The Family Visit Visa was a popular option for families visiting the UK for a short-term trip. However, the British government has streamlined all of the visitor visas that it previously offered into a single route: The Standard Visitor Visa. This transition has enabled a straightforward process to be implemented that covers a wide range of options and circumstances.
In this article, we're going to look at the Standard Visitor Visa in a little more detail and try to ensure that your application progresses as smoothly as possible - as we've recently seen a rise in the number of rejected applications that we feel could have been avoided.
The Standard Visitor Visa is a harmonised visa that covers several different options for those looking to come to the UK for a short period of time (six months of less). The visa is ideal for short visits to the UK for a number of reasons but these normally fall into either: business visits (not working), family visits, holiday visits, medical visits or short educational visits. The visa was harmonised to help the process become smoother and keep eligibility criteria simple.
The visa is very popular and there are thousands issued for use in the UK annually. There are also exceptions to the standard six month maximum (such as medical ones). There is also a longer term Standard Visitor Visa for those who do not need or want to live in the UK permanently, but need to stay in the country for a longer period of time. These visas are applied for slightly differently to the Standard Visitor Visa.
As well as the rules laid out in the next section, you will also need to meet the eligibility criteria for the Standard Visitor Visa. The standard criteria is as follows:
You’ll also need to provide the following:
You might also need:
When you apply, you’ll need to provide a current passport or other valid travel identification that is valid for the length of your stay. You will also need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa.
As you can imagine, there is a vast number of rules that need to be adhered to if you want to remain compliant with the terms of your visa. Any failure to remain compliant could leave you at risk of your visa being withdrawn and even future attempts to visit the UK being affected. It is therefore important that you follow the rules as laid out below closely:
What you can do
What you cannot do
These are reasonably straightforward rules and sticking to them should not be difficult. If you want to work in the UK or indeed live in the UK full time then you should look at an alternative route such as the Tier 2 General Visa that gives you these options. The Standard Visitor Visa is designed purely for a short stay in the UK.
The process for a child's application for a Standard Visitor Visa is slightly different to an adults. They will still be expected to meet a lot of the same criteria, but some of it is slightly different as laid out below:
If you are looking to bring your children to the UK, you will need to complete separate applications for each member of your family. This is the main difference between the Family Visa that used to exist and the new Standard Visitor Visa system.
Like most visa applications, the vast majority are turned down due to incorrect information. This can often be as simple as a spelling mistake. Due to the complex nature of a Standard Visitor Visa (especially for applicants who do not speak English as their native language), it is often better to get some help in making your Standard Visitor Visa application.
You may not need professional assistance, often mistakes can be rectified by re-checking your application for errors before submission. But if you do need some help, please get in touch and we can help to look at your application to ensure that it has been completed correctly and that you have all the documentary evidence that you need to make a submission.
If you need help with a Standard Visitor Visa, or indeed you have another immigration query, please get in touch today and our team of immigration solicitors will be happy to help with your case.