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I am a student in the USA on an F1 visa. I need to attend a conference in England and wanted to know the procedure to apply for the visa.

Since I am in the US, when I start using the visa portal on gov.uk, it redirects me to the 'visa4uk' website. I made an account there, and when it is time to select the visa type, I cannot find 'Standard visitor' visa. It is just a list of 'Visit, Study, Work...', upon selecting Visit, a list of 'Tourism, Child, Family, Business...'. So I selected Business. Is this correct?

  • Apply for a standard tourist visa, there are many questions and answers here on that topic. Also read this to find out how to apply: gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa/overview – Joel Damien Jun 8 '16 at 21:04
  • Since I am in the US, when I start doing what you mentioned, it redirects me to the 'visa4uk' website. I made an account there and when it is time to select the visa type, I cannot find 'Standard visitor' visa, it is just a list of 'Visit Study Work...', upon selecting Visit, a list of 'Tourism Child Family Business...', so I select Business. – Sid Jun 9 '16 at 20:02
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The correct visa type is a short visit / standard visitor visa:

You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK:

  • for leisure, eg on holiday or to see your family and friends
  • for business, or to take part in sports or creative events
  • for another reason, eg to receive private medical treatment

...

You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK for business-related activities, eg:

  • you’re coming to the UK for a conference, meeting or training
  • you want to take part in a specific sports-related event
  • you’re an artist, entertainer or musician and coming to the UK to perform
  • you’re an academic and are doing research or accompanying students on a study abroad programme
  • you’re a doctor or dentist and are coming to the UK to take a clinical attachment or observer post
  • you want to take the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or sit the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • you want to get funding to start, take over, join or run a business in the UK

As you cannot use the new system from the US, you need to select "Visit" from the visa type list; then followed by "Tourism".

In the old system "Business" visa is a different type of visa entirely; and has been replaced by this new visa type. However, your purpose is not tourism, therefore you should select "Business" as it closely matches the purpose of your trip.

In the end, you'll get the same type of visa:

The Standard Visitor visa has replaced the:

  • Family Visitor visa
  • General Visitor visa
  • Child Visitor visa
  • Business Visitor visa, including visas for academics, doctors and dentists
  • Sports Visitor visa
  • Entertainer Visitor visa
  • Prospective Entrepreneur visa
  • Private Medical Treatment Visitor visa
  • Approved Destination Status (ADS) visa

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