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I'm a non-EU citizen looking to get a visa to visit my family in the UK. I was previously issued a 6-month visitor visa which has since expired and it seems more cost-effective to go for a 2-year visa this time.

Unfortunately, my passport expires in around a year, putting me in an odd situation: should I get a 6-month visa again and wait to get a new passport before I apply for the 2-year one or apply for the 2-year one right away? If I get a 2-year visa, will I just be able to use my old passport with the visa when I get a new one, as is the case with the US visa?

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Yes, you can get a longer term visa with your passport expiring earlier than the visa, there is no such restriction.

Documents you must provide

When you apply you’ll need to provide a current passport or other valid travel identification.

You need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa. Your passport must be valid for the whole of your stay in the UK.

Source: GOV.UK

When your passport expires and you get a new one you will have to carry both passports when you go to the UK, or you can get a BRP (but this is not a compulsion).

If your passport has expired

You can still use the valid visa in your expired passport, but you’ll need to show your expired passport and your new passport when you’re travelling to and from the UK.

  • If you’re in the UK, you can apply for a BRP instead.

  • If you’re outside the UK, you can transfer your visa to your new passport.

Source: GOV.UK

When you reach the UK your then valid passport needs to remain valid throughout your stay in the UK.

Your passport or identity card will be checked when you arrive at a UK port or airport to make sure you’re allowed to come into the country. It must be valid for the whole of your stay.

Source: GOV.UK

Note: BRP is not applicable to standard visitor visas because they don't allow stays of longer than 6 months ordinarily but it is still an option for longer stay visas.

  • "Valid for the whole of stay". Do you mean the whole of stay is not the term of visa validity? – bipll May 22 '18 at 5:46
  • Yes it isn't. For example if your visa is valid until 30th September and your passport is valid until 31st august then you must leave before 31st august, throughout your stay you should have the same passport valid which was used for entry. Now you can go back to your country get a new passport and again stay until 30th September – Hanky Panky May 22 '18 at 6:14
  • Thanks - I wasn't sure if that article applied for visitor visas as well, since for e.g. the BRP part it specifically says it applies only "if your overall stay in the UK is longer than 6 months". – fstanis May 22 '18 at 6:55

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