If you are planning a trip to the UK, you may need to apply for a visit visa to enter and stay in the UK for your desired duration. Visit visas are a common way for tourists to explore the UK. However, it is crucial to understand the rules and limitations regarding the maximum length of stay as a visitor in the UK.
Before delving into the duration of stay, it is essential to know that there are different types of UK visit visas, each with specific eligibility criteria. The primary types of visit visas include:
- Standard Visitor Visa: This visa is suitable for tourists, family visitors, and those attending business meetings or conferences in the UK. It typically allows a maximum stay of up to 6 months.
- Marriage Visitor Visa: Designed for individuals planning to get married or enter into a civil partnership in the UK. This visa permits a stay of up to 6 months.
- Permitted Paid Engagement Visa: Designed for individuals with specific, paid engagements in the UK, such as lecturers, examiners, and artists. It allows a maximum stay of up to 1 month.
It is important to note that nationals of certain countries are not required to apply for a standard visitor visa before entering the UK. Instead, they can travel to the UK and, provided there are no issues, they should be granted permission to enter as a visitor at the border. The Home Office has a specific list of non-visa nationals.
For most visitors, the maximum amount of time you can stay in the UK is 6 months, regardless of whether you applied for the visa before travel or not. The exact conditions of your visa should be specified on your Home Office letter/ vignette/ stamp. Be sure to check these conditions as they may limit your stay to less than 6 months.
If you find that you need to stay in the UK longer than initially planned, it may be possible to apply for an extension of your visit visa, however, it will depend entirely on your circumstances. Extensions are typically only granted for specific reasons, such as medical treatment or exceptional circumstances. You must apply for an extension before your current visa expires.
Understanding the maximum amount of time you can stay in the UK on a visit visa is essential. Be sure to choose the appropriate type of visit visa for your purpose and always comply with the conditions of your visa. If you need to extend your stay, consult the UK Home Office or seek legal advice to ensure that you follow the correct procedures.
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.