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I would like to apply for a 10-year UK tourist visa. Current visa status: H-1B (US Work visa). UK visa history: Been granted three separatesix-month tourist visas in the last eight years (2008, 2012, 2014).

Reason for longer term visa: I end up visiting (and plan to visit in the future) the UK mainly for sporting events and catching up with friends. I plan to watch the 2017 Champions Trophy (cricket) and the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Since I don't really have a work/family related reason, should I even bother applying?

It's going to cost me $1,100. I don't want to throw that away if there's no chance of getting it.

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    Well the question is what do you expect to gain from that and how much do you want it ? How much do your 6 month visas cost you ? Or are you really asking about your chances of being refused ? – blackbird Sep 24 '15 at 17:21
  • The 6 months visa fee is $130 approximately. The only thing im trying to do here is to avoid sending in my passport everytime i want to visit. Once i have a longer term visa, its the same as flying within the US, so much easlier to plan and much lesser hassle. But, I do not want to lose $1000 ($2000 counting my wife) for the convenience. – SachinRT Oct 2 '15 at 20:30
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People who get 10 year visitor visas have a very strong premise which is deemed to be 'permanent'...

  • Visiting a grandchild (or a similar family member in the descendent line) who lives in the UK
  • Owning a business in the UK or having a reason to travel to the UK for business
  • Shopping and social events requiring the person to be in and out of the UK frequently
  • Owning a house in the UK that the person uses during the social season
  • Owning a mooring place and a vessel that sails in annually
  • Owning an aircraft that stops in the UK for social and sporting events
  • And so on

And along with the premise, the person has built up a history of performance over a long period of time, like 10 years or so. You have had 3 visas over the course of 8 years, but to have an application taken seriously you would need about a dozen over that time and all for the same reason.

Based upon what you wrote you will have difficulty establishing both premise and performance, so it's fair to be pessimistic about the outlook.

You can always apply however; it's simply a matter of checking the appropriate box and paying the fee. If they decide you do not qualify for a 10 year visa, they will work their way down the line looking for something you do qualify for until they get to the standard 6 month visa. If you qualify, you'll get the standard 6 month visa and they will keep the difference in fee.


Adding...

I forgot to include something important... In some consulates it is standard practice to automatically 'upgrade' an entry clearance to a longer duration, even if the applicant didn't ask for it. It's not really 'automatic', but if the ECO determines that an applicant has a qualifying premise and great performance history, she will assign the next higher duration as a matter of course; you don't need to do anything. They do not notify you either, if you get your entry clearance in the post and it has a longer duration than what you asked for, then congratulations, you got an 'automatic upgrade' (that isn't really automatic, and isn't really an upgrade).

  • Thanks for the detailed response. I am surprised though. A travel agent told me im sure to get it. I just wanted to confirm by posting here, but now im confused again! The last time i applied, the UK embassy here lost my wife's passport. I had a tough time calling their helpline which is a call centre in South Asia. Finally they found the passport 2 days before i was scheduled to fly out. Hence, i would really like it if i can avoid the hassle of applying everytime. Dont sports qualify under "Shopping and social events requiring the person to be in and out of the UK frequently"? Thanks – SachinRT Oct 2 '15 at 20:37
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    @SachinRT, it's unlikely that the stuff I write will sync up with travel agents; I go solely upon what you write here and I have no knowledge of the info you provided to the travel agent. I think it's a good answer and based upon what you wrote, it has to stand. Please read stackoverflow.com/help/someone-answers – Gayot Fow Oct 3 '15 at 1:28
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    @SachinRT A frequent visitor would be visiting 3 or 4 times a year or more, possibly slightly less often. Two visits in four years, as your original post contemplates, would not be considered frequent by any stretch. – Michael Hampton Feb 22 '16 at 0:23
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if you had a 6 months visa with an evidence of using the visa wisely. you can ask for 2 years. if you travel for like 2 3 or 4 times on the 2 year visa. you can upgrade to 5 years. and so on

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    This answer largely contradicts the accepted answer but doesn't quote any sources to back it up. Can you justify any of the claims you're making here, for example by linking to official documents? – David Richerby Apr 20 '16 at 1:38

protected by Community Jun 22 '17 at 17:57

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