Single and Long Term Multiple Entry Visit Visas
Single-entry visit visas
The Immigration (Leave to Remain) Order 2000 provides for a visit visa to have effect as leave to enter the UK on an infinite number of occasions during its validity. However, on 1-April-2005, the Order was amended so that it now gives provision in suitable cases for a visit visa to be authorized as valid for single entry only.
ECOs may, therefore, issue a visit visa that is valid for entry to the UK on one occasion. In certain cases such as children visitors sponsored by charities or are outstanding borderline cases ECOs should only issue single-entry visit visas. An exceptional borderline case is where the applicant has not quite established, on the balance of probabilities an intention to leave, but there is nonetheless a clearly established, verifiable and compelling reason to visit the UK. ECOs must obtain the authority of the ECM before issuing a single-entry visa. This category should not (not) be used if the applicant clearly fails to meet the Immigration Rules on the balance of probabilities.
Single-entry visit visas must not be routinely issued to first time family or other visitors.
ECOs may also consider limiting the leave granted in these types of cases by restricting the strength of the visa to less than six months. In these cases ECOs should obtain the authority of the ECM and a brief note must be kept in the notes field of Proviso to explain the course of action and the name of the authorizing ECM.
A non-exhaustive list of examples of where it may be appropriate to issue a single entry visit visa is:
- Key witness at a criminal, civil or family court appearance;
- A visit at the request of the police or other agency to assist enquiries;
- To attend the funeral of an immediate family member;
- To attend a specific one-off bona fide event as an invitee, i.e. a religious convention;
- To conduct a specific business transaction in the UK where the person's attendance is essential;
- To visit an immediate family member who is pregnant or who is seriously ill;
- Children visitors sponsored by charities.
Multiple Entry Visit Visas
ECOs should usually issue a visa for the period requested by the applicant. However, a 6 month multiple entry visit visa will be more appropriate to issue where an applicant is visiting the United Kingdom for the first time or who has not otherwise established a good immigration/travel history.
5 and ten 10 visit visas should only be issued to candidates who have previously traveled and complied with a one or two year visit visa unless the applicant has traveled frequently to the UK or other premium destination e.g. EU, US, Australia or Canada.