38

Last November 2017, I applied for a visitor's visa for the UK. I indicated in my online application that I will travel in March 2018. I even paid for Priority Processing because I needed my passport for a trip to the Philippines in Dec 2017-Feb 2018.

My visa arrived and unfortunately, I did not scrutinize or examine it until today Feb 19, 2018, while making final travel plans. The Visa is valid for 02/02/2018-02/08/2018. Can I still, use this visa or am I at risk of being denied entry at the airport in Heathrow. My travel plans are finalized including hotel bookings.

  • 34
    The visa is valid until 2 August 2018. Travel in March will be fine. – Michael Hampton Feb 20 '18 at 6:08
  • 16
    If the dates are tripping you up, here's some additional advice - look right, mind the gap, mind the queues, try not to drive, don't stop on the left of an escalator, and for goodness sake keep quiet on the tube. – J... Feb 21 '18 at 13:57
  • 3
    Aside: "I even paid for Priority Processing" - although that should not have anything to do with the outcome of a visa application. – MrWhite Feb 21 '18 at 20:27
105

The Visa is valid for 02/02/2018-02/08/2018. Can I still, use this visa or am I at risk of being denied entry at the airport in Heathrow.

The visa you have received is valid from the 2nd of February 2018, to the 2nd of August 2018. 6 months validity using the British date format (dd/mm/yyyy), not the US date format (mm/dd/yyyy).

The UK does not issue its Standard Visitor Visa with durations less than 6 months validity currently - it does not matter what you applied for, you will receive a 6 month visa but be expected to stick to the itinerary you applied with. Significant deviations from that itinerary may affect future visa applications.

So long as you travel between those two dates (2nd February to 2nd August), you will be fine.

52

To add a little explanation regarding the date format. The USA, and two island nations that recently became independent from it, are the only countries in the world to use MM/DD/YYYY dates. The UK, like most of the rest of the world, uses a DD/MM/YYYY format, so the dates referred to in your visa are 2nd February and 2nd August 2018, not 2nd February and 8th February 2018.

It is good to be aware of these differences in format when travelling so as to avoid this kind of confusion. You can find a complete map on Wikipedia of the systems used in other countries, but the system used in the UK is by far the most common. It is also the most confusing for Americans because there is no visible distinction for dates with days in the 1-12 range.

  • 18
    It is also the most confusing for Americans because there is no visible distinction for dates with days in the 1-12 range. => Given how regularly I am confused by those weird Americans' dates, I'd say it's only par for the course :D – Matthieu M. Feb 20 '18 at 12:43
  • 2
    @MatthieuM. Perhaps, I should have added "and, of course, vice versa" :) – Jack Aidley Feb 20 '18 at 12:55
  • 19
    ISO 8601 makes it less confusing: Visa valid from 2018-02-02 to 2018-08-02 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601 – mskfisher Feb 20 '18 at 13:25
  • 5
    @mskfisher I try to use ISO date formats myself, but they're not widely used and I don't think they're particularly likely to become so. – Jack Aidley Feb 20 '18 at 13:28
  • 3
    You mean apart from the most populous nation on Earth already using YYYY-MM-DD @JackAidley? – Mark Booth Feb 21 '18 at 17:00

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.