I'm confused with some of the visas and reasons. I am a US citizen, and my boyfriend is a UK citizen. I have traveled to the UK to spend a month with him and did not need a visa. Upon researching online I came across the long-term visit visa on the UK government site, it states this is for having to make multiple visits for a maximum of 6 months at a time. My question is; how many visits a year are you allowed with out a need for a visa? I plan on visiting the UK 2, no more than 3, times a year to see him but each visit will be no longer than a month at a time.

  • If the UK won't give an official answer, here's an anecdote: Someone I know was given a "significant" amount of hassle upon arriving the sixth time in less than a year with a US passport. Two or three times you'll probably be OK (still, be prepared for plenty of questions, and don't be overly verbose with your answers). But if you do this for many years on end it could get trickier...but then the system could change over that time frame. Jan 12, 2015 at 3:27
  • @JohnZwinck I am dual UK/US citizen living in the UK. My mother is a US citizen living in the US. She visits me on average 2-3 times a year - for the past 10 years. Not once has she had any problem entering without a visa. But then again, we're talking about a person with a stable job with very good income, own property, etc. And each stay is only about 2 weeks.
    – Aleks G
    Apr 28, 2017 at 19:12

2 Answers 2


The definitive source for this is the UK government website, .

Unfortunately there is no precise answer to your question. The UK government rules require that the visitor does not >"intend to live for extended periods in the United Kingdom through frequent or successive visits", which means that you can't enter for 6 months, skip the country to (say) France for one day, and then re-enter for a further 6 months, and repeat indefinitely. But there is no precise rule which stipulates exactly what the limits are.

In the end, the judgement of your intention is made at the border by the UK immigration officer. If he/she is satisfied that you are visiting for a month and then leaving, then you'll be allowed in.

But there are guidelines on that same UK government website, www.gov.uk, go to the section >"visas and immigration", then >"arriving in the UK", then >"check if you need a UK visa". Based on the information in your question, it says that you don't need one, but check it for yourself to be sure.

  • 2
    Does no one else think this is crazy that there are no defined rules in place for this. Just turn up in the UK and hope the immigration officer is having a good day? If not, back on a plane for you, and sod any plans you have made... Jul 15, 2016 at 18:38
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    @superphonic problematic, but not crazy. The Schengen approach, with strict limits, has its own problems. For example, once you've exhausted your 90/180 limit, you can't fly from Munich to Frankfurt even if you're in transit between non-Schengen countries. The greater discretion afforded to immigration officers in the UK system and similar systems allows greater flexibility for travelers, at the cost of greater uncertainty.
    – phoog
    Nov 25, 2016 at 18:33

I visited the UK 3 times in a calendar year 2015-2016. On the third visit I was asked several questions about why I was visiting so often, and I received what I perceived to be a 'warning' about too much visiting. The officer asked me if I knew how many days I could visit the UK, to which I didn't know. He said 6 months' worth. I'm going to assume that this is cumulative for a year.

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    Your assumption is wrong. It's 6 months for any one visit. However, if you are in the UK for more than half the year, then you're going to fall foul of the "intended to live in the UK" test
    – CMaster
    Nov 25, 2016 at 11:57
  • More than half the year also has tax implications, doesn't it? Apr 28, 2017 at 18:46

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