This is the single consolidated UK visa type that covers all aspects where a person comes to the UK for tourism, visiting family/friends, job interviews, business trips, some forms of academic research, some forms of volunteer work, and group travel. It is uniformly multiple entry. This visa was created by the Immigration Act 2014 and has existed since April 2015. The 'Standard Visitor Visa' is a subset of the more generic UK 'entry clearance'.

This is the single consolidated UK visa type that covers all aspects where a person comes to the UK for tourism, visiting family/friends, job interviews, business trips, some forms of academic research, some forms of volunteer work, and group travel. It is uniformly multiple entry. This visa was created by the Immigration Act 2014 and has existed since April 2015. The 'Standard Visitor Visa' is a subset of the more generic UK 'entry clearance'.

A visitor is a person who is coming to the UK, usually for up to six months, for a temporary purpose, for example as a tourist, to visit friends or family or to carry out a business activity.

Visitors cannot work or study in the UK unless this is allowed by the permitted activities that are set out in these Visitor Rules.

Each visitor must meet the requirements of these Visitor Rules, even if they are travelling as, for example, a family group, a tour group or a school party.

Applications are decided based on the information provided by the applicant and any other relevant circumstances at the date of decision.

Definitions of terms and phrases used in these Visitor Rules are in Appendix 1. Defined words are in italics.

Source: Appendix V of the Immigration Rules


NOTE: the Standard Visitor Visa is normally issued for a period of 6 months. It can also be issued for periods of 1, 2, 5, and 10 years depending upon the qualifications of the applicant.

NOTE: there are some countries where their citizens do not need a Standard Visitor Visa (Canada, the USA, and so on). Instead, these people receive 'leave to enter' when they arrive in the UK. Despite the differences in nomenclature, people with 'leave to enter' are bound by the same rules. Also note, that some non-visa nationals may wish to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa before departure to ease the stress and uncertainty of their arrival in the UK.

NOTE: for terminology, people who need a Standard Visitor Visa are called 'visa nationals'; people who do not need a visa are called 'non-visa-nationals'.

NOTE: also for terminology, the Standard Visitor Visa falls within a general class of visas called 'entry clearance'. "Entry Clearance" is the term used to include all visa types issued by a British Consulate General abroad.

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