Many non-EEA national may be required to apply for UK Visitor Visas to enter and remain in the UK for a limited period depending on their nationality. There are many countries listed in the relevant immigration rules, nationals of whom are regarded as non-visas national. In simple terms, you may not need a visitor visa to enter the UK if you are national of countries listed in the said rules. There are number of visit visas categories that permits non-EEA national to enter the UK as tourists, family visitors, marriage visitors, business and study visitors. There are number of other visit categories under the said regulations.

The duration of a visit visa is normally for a period of 6 months. However, non-EEA nationals coming to UK for Permitted Paid Engagements can stay in the UK for 1 month only. Applicants may also be granted multiple visit visas for a duration of 1, 2, 5 or 10 years, however, they are not allowed to stay in the UK for more than 6 months at one given time. The exceptions to this may be Academic Visitors and parents of children at school.

The new immigration rules for Visitor Visas to UK came into force from 24th April 2015. Prior to this, the visitor applicants used to get a right of appeal if their applications get refused by the authorities which is not the case anymore. Applicants for visitor visas may submit a fresh application addressing previous grounds of refusals with further evidence to establish their intentions to visit UK for a limited period and their ability to maintain and accommodate themselves without recourse to public funds.

The applicants must meet the following criteria for visitor applications.

  • There must not be any previous criminal conviction, breach of UK immigration rules, deception or misrepresentation, or money owed to UK public authorities.
  • Clear intention to leave the UK at the end of their stay.
  • Applicants must be genuine visitors.
  • Applicants must not undertake activities prohibited by the Immigration Rules.
  • Applicants must be able to maintain and accommodate themselves without recourse to public funds.

As there is no right to submit an appeal or administrative review against the decision to refuse visitor applications, applicants must meet the relevant immigration rules by submitting necessary evidence in support of their applications. In cases where applicants apply for family visit visa and their application gets refused, they may be able to submit Judicial Review applications at the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chambers, depending on their individual circumstances.