UK Visitor Visa

A visitor is a person who is coming to the UK, usually for up to six months, for a temporary purpose, for example as a tourist, to visit friends or family or to carry out a business activity. Visitors cannot work or study in the UK unless this is allowed by the permitted activities in the Immigration Rules.

At Cartwright King we are here to advise you throughout the entire legal process relating to visitor visas and can assist you wherever you are based. 

Free initial telephone consultation

Our highly skilled Immigration team are here to take the worry off your hands. We can provide an initial telephone consultation to see how we can assist in your case. Please call us on 0808 168 5550 or email

Changes made to the Visitor’s visa category.

As of April 2015, standard visitor visa has now replaced the previous categories of:

  • 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

The Home Office will decide the application based on all the information provided by you and any other relevant circumstances applicable to you at the date of decision.

What are the requirements for a visitor visa?

Before making your visitors visa application you should be aware that those who are UK nationals, EU nationals or nationals of non UK visa national countries may enter the UK without obtaining prior permission via entry clearance.

The responsibility is on you to satisfy the Home Office that:

  • You are genuinely seeking entry for a purpose that is permitted by the immigration rules.
  • You will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits.
  • You will not make the UK your main home.
  • You will not undertake any prohibited activities such as work, receive payment, marry etc (unless you are specifically permitted to do so.)
  • You have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to your visit without working or accessing public funds.
  • You will leave the UK at the end of your visit.

If you are successful and you obtain your visa, you must leave the country by the time stated in your initial application. If you stay beyond the period stated in your application, this could affect your future applications to the UK.

The maximum length of stay that can be granted for each type of visitor:

  • Standard visitor may be granted a visa of up to 6 months, except: 
  1. A visitor who is coming to the UK for private medical treatment may be granted a visit visa of up to 11 months.
  2. An academic, who is employed by an overseas institution and is carrying out the specific permitted activities may be granted a visit visa of up to 12 months.
  3. A visitor under the Approved Destination Status Agreement (ADS Agreement) may be granted a visit visa for a period of up to 30 days
  • Marriage / civil partnership visitor may be granted a visa up to 6 months.
  • Permitted Paid Engagements (PPE) visit may be granted a visa of up to 1 month.
  • Transit visitor may be granted a visa of up to 48 hours except for leave to enter as a transit visitor under the Transit Without Visa Scheme which may be granted until 23:59 hours on the next day after the day the applicant arrived.

Can you extend your visitor visa?

A general visitor who is granted visa for less than six months when they entered the UK can be granted an extension of stay to bring their total stay up to six months.

It is could be possible for you to apply for leave to remain for a period beyond six months if one or more of the following criteria are met:

  • there are compassionate grounds, e.g. illness of a close relative
  • you in a category allowed a total stay of up to 12 months
  • you are unable to obtain a flight, but the application was made within the original period of leave and you can produce evidence of your confirmed flight booking.

What if your visit visa application is refused?

There is no right of appeal against the refusal of an application for entry clearance as a General Visitor and the refusal can only be challenged by way of Judicial Review in the High Court.

The alternative option available is to submit a separate application dealing with each of the points contained within your refusal.

Why choose us and how we can help.

Immigration rules are constantly changing and given the technicalities surrounding visitor visas, we will ensure that care and attention is given to your case. A failed visitor visa application can have emotional and financial strain on you, your family members and could potentially disrupt your schedule.

The activities that you can do and cannot do remain a minefield subject within the immigration rules. If you carry out an prohibited or non-permissible activity, this could lead to your visa being cancelled and you could be removed from the UK.

We are available to support you throughout the entire process professionally, explain the likely outcomes and fight on your behalf. We have a vast amount of experience in successfully obtaining visas for our clients and we offer fixed fees at competitive rates.
We can assist you by:

  • Taking your full instructions in relation to find out everything about you and your case from the very outset.
  • Advise you about the best suitable visitor route available to you and advise you on what you can do and you cannot do whilst visiting the UK.
  • Advise you about the strength and weaknesses of your visitor visa application.
  • Advise you about the required documentary evidence in support of your visitor visa application.
  • Carefully consider contents of the documentary evidence to be submitted to the Home Office and advise you accordingly.
  • Carefully complete and submit the necessary visitor visa application on your behalf.
  • Making relevant representation to the Home Office explaining your circumstances and persuading them as to why your visitor visa should be granted.
  • Arrange an appointment for you to submit your visitor visa application at your choice of visa application centre.
  • Protect your legal interests while your visitor visa application is pending with the Home Office and keep you informed of any progress
  • Carry out any following up work that is required to ensure that a decision is reached on your visitor visa application.
  • Advise you on the implications of the Home Office decision on your visitor visa application.

How to contact us

Please call us on 0808 168 5550 for your free initial consultation. Alternatively, email our Immigration team on and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Our Immigration Solicitors can provide advice across the country and are happy to meet at a time and location that suits you. We also have a network of offices in BirminghamBedfordBoltonDerbyLeedsLeicesterLondon TempleLondon Fleet StreetLutonManchesterMiddlesbroughMilton KeynesNewcastleNorthamptonNottinghamOxfordSheffield and Worcester.


‘absolutely superb’

- Legal 500 2017

For further information please get in touch with our dedicated team.

You can always call us on 0808 168 5550 or email


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