If you are coming to the UK as a visitor, you are allowed to stay for up to 6 months in most cases
Tourism and visiting friends
If you want to visit the UK as a tourist or to stay with friends in the UK, you should apply to as a general visitor (or as a child visitor if you are under 18).
If you are a Chinese national and you will be coming to the UK as part of a group for a maximum of 30 days, you can apply for a visa as an ADS visitor
You should provide documents to show that you meet the above requirements
Documents you need as a general visitor:
If you apply for a visa, you should provide these documents with your visa application. You should provide as many relevant documents as you can to show that you qualify for entry to the UK. You must decide which documents will best support your application. We advise you to consider providing documents that contain:
These documents are important because they provide information about your personal circumstances in the country where you are applying.
|A current and valid travel document or passport|
|1 passport-size colored photograph|
|Evidence of your permission to be in the country where you are applying, if you are not a national of that country||This could be a residence permit, ‘green card’ or valid visa showing your current immigration status.|
|Previous passports||These are to show your previous travel history|
|Evidence of your marital status||This could include a marriage certificate, a civil partnership certificate, a divorce certificate or a death certificate|
|Evidence of your current employment or studies||This could include:
a letter from your employer on company headed paper, detailing your salary and the length of your employment, confirming that you have been given time off work and stating whether this time off is paid or unpaid. You could also consider submitting further documents which might support an employment letter, such as pay slips or tax returns. If you have recently entered new employment, you could consider providing details of your previous employment and salary history.
a letter from your education provider on headed paper, confirming your enrollment and leave of absence.
business registration documents confirming the business owner’s name and the date when the business started trading.
|Bank statements or bank books||Showing what has been paid in and out of an account for up to the previous 6 months, and naming the account holder. If you have made deposits in your account that are not in keeping with the account history, you might want to explain the origins and timing of these deposits.|
|Bank letter or balance certificate||Showing the account balance, the account holder’s name and the date when the account was opened. If you provide this document, you should consider providing additional documents to show the origins of the money in your account.|
|Payslips||Covering up to the previous 6 months. If your salary is paid directly into your bank account, you should consider providing the statements showing these payments|
|Tax returns (business or personal)||You could include recent documents from your government tax office, confirming your income and the amount of tax that you have paid|
|Evidence of income from property or land||This could include property deeds, mortgage statements, tenancy agreements, accountant’s letters, land registration documents or crop receipts. If the property or land is registered in several names, you may wish to explain how much you own. If the money earned from the land is shared, you may wish to say how it is divided|
|Details of accommodation and return travel bookings||This could be:
|Completed visa application form||If your country does not support online applications, you must complete and submit application form VAF1A.|
|A planned itinerary, if you have one||This could include:
bookings or tickets for any excursions, trips and outings
email conversations about any excursions, trips and outings
travel agent bookings
|Supporting letter(s) from your friend or sponsor in the UK||If you are visiting a friend, you might want to include a letter of invitation from them as well as their financial documents, as outlined in the ‘Information about your finances and employment’ section above.
You should also consider supplying evidence of their immigration status in the UK. This could be copies of:
bio-data pages from their passport
a valid visa or immigration stamp from their passport
a Home Office letter confirming permission to stay in the UK
|Short-term visit (up to 6 months, single or multiple entry)||£76|
|Long-term visit (up to 2 years)||£265|
|Long-term visit (up to 5 years)||£486|
|Long-term visit (up to 10 years)||£702|
Information about your finances and employment
You may submit any of the following financial documents. You should consider including evidence of your total monthly income from all sources – for example, employment, friends, family, personal savings and property. You should consider providing this information even if someone else is paying for your trip.
Accommodation and travel details
You might want to submit the following documents to help show your accommodation and travel arrangements in the UK and the date when you intend to leave the UK. We advise that you do not make any payments for accommodation, travel and so on until you have received your visa.
Information about your visit to the UK
Depending on the reason for your visit, you might want to provide some of the following documents to help show what you plan to do while you are in the UK.
In some locations, you can only apply by making an online application. If you make an online application, you must also print off the application form and submit it with any supporting documents you have chosen to submit.
Documents a sponsor should provide to support a general visitor’s application
Sponsoring a general visitor
If you will provide financial support and accommodation for your general visitor and/or pay for his/her travel to the United Kingdom, you should send the following as evidence that you are able to do so:
COST OF A VISA
Category – Visit
VALIDITY OF VISA
Generally visit visas are valid for 6 months. But they can be issued for longer, for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years. However, those with longer term visas can still only stay in the UK for six months at any one time, other than Academic Visitors and parents of children at school as outlined above. Longer term visas are generally issued to frequent travelers.