I have a son in UK and was wondering if I could get a long term UK visa.

Searching on the web I hear that long-term visas (2, 5, 10 years) are almost never given and you have to show you have an ongoing need to travel to UK which is unlikely to change in the future.

I have never applied for a UK visa but my son works there and I would like to go on weekends to visit him.

Do you think I should apply for a 2, 5 year visa or just a standard 6 month visa?

Also, do you know if the standard 6 month allows me for multiple entries or only 1 entry for a stay up to 6 months?

  • It is not true that long term visitor visas are almost never given. I am from a developing country and my first UK visa was for 5 years. More importantly for you however, without a history of UK visits, it will be better to apply for the six months visa a couple of times before applying for long term otherwise you risk wasting money if refused since long term visas are much more expensive. Jun 5 '17 at 9:52
  • The Visitor (standard) Visa is issued for a period of 6 months and is multiple entry Jun 5 '17 at 9:54

The Standard Visitor visa is issued for a period of 6 months and is multiple entry.

Long-term visit visas

If you can prove you need to visit the UK regularly over a longer period, you can apply for a visa that lasts 2, 5 or 10 years. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit.

If you’re applying for a long-term visit visa
You must prove that:

  • you have a frequent and ongoing need to come to the UK
  • the reason why you need to come to the UK is unlikely to change while your visitor visa is valid
  • you plan to leave the UK at the end of each visit

You may be given a visa for a shorter period than requested if you don’t do this. You won’t get a refund of the application fee if you get a shorter visa or your application is refused.

As you note, you have never visited the UK so you may wish to apply for the Standard Visitor Visa, before anticipating the need for a longer period. And, as you prepare your application, refer to the Visit visa: guide to supporting documents.

  • To add something: It's annoying to apply for a visa each time you want to travel to the UK so, If there's a "bona fide" and a strong reason that won't change in time (like direct family living there for long) then why not applying for a long term visa? just explain your reasons in your visa application. However, I would probably suggest to have some travel history so that will help consular officers not to think that you may overstay - and better if you have been in the UK, USA, Canada or EEA countries but not a must have anyway, each case is different :-)
    – Oscar Jara
    Jun 3 '19 at 5:42

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