Visiting family or friends is classified as a permitted activity for UK visitors. However, before you set off on your journey to the United Kingdom, you should check and ensure that you comply with all necessary immigration requirements. For example, if you are from a country included in the ‘Visa National List’, you will have to apply for a Visitor Visa before travelling to the UK.
The ‘Visa National’ list of countries is extensive and includes, among others, Russia, China and India; it is, therefore, important to check whether your nationality is listed.
In addition to applying for a Visitor Visa to travel to the UK for visiting family and/or friends, you will have to meet a number of requirements. In particular, you will need to demonstrate that:
- You intend to travel to the UK for a permitted purpose (i.e., tourism, visiting family and friends, or for a business trip);
- You are able to support yourself during your trip to the UK (or have funding from someone else to support you);
- You intend to leave the UK at the end of your trip;
- You have strong ties to your home country; and
- You will not live in the UK for extended periods of time through successive and frequent visits.
Demonstrating that you have sufficient funds is crucial as visitors are not permitted to access public funds. This requirement was introduced to prevent Visitors becoming a burden on the UK taxpayer. You will therefore need to show that you can cover all reasonable costs on your own without needing to access UK public funds. This will include your full cost of travel, accommodation, food expenses, and the cost of any planned activities in the UK. There are no exceptions to this requirement; however, it is permitted for your costs to be covered by another individual. If this is the case, you will need to provide additional documents to confirm that the individual who is going to sponsor you has sufficient funds and to evidence their relationship to you.
For more information we invite you to check out our Top Tips for UK Visitor Visa applications.
How Gherson can assist
Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.