Visitor Visas

UK Visitor Visas are required by many non EU nationals who wish to enter the UK for short stays, normally up to a maximum of 6 months.

Whether you need a visitor visa depends on a number of factors including:

  • your nationality
  • the purpose of your visit
  • how long you need to stay

The UK Visitor Visa category includes a number of specific visitor visas that allow people to visit the UK for a holiday, undertake short courses of study, visit family, get married as well as many other visit types.

Generally Visitor Visas are valid for 6 months, but in some cases, they can be issued for longer periods such as 1, 2, 5 or 10 years. However, those with longer term visas can still only stay in the UK for periods of six months at a time, unless they hold an Academic Visitor Visa or are the parents of children at school.

Please select from the guides below, depending on your situation, for information on the different visa categories.

Bringing your Family or Friends for a visit

If your family members or friends would like to visit you for up to 6 months in the UK, it is very likely that they will need apply for a Standard Visitor visa before they leave home.

Standard Visitor Visa for Graduation

If you have left the UK after your course has finished, or if you do not have enough time on your current visa to attend your graduation ceremony, youwill need to apply for entry clearance as a standard visitor to attend your graduation ceremony

Short Term Study Visas

If you are coming to the UK to do a short course or a short period of research for 6 months or less, or re-sitting your exams without attendance, you will need to come to the UK as a short-term student (formerly student visitor).

MDC Partner Students

Students who are studying at our partner MDC can use this guide to assist them in making a visa application.