|Visitor Visas – Special Visitors
The visitor visa is the most popular single route for individuals coming to the UK for tourism, to visit family or for business or other special purpose visits.
Reasons why you may wish to visit the UK
General requirements for coming to the UK as a visitor
The exceptions to this general rule are for ‘academic visitors and ‘parents of children at school in the UK” who are entitled to stay in the UK for a maximum period of 12 months.
Categories of the “Visitor Visa”
The different categories of “Visitor Visa” are as follows:
If you wish to enter the UK during transit or you wish to come to the UK for marriage, private medical treatment, to undertake a short course of study (or arrange a proposed course of study), or if you are the parent of a child at school in the UK, you will need to apply as a special visitor. There is also a new subcategory “prospective entrepreneur” which is in power from 6 April 2011.
It is advised that you seek legal advice if you are uncertain whether your purpose for coming to the UK or proposed activity is covered by the “special visitors” category.
1. You will need to demonstrate that you only intend to visit the UK for a short period (no more than 6 months), unless you are the Parent of a Child at School and Private Medical Treatment Visitor.
2. You must demonstrate that you intend to visit the UK for the relevant category of ‘special visitor’. Each category has different requirements which are detailed individually on our website and you are required to provide evidence of your purpose for entering the UK. (It is advised that you obtain advice from us at Law Firm Ltd. to ensure that your proposed category is covered under ‘Special Visitors’ as outlined by the UK Border Agency and that you are able to provide the necessary documents to support your application).
3. You must intend to leave the UK after the end of your visit and demonstrate that you can meet the cost of the return or onward journey.
4. You must show that you have sufficient funds to maintain and accommodate yourself (and any dependants) without working in the UK or receiving assistance from UK public funds. Alternatively you can show that your relatives or friends or an organisation will be financially supporting and/or accommodating you.
B. Activities not permitted on a special visitors visa
C. Documents required
If you wish to apply as a special visitor, you should ensure that you have the following documentation:
D. Extension & Switching
The maximum you can stay in the UK, on any one occasion is six months as a special visitor.
If however your visa was granted for a period less than six months, you may apply for an extension of your visa which takes you up to the maximum of six months.
You are not permitted to change into another visa category.
Please note that upon the expiry of your visa, you are required to leave the UK. If you stay beyond the expiry of your visa, you will remain illegally in the UK and you will be considered an “overstayer”. This may have an adverse impact on your immigration record and is likely to affect any future UK immigration applications. This could even result in you being banned from re-entering the UK for a certain period of time.
E. Right of Appeal
Applicants can be refused a visa to enter the UK as a special visitor and would normally receive a detailed letter explaining the reasons for refusal.
There is no right of appeal against the Entry Clearance Officers decision to refuse any visitor visa application. We therefore advise that if applicants have been refused a special visitor visa, they should seek legal advice on the procedure for submitting a fresh application.
In case of visitor visa refusal, the only judicial remedy is Judicial Review. This is where a Judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by the British Embassy/Home Office in the High Court. If you wish to explore this option further then please contact us to arrange a consultation.
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