General Visitor

You may intend to visit the UK as a tourist, if so you must have a visa to come to the UK if you are a national of a Country on Appendix 1 to the Immigration Rules, commonly known as ‘Visa Nationals’. To find out if your Country is on the list, please click here.

Please note that the list is amended by the Home Office regularly to add to or take out a Country from the list and therefore, you must check shortly before making your application. If you are a non-visa national you do not need to apply for a visit visa to come to the UK provided that you can demonstrate to the Immigration Officer upon arrival that you meet all the requirements of the Immigration Rules for admission as a visitor. Nevertheless, you may wish to apply for a visa if you are in doubt about your admissibility due to a previous refusal of a visa or refusal of entry to the UK.

To come to the UK as a general visitor, you must be able to show that:

  • You are 18 or over
  • You intend to visit the UK for no more than 6 months
  • You intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit
  • You have enough money to support and accommodate yourself without working or help from public funds, or you and any dependants will be supported and accommodated by relatives or friends
  • You can meet the cost of the return or onward journey

You must complete the appropriate form and pay the fees for the application. You must submit all original documents in support of the application including passports and photos (passport size). Some visa sections now have facilities to enable you to complete your application online, pay the fees and book an appointment to submit your original documents. You must submit your application in the manner prescribed otherwise your application would be deemed invalid.

You must complete the application form correctly and answer all questions truthfully. If you give false information or make false representation, your application will certainly be refused and you could be banned from applying for a UK visa for up to 10 years, in some cases.

Can I appeal if I am refused?

Family visitors as defined by the Immigration Appeals (Family Visitor) Regulations 2003 have a right of appeal if their application is refused. Other visitors generally have no right of appeal except if they would like to appeal on the basis that the decision of the visa officer infringes their human rights or racially discriminates against them. They can also ask for review of their application but there is no statutory right to compel the visa officers or managers to review the application. In some cases, it might be appropriate to apply to the competent Administrative Court in the UK to judicially review the decision of the visa officer or manager refusing an application for a visit visa. However, this is a very expensive process and takes a considerable amount of time and cost.