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We have assisted many Nigerians in obtaining a Standard Visitor visa, so if the UK is next on your bucket list, don’t hesitate to contact us for immediate support. Our skilled team of lawyers is dedicated to ensuring your travel plans are smooth and will handle all aspects of your application process.
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- Overview of the Standard Visitor Visa UK
- What are the Standard UK Visitor Visa Requirements?
- Long-term Standard Visitor Visas
- Standard Visitor Visa Extensions
- How Much is the Standard UK Visitor Visa Fee?
- UK Standard Visitor Visa Processing Times
- What are the Chances of Being Accepted?
- How Can IAS Services Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Overview of the Standard Visitor Visa UK
The Standard Visitor Visa is one of the UK’s overarching travel permits which has replaced a previous collection of permits. Instead of needing to apply for a specialised visa, such as a UK Tourist Visa from India, eligible applicants can all apply for the Standard Visitor Visa.
The earliest that you can apply for a Standard Visitor Visa is three months before your proposed entry date. Applicants must factor this into their visitation plan to avoid disappointment.
This visa allows the holder to travel to the UK to carry out specific permitted activities. These permitted activities include:
- Entering the UK for tourism purposes, such as a holiday
- Visiting family and friends who live in the UK
- Taking part in certain business activities, such as attending interviews and meetings
- Taking part in school exchanges and study programmes (for up to six months)
- Travelling to the UK for a medical procedure
- Volunteering with a UK-registered charity for up to 30 days
- Travelling through the UK in transit to another country
- Taking part in academic research and procedures
This visa does not allow you to:
- Carry out paid or unpaid work for a UK business or as a self-employed worker
- Claim benefits
- Live in the UK on a permanent basis or through a succession of visits
- Marry or register a civil partnership in the UK
There are specific eligibility requirements that must be met if you are to be allowed to enter the UK and apply for the use of a Standard Visitor Visa. According to UK law, Nigerian nationals must have a valid visa in order to enter the UK.
What are the Standard UK Visitor Visa Requirements?
Applicants must be able to prove that their intentions match the expectations of those holding a Standard Visitor Visa. Therefore, upon application, you will be asked to prove:
- That you will be coming to the UK to carry out permitted activities only
- That you have a plan in place for leaving the UK within six months of your arrival
- That you have enough money to fund your stay, whether this is through your earnings or through the funding of a sponsor (which will need to be proved with appropriate documentation)
- That you have enough money to fund a return or onward journey out of the UK
- That, if you are travelling to the UK to take part in business activities, you will not be undertaking any paid or unpaid work
- That you will not be making the UK your permanent home.
If you are visiting the UK for medical reasons, you will need to prove (with accompanying documentation) that you have made appropriate arrangements regarding your consultations and treatment, that you can afford to pay for your medical treatment, and that you safely leave the UK once your treatment is finished.
If you are travelling to the UK to take an exam, you will need to provide a letter confirming your test registration. Visitors travelling on an academic basis will also need to provide proof that their institution is in support of their journey.
Alongside this information, applicants must be able to provide immigration services with:
- A valid passport or legal travel document which remains valid throughout the entire duration of your stay
- Bank statements which support your ability to fund your trip and associated activities
Long-term Standard Visitor Visas
If you would like to visit the UK regularly, you can apply for a long-term Standard Visitor Visa. A long-term Standard Visitor Visa can be issued for three stay periods: two years, five years or ten years. However, the period-per-stay remains the same, so holders can only stay in the UK for six months per visit.
If you apply for a Long-term Standard Visitor Visa but are rejected and given a shorter visa instead, your application fees will not be refunded by immigration services.
Reasons why your Long-term Standard Visitor Visa may be swapped or cancelled include:
- Insufficient evidence as proof of your intentions
- Incorrect documentation
- Travel history of repeated long stays
Standard Visitor Visa Extensions
If you have entered the UK as planned but find yourself needing to apply for an extension to your Standard Visitor Visa, this is possible from inside the UK. However, you will need to provide evidence that your reasons for staying in the UK longer than initially planned are serious.
For example, you may be granted an extension if you have become seriously ill during your stay in the UK and cannot travel back to Nigeria due to there being a risk to public safety, or if travelling will severely worsen your condition.
Applicants who are awaiting a medical procedure in the UK are advised to ensure that their appointments do not fall too closely to the date on which they must leave the country. Otherwise, any delay to their procedure could interrupt plans to leave on the designated date. An extension may be granted to cover a further appointment if the circumstances are considered significant.
If you are an academic and you require an extension to complete your research, you must prove that you still meet the criteria for a Standard Visitor Visa.
Those who are travelling to the UK for Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board examinations may need to apply for an extension to cover retaking exams that have been missed. In this case, applicants will need to provide evidence from the General Medical Council to verify their extension.
How Much is the Standard UK Visitor Visa Fee?
Fees are subject to change, so it is important for anyone planning to apply for a Standard UK Visitor Visa to visit the official website to check for any recent changes.
- A Standard Visitor Visa costs £100 for a six-month maximum stay
- A Standard Visitor Visa for academic purposes costs £200 for an 11-month maximum stay
- A Standard Visitor Visa for medical reasons costs £200 for a 12-month maximum stay
As previously stated, holders of Long-term Standard Visitor Visas can only stay in the UK for a maximum of 6 months per stay. The fees for Long-term Standard Visitor Visas are:
- £376 for two years of visits
- £670 for five years of visits
- £837 for ten years of visits
UK Standard Visitor Visa Processing Times
The UK Standard Visitor Visa processing time varies from case to case and depends on how many interruptions there are in the application phase. You should always allow time for your visa to be approved before organising your travel to the UK.
The UK’s immigration service, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will begin processing your application once you have verified your identity and submitted the relevant documents online via the ID Check app or attended your appointment at a local visa application centre and provided biometric information. In some cases, you may be able to pay for faster processing times.
Generally, the Standard Visitor Visa processing time stands at three weeks from the commencement of processing.
What are the Chances of Being Accepted?
Due to a high number of applications being received that do not provide adequate proof that the applicant will leave the UK within six months of their arrival, the refusal rate for the UK Standard Visitor Visa is quite high. If you are unable to provide evidence that you will not stay in the country beyond the limits of your visa or that you are only visiting to perform approved activities, your application will likely be rejected.
Not only does rejection affect your immediate travel plans, but it also stays on your recorded immigration history, which can be used to question further applications to the UK and elsewhere.
Consulting an IAS immigration expert for support on your application can minimise the risk of refusal. Our application package can ensure that all your forms are completed to the standards expected by the UK Home Office, and you can gain access to tailored advice concerning your next steps.
Call us on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929, or get in touch via the contact form. Please note that a legal appeal for a refusal of a UK Standard Visitor Visa can only be performed in very rare cases concerning human rights violations.
How Can IAS Help?
Here at IAS, we’re all about sympathetic and professional support. Our team of experienced immigration lawyers have all the tools and expertise needed to support you across all stages of your journey, from helping you with your application to giving you helpful concierge support when you touch down on UK soil.
No matter how complicated your personal situation may appear at first glance, we are determined to make accessing, fulfilling, and succeeding with visas and immigration services easier for everyone. For more information about our service and the advice we are able to offer, call us today on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929, or contact us online.
Last modified on October 25th, 2023 at 1:15 pm
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Generally, it is not possible to switch from a Standard Visitor Visa to a work permit, or, in fact, any other immigration permit while you are in the UK. However, this may be possible for visiting entrepreneurs who may, depending on their application, be able to change their Visitor Visa to an Innovator Founder Visa once their project has secured funding.
If you are a domestic worker, such as a personal carer or cleaner, you will be able to work in the UK with an Overseas Domestic Worker Visa when your employer brings you to the UK.
You may be able to visit the UK if you have evidence of suitable travel and accommodation arrangements, and the written consent of a parent or guardian over the age of 18 (if travelling alone). You must also have enough funds to support yourself or evidence of sufficient funds from family or related sponsors.
If you are travelling alone you will need to provide your parent’s/guardians’ contact details alongside their consent. All details of your hosts will need to be made available.