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Is there a difference in how to apply for a multiple entry visa to the UK vs. for one specific entry?

I’m a British citizen, applying for my 6 year old who is Bolivian. We will apply for his passport and citizenship and everything - but I’m worried that something might happen to my parents and we won’t be able to go. Or that there will be a big delay in his citizenship or something, so I would rather he have a 2-year if possible. Is it possible/likely?

The application online only allows for talking about one specific trip to the UK. So do I just do that and apply for the 2-year one? Or do I need to specify why I want the multiple entry visa? (In case of the illness of one of my parents, the grandparents of the child for whom I am applying for the visa.)

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    Play it safe, six months. If you apply for 2 years they will keep the extra money even if they only issue 6 months. No point fretting about what can happen to the grandparents or things beyond your control. Dec 28, 2018 at 14:13
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    Are you certain that your six-year-old is not already a British citizen? If he is, he is not eligible for a visitor visa. If you expect to apply for a passport without first registering him as a British citizen, this suggests that he is already a British citizen.
    – phoog
    Dec 28, 2018 at 15:01
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    @HonoraryWorldCitizen thanks for drawing my attention to the other questions. Has it been established that the adoption is not a Hague convention adoption? Is the visitor visa even the appropriate visa here rather than the family settlement visa?
    – phoog
    Dec 28, 2018 at 15:45
  • @phoog For automatic citizenship, the adoption process must take place in UK Courts or the parent must be habitually resident in UK. Apparently hers took place in Bolivia courts so although recognized the child does not automatically become a UK Citizen. They’re not going to uk to stay, simply visit Dec 28, 2018 at 15:59
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    Just the fee. The British Immigration are notorious for issuing visas of shorter duration than requested. This is his first visa, longer term visas are issued to people with a good history of frequent visits to the UK. Dec 28, 2018 at 16:19

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Formally the sole difference when applying for a 2/5/10-year visa is the higher fee. However, the GOV.UK website does state it's meant for those who "need to visit the UK regularly over a longer period".

As such, besides having sufficient clean travel history in the UK (visas/stamps, including in previous passports), one should provide evidence of ties to the UK motivating frequent visits which are nonetheless visits. It is even more essential than in general to prove one will get by without resorting to employment/public funds and that one has compelling ties to the country of residence. Proving ties to home and sufficient ties to the UK to motivate frequent visits won't be the easiest of tasks for many.

As such, a multi-year visit visa simply isn't for most people.

That said, just because they don't grant a multi-year visa doesn't mean you'll be rejected altogether, but you won't be refunded the fee difference if issued a shorter-validity visa.

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