Thinking of a UK Tourist Visa? You may need to apply for a General Visitor Visa. It really depends on where you are coming from and your status with the United Kingdom. In some cases you don’t need a visa. You can check if you need a UK visa at https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa.
As the Brits would say, the site is “brilliant”! It asks you a few questions and the lets you know if you need a uk visa:
What Passport do you have?
What are you coming to the UK to do?
For example, I have a Philippines passport and I would like to visit the UK for tourism. So I need a General Visit Visa to visit the UK.
The General Visit Visa is for the following:
- you want to visit the UK for leisure, eg as a tourist on holiday
- you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
- you’re visiting friends or family who aren’t permanent residents in the UK
- you’re donating an organ to a relative or friend
I would have to apply months in advanced because it will take a while to get information on whether or not I can go:
- You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.
- You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
- Check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in the country you’re applying from.
According to gov.uk:
- You can stay in the UK for up to 6 months with a General Visitor visa.
- You can also apply for a long-term visit visa if you can prove you need to make repeat visits over a longer period. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit and your visa can last for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years.
My husband, using his USA passport going to UK for tourism, would not need a General Visit Visa. The site offers a little uk visa advice and states that if he had a criminal record or had be previously denied entry to the UK, he would need to apply for a ukvisa.
fyi – If you wanted immigrate to the UK then things change quite a bit. UK immigration rules are quite different from just visiting for a short time. You can get more information on types of immigration and visas here: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration or if you are already in the uk: https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi