Visitor Visas: 

 

Tourist/Family Visitor Visa:

Some countries are “non-visa national” countries, and a national of any of those countries does not necessarily have to apply for a visitor visa to come to the UK as a visitor. But a person who is a national of a “visa national” country must obtain a visitor visa before they come to the UK. A general visitor, who may have come to the UK to visit friends or family or to see the sights, must show that they will not work during their visit, that they have adequate funds and accommodation for their visit, and that they will return to their home country at the end of the visit.

These consists of the 6 month, 2 Year, 5 year and 10 Year Visitor, Family or Business applications, the visitor visas offers South African passport holders to enter the United Kingdom (England,. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) for a maximum period of 6 months at a time.

Qualifying Criteria for the above mentioned applications are as follows:

  • Applicants must be 18 years of are or older
  • Applicants must show intent to be in the UK for no longer than 6 months at a time.
  • Have no criminal records or convictions


General visitor visa:

You can apply for a General Visitor visa if you’re:

  • 18 years of ae or older
  • travelling to the UK for leisure (not work or study)
  • able to support yourself for the duration of your trip
  • not in transit to another country, except for Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
  • able to pay for your return or onward journey

How long it should take:
You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.
You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

What you can and can’t do:

You can study for up to 30 days, as long as it’s not the main reason for your visit.
You can’t:

  • work or carry out any business
  • study for longer than 30 days
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or a civil partnership
  • come to the UK specifically for private medical treatment
  • change (‘switch’) to another visa
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) with you on your application - they must apply separately
  • get public funds

 

Family Visit Visa:

You must prove that you:

  • are 18 years of age or older
  • are visiting the UK for less than 6 months
  • will leave the UK at the end of your visit
  • have enough money to support yourself without working or help from public funds, or that relatives and friends can support and house you
  • can pay for your return or onward journey
  • are not in transit to a country outside the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands

How long it should take:
You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.
You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
What you can and can’t do
You can study for up to 30 days, as long as it’s not the main reason for your visit.
You can’t:

  • work or carry out any business
  • study for longer than 30 days
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or a civil partnership
  • come to the UK specifically for private medical treatment
  • change (‘switch’) to another visa
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) with you on your application - they must apply separately
  • get public funds

 

Business Visitor Visa:

Some countries are “non-visa national” countries, and a national of any of those countries does not necessarily have to apply for a visitor visa to come to the UK as a visitor. But a person who is a national of a “visa national” country must obtain a visitor visa before they come to the UK. If a person from a visa national country wishes to come to the UK for business reasons, for example to hold meetings or to sign a contract, they must apply for a business visitor visa. This visa does not allow the visa holder to “work” as such; it only allows a restricted range of business activities.
There are 3 types of Business Visitor visa.


Business Visitor visa:
This visa is for people working outside the UK who are coming to the UK to carry out activities relating to their job, e.g. conferences, meetings and training.


Academic visitor:
This visa is for academic visitors - eg academics on sabbatical, doing research or accompanying students on a study abroad programme.


Doctors and dentists:
This visa is for doctors and dentists undertaking clinical attachments or clinical observer posts, or taking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test.


How long it should take:
You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.
You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.


How long you can stay:
This visa lasts for up to 6 months or up to 1 year if you’re an academic visitor.
You can apply to extend your visa as long as the total time you spend in the UK is less than 6 months.
You can also apply for a long-term visit visa if you can prove you need to make repeat visits over a longer period. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit and your visa can last for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years.

You must be:

  • from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
  • 18 years of age or older
  • receiving your salary from abroad and able to support yourself for the duration of your trip
  • not in transit to another country (except for Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands)

You must also be one of the following to be eligible for a Business Visitor visa:

  • an employee on secondment to a company office in the UK that isn’t part of the same group of companies as your employer
  • a business advisor or trainer
  • an academic on sabbatical, doing research or accompanying students on a study abroad programme
  • a doctor or dentist undertaking clinical attachments or clinical observer posts, or taking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test
  • an overseas qualified nurse taking the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • a member of an overseas film crew coming in for a location shoot
  • a representative of a news media organisation not based in the UK
  • a religious worker
  • a guide accompanying a tour group, but only if the company is based outside the UK
  • a driver delivering goods or carrying passengers
  • a visiting professor
  • an adviser, consultant, trainer, internal auditor or trouble shooter coming to a UK branch or a member of the same group of companies as your overseas employer
  • an employee of an international law firm which has offices in the UK, advising UK clients on litigation or international transactions
  • an overseas scientist or researcher advising or sharing knowledge on an international project that’s being led from the UK

You can also apply if you’re:

  • attending a pre-arranged meeting or interview, a conference or a trade fair (but not selling products or services)
  • negotiating a business deal or trade agreement
  • carrying out a fact-finding mission to explore potential markets or suppliers
  • making a site visit
  • speaking at a single conference that is not for profit
  • getting training for techniques and practices used in the UK

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

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

Your visa may be taken away (revoked) and you may get a long-term ban on visiting the UK if your travel history shows you’re repeatedly living here for extended periods.