UK Visitor Visa Overview
Foreign travellers wishing to enter the United Kingdom may apply for a UK tourist visit which allows them to stay in the country for a period of six months.
Aside from the main purpose of visiting the country, this type of visa is also resorted to by foreigners who intend to do short business trips or undergo medical treatment in the country.
As long as the potential visitor can prove that he merely intends to visit the UK for pleasure, or attend seminars, meetings, and conferences, or to undergo medical treatment, a visitor visa is relatively easy to obtain.
In order for the visitor visa to be approved, the applicant must show that he intends to depart from the country upon expiration of his UK travel visa. Another important aspect that he must prove is that he can financially support himself while in the country without any monetary assistance from the government. In doing so, the potential visitor may also show that his friends and families who are currently living in the UK are likewise willing assist him financially while he is in the UK.
The potential visitor must also provide proof that he will be able to meet the cost of his return journey. He must likewise show that he has no intention to study while within the country.
If the visit is for business purposes, the applicant may either be any of (but not limited to) the following : an academic visitor, a doctor or dentist coming for observations, a visiting professor, a film crew on location shoots, or a religious worker.
The potential business visitor must also show that he plans to perform any of the permissible activities in the UK:
- Conduct site visits
- Undertake fact-finding missions
- Arrange deals, or negotiate or sign trade agreements or contracts
- Speak at a conference
- Represent foreign manufacturers
- Represent computer software companies by coming to the UK to install, debug or enhance their products
- Represent foreign manufacturers by coming to the UK to service or repair company’s products
- Interpret or translate for visiting business persons, provided the interpreter/translator is employed by the overseas company and is coming solely to provide the services for the visiting company member
- Other analogous situations or conditions
The maximum stay of six months is strictly implemented to the business travellers except for the academic visitor, whose stay in the country may be extended up to twelve (12) months.
Under the immigration laws of UK, the businessman’s dependants, such as the spouse, civil partner, same-sex partner, unmarried partner, and children eighteen (18) years old and below may also be permitted to enter the country with him.
UK immigration law does not allow business travellers to adjust his status as a businessman while in the UK. Holders of the said visa are, however, permitted to perform acts which are granted to holders of sports and entertainer visa.
Generally, the length of time which it will take to process the UK visitor visa application shall depend on the particular British Post where the application is submitted. In most cases, however, the UK embassy can issue the Entry Clearance on a same day basis.
If a single-entry visa is issued in favour of the applicant, he shall be allowed only one entry into the UK. Multiple-entry visas, however, are allowed several entry.
If the application for the Entry Clearance is refused, the applicant will be given sufficient opportunity by the visa official to re-file additional supporting document