A standard long-term tourist visa is for foreign nationals who wish to make frequent visits to the UK for no more than 6 months over a number of years (for example for holidays or to visit family). As a long-term visitor visa holder, you will not need to apply for renewal until your existing visa expires.
What is a long-term UK tourist visa?
The Long Term Visitor Visa is a standard UK tourist visa that allows people to stay in the UK for up to six months at a time.
The visa is designed for people who wish to visit the UK regularly for a holiday or holiday or to see their family or friends.
To qualify for the long-term visitor visa, people must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay in the UK and that they have a return ticket to their home country.
Do you need to apply for a long-term UK tourist visa?
If you are from outside the EEA and wish to stay in the UK for more than six consecutive months, you will need to apply for a long-term visitor visa.
Depending on the purpose of the visit, the tourist visa can be granted for a duration of 2 years, 5 years or 10 years.
It is important to note that long-term visitor visas are not work visas and do not give you the right to work in the UK, even if you are granted a UK long-term visitor visa for 10 years.
What are the requirements for a long-term UK tourist visa?
The requirements for long-term visitor visas in the UK vary depending on the purpose of the visit, but there are some general requirements that all applicants must meet. The requirements are:
Reason to visit the UK
You must have a genuine, credible and ongoing reason to visit the UK for the duration of your chosen long-term UK tourist visa.
Examples include sightseeing, personal and leisure visits, visiting relatives or friends, receiving medical care, and attending cultural events.
Accommodation and maintenance
You must have sufficient funds to pay your accommodation and living expenses during your stay in the UK.
- This includes having a return ticket and enough money to support yourself without having to work or claim benefits in the UK.
- To demonstrate that they meet the financial requirements for long-term UK visitor visas, applicants must provide evidence of their financial resources.
- This may include bank statements, pay slips and/or letters from employers.
- Rules relating to third party sponsorship
- If you are sponsored by a third party, they will need to meet certain criteria set by the Home Office.
- This includes providing evidence of your financial situation and a commitment to cover your costs during your stay in the UK.
You must demonstrate that you are not likely to become an ‘overstayer’ in the UK, meaning you are staying in the country for longer than your visa allows.
This means you must demonstrate that you have strong ties to your home country and plan to make frequent visits home.
The rules of “suitability”.
You must demonstrate that you comply with UK immigration rules and do not pose any criminal or security risk to the UK. According to the eligibility rules, the UK tourist visa must (or can) be refused for the following reasons:
- Threatening public order or the security of the United Kingdom.
- Having committed serious crimes.
- Have previously violated immigration law in any country.
A doctor has certified that you have a contagious illness or disease.
What are the eligibility criteria for the UK long-term tourist visa?
To be eligible for a long-term UK tourist visa, you will need:
- Be a citizen of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.
- Have enough money to support yourself during your stay in the UK without working or claiming benefits.
- Have a valid passport and return ticket.
Meet all other eligibility criteria for the UK Long Term Visitor Visa (as outlined above).
How to apply for long term UK tourist visa?
The visa application process is similar to the application process for any other UK visa.
- You will need to complete an online application form and provide supporting documents, such as a valid passport, return ticket, proof of accommodation and financial support during your stay in the UK.
- You may also be asked to attend an interview at the British Embassy or High Commission. You should submit your application 3 months before your intended travel date.
- During your online application, you will be asked to provide the following details:
- The dates and times you wish to visit the UK.
- Where you plan to stay during your visit.
- The cost of your trip.
- Your current home address and how long you have lived there.
Details of any criminal, civil or immigration offenses you may have committed in the past.
What documents are needed to apply for a long-term UK visitor visa?
To apply for visas you must provide the following documents:
- A passport or travel document valid for the duration of your stay in the UK. There must be a blank page in your passport for your standard visitor visa.
- A valid return ticket or proof of onward travel.
- Evidence of sufficient funds to pay for your accommodation and living expenses during your stay in the UK, such as bank statements, pay slips and currency exchange receipts.
- Evidence that you have a valid reason for visiting the UK, such as a letter of invitation from a relative or friend.
Any supporting documents relating to the UK long-term tourist visa you are applying for, such as a marriage certificate if you are visiting a spouse or partner.
How to write a UK long-term visitor visa support letter?
If you are applying for a long-term UK tourist visa, you must provide a letter of support with your application form.
Your cover letter should explain why you are visiting the UK and how long you plan to stay there. It should also include the following information:
- Your name, address and passport number.
- The purpose of your visit, including details of any family connections or work commitments in the UK.
- The length of your stay in the UK and where you plan to stay during this period.
- Your financial means, such as proof that you can afford travel and accommodation while you are there.
To increase your chances of getting your UK long-term visitor visa approved, you should also provide evidence of your links to your home country, such as proof that you have a job and a place to return to once you have finished your stay in the UK.
What is the visa processing time for long-term visits?
UK Long-Term Visitor Visa processing time varies and is usually determined by the type of UK Long-Term Visitor Visa you are applying for. Long-term UK tourist visa fees vary depending on the length of stay.
For a standard visitor visa, the fee is £100 for a 6 month stay. A standard medical tourist visa costs £200 for an 11-month stay.
A standard long-term visitor visa for academics costs £200 for a 12-month stay. For a 2-year long-term UK tourist visa, the fee is £376 for 6 months per visit.
Similarly, a 5-year long-term UK tourist visa requires a fee of £670 for 6-month visits. Finally, a 10-year long-term UK tourist visa requires a fee of £837 for 6-month visits.