September 1, 2014

UK Tourism & other

This section describes the different categories of visitor to the UK, and helps you to choose which category is the most suitable for you. It also explains what you are allowed to do while you are in the UK as a visitor.

If you are coming to the UK as a visitor, you are allowed to stay here for up to 6 months in most cases. If you want to stay here for longer than 6 months, you should read the Visas and immigration section to find out about non-visitor immigration categories.

To be allowed to enter or pass through the UK, you must meet certain requirements. For information about these, and to find out what you can expect when you arrive at our border, you should read the Travel and customs section of the UK Border Agency website.

If someone in the UK will be ‘sponsoring’ you during your visit, they should read the Sponsoring a visitor pages.

The UK’s service standards set out how quickly they aim to decide applications for coming to the UK as a visitor. The standard is that they will decide 90 per cent of applications within 3 weeks, 98 per cent within 6 weeks and 100 per cent within 12 weeks.

Tourism and visiting friends

If you want to visit the UK as a tourist or to stay with friends in the UK, you should apply to come here as a general visitor (or as a child visitor if you are under 18).

Visiting family

If you want to visit members of your family in the UK, you can apply to come here as a family visitor (or as a child visitor if you are under 18).