Short Term Visas

Commercial and tourist visas for visitors

You can visit the United Kingdom as a standard visitor for tourism, business, study (courses up to 6 months), and other permitted activities. Typically, you can stay in the United Kingdom for up to 6 months. Under certain circumstances (for example, for medical treatment), you may apply for a longer stay.

Standard Visitor Visas

To apply for a standard visitor visa, you must prove that:

  • you will leave the United Kingdom at the end of your visit;
  • you can support yourself and any dependents during your trip (or you can provide a sponsor who can cover your trip costs);
  • you can pay for your journey to and from the UK (or you have funding from a third party);
  • you will not live in the United Kingdom for an extended period, visiting frequently or consecutively, and will not make the UK your main home.

Business Visitors

You can come to the United Kingdom on a short-term basis for business-related reasons without engaging in the UK labour market or being employed in the UK.

You can visit the United Kingdom for up to 6 months to carry out the following types of business activities:

  • attending interviews, meetings, conferences, and seminars;
  • negotiating and signing deals and contracts;
  • visiting trade fairs to promote your business (you cannot sell goods);
  • undergoing training related to work if you are employed abroad, and such training is not available in your country;
  • giving one-off or short performances, if they are not for profit or commercial events (they must be unpaid);
  • visiting sites and conducting inspections;
  • monitoring the supply of goods and services provided by a British company to your overseas company or organization;
  • providing training or sharing knowledge on internal projects with British employees of the company you work for abroad;
  • installing, dismantling, repairing, servicing, or consulting on equipment, computer software, and hardware, if your overseas company has a contract with a British company or organization.

Student Visitors

You can come to the United Kingdom for up to 6 months to:

  • study at an accredited educational institution (including English language courses);
  • conduct a small-scale research related to your overseas course;
  • undertake an elective, for example, additional practice if you're studying medicine, veterinary medicine, science, nursing, or dentistry;
  • take an entrance exam, retake an exam or course module, or undergo a PhD oral examination (viva);
  • undertake unpaid clinical practice if you've completed medical, dental, or nursing school;
  • pass the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) or the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test.

Academic Visitors

If you represent an overseas educational institution, you can:

  • participate in official exchange programs with British counterparts;
  • conduct your own research during academic leave.

If you're a senior doctor or dentist, you can also:

  • engage in research;
  • teach (provided it's not a permanent teaching position);
  • undertake clinical practice (provided it's not a permanent position).

If you wish to stay for more than six months as an academic visitor, you can apply for a 12-month standard visitor visa or extend your 6-month visa upon arrival in the UK. You must be able to prove that you:

  • have a high level of qualification in your field of expertise – usually meaning you hold a PhD or higher degree;
  • are currently working in this field of expertise at an academic institution overseas;
  • do not hold a permanent teaching position.

If you are an academic but not a senior doctor or dentist, you must also prove that your visit is for research or official exchange purposes.

If you are a senior doctor or dentist, you must also prove that you are visiting the country for research, clinical practice, official exchange, or teaching purposes.

Medical Visitors

You can visit the United Kingdom for up to 6 months to:

  • undergo private medical treatment at a hospital or another medical institution;
  • receive treatment in an NHS hospital if your government pays for treatment under a reciprocal healthcare agreement;
  • donate an organ to a family member or close friend – this includes assessment for suitability as a donor.

If your treatment lasts more than six months, you can apply for an 11-month standard visitor visa before coming to the UK or extend your 6-month visa upon arrival in the UK. There are no restrictions on how many times you can extend your stay in the country.

Long-term Standard Visitors

You can apply for a long-term standard visitor visa if you regularly visit the UK. The validity of such a visa is 2, 5, or 10 years. You can stay in the country for up to 6 months during each visit.

Marriage Visitors

If you want to have a marriage ceremony (or civil partnership) in the UK but do not intend to stay and live in the UK, you can apply for a marriage visitor visa for up to 6 months.

Marriage Visitors Visa Conditions

You can:

  • get married or form a civil partnership in the UK within six months of your arrival – you must use a venue licensed for this purpose;
  • transit through the UK (on your way to another country).

You cannot:

  • access public funds (benefits);
  • bring family members who are dependent on you – they must apply separately;
  • live in the UK for an extended period by making frequent visits;
  • extend your visa or switch to another visa;
  • work – except for permitted activities related to your work or business abroad, such as attending meetings;
  • study.

Qualified legal assistance

Most immigration applications have strict requirements for facts and evidence, which are not always easy to understand or satisfy.

The lawyers at Melrose Immigration Lawyers are knowledgeable and experienced in providing qualified legal assistance for various immigration applications. We understand that many requirements may seem overly complex and burdensome. Nevertheless, we guarantee to make your experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.

For the fastest response, please call us at +44 7570 041 459. You can also contact us via email at info@melroselawyers.co.uk or use the contact form to discuss your requirements or arrange a meeting with one of our lawyers.