1. Overview

You can apply for a General Visitor visa if:

  • 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

You can’t apply if you qualify for British citizenship - including if you can have dual nationality. You must apply for British citizenship instead.

How long it will take

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.

How long you can stay

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.

Fees

It costs £85 to apply.

Long-term visit visa fees are:

  • 1 year - £324
  • 2 years - £324
  • 5 years - £588
  • 10 years - £737

What you can and can’t do

You can study for up to 30 days, as long as it’s not the main reason for your visit.

You can’t:

  • take paid or unpaid work
  • live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership
  • get private medical treatment
  • get public funds