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If you’re a general visitor to the UK you may need to know about topics such as documentation, entry entitlement, permission refusal and visitors’ extensions. These topics may be extremely important during your visit.
A general visitor is entitled to stay within the United Kingdom for up to six months, or 12 months in the instance of accompanying an academic visitor.
This section covers the requirements that must be met if a person wishes to enter the United Kingdom as a general visitor.
For those who are nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) or a member of their family, separate European citizen rules apply.
Any entrances must be able to prove that, during their visit, they do not plan to:
Additionally to enter the United Kingdom as a general visitor, proof must be provided for the following areas:
Upon the refusal of entry all applications are dealt with by the entry clearance officer and immigration officer. A detailed letter of refusal notice will be officially issued, while the entry clearance officer or immigration officer will provide information regarding entitlement of appeal.
When travelling without prior entry clearance, and having been refused border entry from an immigration officer granting permissions to enter the United Kingdom, an application for entry clearance can be sought from the country of residence prior to the attempt of United Kingdom re-entry.
This section covers any documents that must be provided to be granted permission to enter the United Kingdom as a general visitor.
Documents required are:
Prior to any travel, visas need to be checked, while in the event that a visitor frequently travels to the United Kingdom a multiple-entry visitor visa can be applied for which is valid in three available time periods:
In the instance that a visitor enters the UK as a general visitor, a maximum stay of six months is authorised as standard, or 12 months when accompanying an academic visitor. Upon entering the UK, the permission length will be stamped on the entrances passport.
In the instance that permission to enter UK is granted for three months, and an extension is requested for a maximum of six (or 12) months total, an extension application will be required using the application form FLR(O).
Any visitors that were classed as child visitors and granted permission to enter the UK for three months; upon turning 18 can apply to extend their stay as a general visitor. The maximum amount of time of authorised stay within the UK will still be six months (or 12 months if you are accompanying an academic visitor).
In the instance that we allow a visitor to extend their stay, they must continue to meet requirements detailed on the previous section.
However all visitors, extended or not, are expected to return home when their permissions expire. It is not uncommon in some circumstances, to be able to transfer to another immigration category to extend a visit further.
It is specified within the immigration general visitor sections that a child visitor must be under the age of 18, and is entitled to visit the United Kingdom for up to six months, or 12 months with entry clearance and accompanying an academic visitor.
The section explains how an overseas national can enter the UK as a child visitor.
During a visitors stay it must be made clear that the visitor does not intend to:
To enter the UK within this immigration category, proof must be provided within the following areas:
In the instance that a child visitor has been accepted on a course of study, they must be able to prove that your education provider is:
in the instance that any visitor wants to enter the United Kingdom entirely on the basis of partaking in an exchange or educational visit, extensive proof must be provided by;
on the basis detailed within UK Visas and Immigration guidance.
Additionally child visitors who are visa nationals require a valid entry clearance stating that they are unaccompanied, or in the event that they are accompanied, identifying the adult accordingly. Entry clearance will not be valid in the event of an accompanied adult referred to not being physically present to accompany the child.
You should be aware of the following rules if you wish to visit the United Kingdom for private medical treatment.
A visitor seeking private medical treatment in the UK must be able to prove:
This section covers the documentation required in visiting the United Kingdom as a visitor for private medical treatment. Each one of the following requirements met below strengthens any candidate application made:
In the event that a refusal of application has been made then the Immigration Officer or Entry Clearance Officer will write to the applicant detailing the reason for refusal. There will be no option for appeal in this form of United Kingdom visitor entrance.
In the event that a visitor travels to the United Kingdom without any prearranged entry clearance (permission to enter) and is then refused entry permission, it is recommended that an application for entry clearance is made prior to attempting to travel to the United Kingdom again.
If you are sponsoring a visitor to the UK it is advisable to read the general visitor requirements to check that they meet the relevant criteria. It is also advisable to read the private medical treatment requirements if this is the purpose of the visitor's travel to the UK, in order to ensure their eligibility.
The required documents are dependent on the circumstances of each specific case. The government may require receipt of the following:
In the event that a sponsor will provide financial support and accommodation for the general visitor and/or pay for travel to the United Kingdom, the following information should be supplied as evidence of financial status and ability to do so:
In the instance of sponsoring a person for business purposes, the government may require a letter from the sponsor’s employer, outlining the corresponding links between companies, explaining what the visitor plans to do and whether the company is financing the trip.
To secure entry to the United Kingdom the visitor will have to satisfy immigration officials that all the requirements are met for entry.
In the event that a general visitor is a non-visa national and is not already in receipt of entry clearance it will assist the visitor’s application if they have a return ticket and letter of sponsorship.
It is advisable that the acting sponsor meets the visitor at the port or station and brings evidence to support the claim. For instance, if it is agreed that the sponsor will be covering the costs of the visit, evidence should be brought detailing financial security to do so.