USA and the UK
he UK Visitor Visa involves several different categories of visitors. These include tourists, business visitors, and students. For citizens of the United States, it is not typically necessary to obtain a UK Visitor Visa before entering the UK. US citizens are known as non-visa nationals, meaning they can enter and remain in the UK for up to six months before needing a visa.
For non-US nationals, a Visiting Visa for the UK will most likely be necessary before you can visit for any period of time. They can be granted for up to six months and will grant fewer rights than other visa types (you cannot bring dependents with you on this visa, for example).
How can IAS help?
Recently, the requirements for UK Visitor Visas have been very strict. Since you must provide substantial evidence that you will leave the country at the end of your stay, many visas are rejected for lack of evidence. IAS has a team of lawyers experienced in receiving good results from the Home Office. Our team knows the common pitfalls often made on Visitor Visa applications. We will complete your applications forms in full to ensure that these are avoided.
You will also receive a Letter of Representation with your application. This is a document written by your lawyer on the merits of your application and why it should be accepted. To find out more, call +1844 290 6312 or use our online form to contact an expert lawyer.
Who is eligible for a Standard UK Visitor Visa for US citizens?
Your eligibility will be based on what you intend to do while in the UK and which category you fit under. You will also need to prove that you can support yourself while in the UK and that you can afford your return or onward journey.
The General UK Visit Visa can be used by those who come to visit friends or as tourists with no professional engagements.
You will need a UK Visitor Visa if you are traveling:
- To visit friends or family
- As a tourist
- For business purposes
- To get married
- To receive specialist medical treatment
UK Visitor Visa categories
The Standard UK Visit Visa has replaced the many Visitor Visas that the UK used to operate. This includes:
- Family Visit Visas
- Business Visitor Visas
- Prospective Entrepreneur Visas
- Entertainer Visitor Visas
- Sportsperson Visit Visas
- Permitted Paid-engagement Visitor Visas
- Student Visitor Visas
- Visitor in Transit Visas
- Special Visitor Visas
- Child Visit Visas
- Marriage Visitor Visas
These categories are still used to classify your activities during your stay but will all be applied for under the Standard Visitor Visa.
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The Standard UK Visit Visa is usually granted for a period of six months. It will not usually be possible to extend this type of visa unless your original visa was granted for less than six months. If this is the case, you may be able to have it extended up to the six-month limit.
In some cases, such as business visits, you may be able to receive a Visiting Visa for the UK which lasts for one, two, five or 10 years. If this is the case, each individual visit cannot exceed the six-month limit.
If you need or would like extra time in the UK, you will have to leave the UK after six months and reapply in your country of origin to enter again. This application cannot be made from within the UK. If you need to enter the UK for more than six months, you may need to apply for a different type of UK Visa. Use our Visa Wizard for help if you are unsure of which type of visa you need.
If you are in the UK on a Standard Visitor Visa, it is not usually possible to apply for a different type of visa. There may be some exceptional circumstances in which you might be able to apply for Further Leave to Remain, but this would be in very rare cases.
If you are in the UK on a Marriage Visitor Visa and have decided to stay in the UK with your British partner, you cannot apply for a Spouse Visa straight away. You will need to leave the UK and apply from your country of origin.
If you would like to marry and stay in the UK, the Fiancé Visa may be a more relevant application to make.
Since the UK Visit Visa has so many categories, it can be difficult to decide which you fit into. You can use our Visa Wizard for advice or book an advice session to discuss it with an attorney.
The UK Visitor Visa is often denied because of a lack of evidence about the nature of your visit or your reasons to return home. Using our services will mean that your application is clear to the Home Office, making a positive result more likely.
Our services include:
- Assessing your eligibility and advising you on the correct Visit Visa category;
- Checking your documents to ensure you meet the requirements;
- Writing a Letter of Representation. Your attorney will produce this document to go along with your application;
- Corresponding with the Home Office until they make a decision;
- Completing your application forms in full.
Call the lawyers at IAS on +1844 290 6312 or use our online contact form for more advice or for application assistance.