Obtaining a General Visitor Visa

Length of stay permitted

With the general visitor visa you are permitted to stay in the UK for up to 6 months.

There is also an option to apply for a long-term visitor visa, but you will need to prove that it is essential for you to travel to the UK frequently during a longer period of time. You can apply for a 1, 2, 5 or 10 year long-term visitor visa and you will be permitted to stay a length of 6 months each trip.

No Visa Required

European Economic Area (EEA): A visa is not required when you are a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA) which comprises the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland

Other Visa Exempt countries: You also do not need a visa for the purpose of tourism, including visiting friends or family, and can stay in the United Kingdom for a maximum of 6 months when you are a citizen and hold a passport of one of the following countries:

American Samoa, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guam, Guatemala, Holy See (Vatican), Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uruguay, US Virgin Islands, USA, Vanuatu, Venezuela

General Visitor Visa

If you are from outside above mentioned countries, the general visitor visa is what you will need to visit the United Kingdom, as a tourist (visiting for leisure) planning to go on holiday, or if you are visiting family or friends that are not permanent residents in the UK.

The dos and don’ts


You are permitted to study a course for up to 30 days, as long as it is not your main reason for travelling to the UK

Please see HERE for full details and restrictions on permitted courses


You are not allowed:

- to apply for public funds during your stay
- to register a civil partnership, marry or give notice of a marriage or civil partnership
- to get private medical care
- to perform unpaid or paid work during your visit
- to live in the UK for long periods of time by applying for frequent visa and visits

Length of time for application

It should take no longer than 3 weeks for you to get a decision on you visa. However, you are permitted to apply for this visa up to 3 months prior to your scheduled travel date.

Please check HERE for how long it may take to process a visa in your country.

Documents needed

When applying you’ll need:

- 2 passport sized photos
- a valid travel document (passport or other travel ID)
- an address or details of where you plan to live during your stay, along with a travel itinerary
- proof that you are able to financially support yourself during your trip (bank statements, payslips etc.)

Please note: You will need a blank page in your passport for the visa to be added. Also, if the documents you are supplying are not in English or Welsh you need to get a certified translation of these.


The standard general visitor visa costs £83 to apply for.

The long-term visitor visas cost:

- 1 year: £300
- 2 year: £300
- 5 years: £544
- 10 years: £737

British Visa and Immigration website

For full details on UK Visas and to check if you need a visa to visit the United Kingdom you can visit the official British Visa and Immigration website.