clinical attachment or observer post
you want to take the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or sit the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
you want to get funding to start, take over, join or run a business in the UK
Check the the Visitor Rules to find the full list of business-related activities you can do with a Standard Visitor visa.

What you can and can’t do
You can:

take part in any of the business-related activities mentioned in the Visitor Rules
study for up to 30 days, as long as it’s not the main reason for your visit
take part in an exchange programme or educational visit (if you’re under 18)
You can’t:

do paid or unpaid work
live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits
marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership
get public funds
Read the guidance for more information about what you can and can’t do with a Standard Visitor visa.

How long it will take
You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in the country you’re applying from.

How long you can stay
You can usually stay in the UK for up to 6 months.

You might be able to stay for longer if:

you apply (and pay an extra fee) for a long-term visit visa and you can prove you need to visit the UK regularly over a longer period
you’re coming to the UK for private medical treatment – up to 11 months
you’re an academic on sabbatical and coming to the UK for research – you, your spouse or civil partner may be able to stay for up to 12 months
If you’re staying in the UK as an academic or to receive private medical treatment for longer than 6 months, you must apply for a biometric residence permit.

You might be able to get a visit visa for up to 30 days if you’re a visitor under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) Agreement.

Fees
A Standard Visit visa costs £85.

Long-term visit visas

If you can prove you need to visit the UK regularly over a longer period, you can apply for a visa that lasts 1, 2, 5 or 10 years. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit.

There’s an extra fee to pay, which depends on the length of the visa:

1 year – £324
2 years – £324
5 years – £588
10 years – £737