All Articles: Visit visa
Do foreign gamers need a visa to play competitive eSports in the UK?
In this article we look at how foreign eSports (competitive video gaming) competitors can use the visitor route to participate in UK competitions and what the rules say about earning prize money. We also look at options for gamers looking to apply the ...3rd October 2023
What are the immigration rules for a visit visa to the United Kingdom?
A visit visa is a visa allowing a person to visit the United Kingdom for up to six months at a time, during which time they are not allowed to work. Visa nationals have to apply for and be granted a visit visa before they travel otherwise they will au ...24th September 2023
General grounds for refusal: criminal convictions, public good, character, conduct and associations
Criminal convictions and other signs of poor character can, unsurprisingly, negatively affect applications for leave to enter or remain in the UK. Those caught out by these rules over the years include former boxer Mike Tyson, Duane “Dog the Bou ...15th September 2023
General grounds for refusal: alleged deception, false information and innocent mistakes
Making a mistake on an immigration application form can be disastrous. If the mistake is interpreted by officials as an attempt to mislead or deceive, the application may be refused. If the application was for entry clearance, it can also lead to a te ...31st August 2023
There is no 180 day a year rule for visitors to the UK
One of the most common UK immigration myths is that there is a maximum permitted stay of 180 days in a year (or six months in 12 months) for UK visitors. This myth has been propagated not just by migrants but also by advisers and even UK Border Forc ...11th July 2023
Will I need Electronic Travel Authorisation to enter the UK?
Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) has been on the government’s agenda for some time. Finally, in the March 2023 Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC 1160, the long-awaited Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme was announced. This po ...15th June 2023
Briefing: what is the Common Travel Area and how does it work?
The common travel area enables passport-free and legal travel between the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland), the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands for British and Irish citizens and migrants with lawful status. Onc ...12th June 2023
Visit visa operations are “refreshingly well run”
The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has now published a report on visit visa operations between December 2022 and January 2023 which confirms that overall, this area of the Home Office is functioning well, with an apparent “fo ...21st April 2023
General grounds for refusal: owing a debt to the NHS
Owing a debt to the National Health Service is a ground for refusing applications for permission to enter or remain in the UK. Such debts arise because “overseas visitors” are charged for certain types of NHS treatment. The National Health ...6th June 2022
Business travel between the UK and EU: immigration and visa rules
Before 1 January 2021, British and EU citizens did not require a visa to travel across the Channel on a business trip. This is largely still the case post-Brexit, so we’ve been left with the appearance that nothing has really changed from a legal pe ...28th March 2022
Pakistani property tycoons excluded from the UK
A visit visa can be cancelled for a variety of reasons. One such reason is that the person’s exclusion from the UK is “conducive to the public good” due to their conduct, character and associations. The Court of Appeal considered this provision ...6th December 2021
Immigration Rule PA 7: short-term work on a visit visa
British businesses have long relied on workers from the European Union to come in for short or medium-term projects. Before Brexit, this was frictionless from an immigration perspective. People arrived, people worked, people left and businesses were h ...6th October 2021
EU citizens are being denied entry to the UK – what are the visa rules for visitors?
Travel to the UK is opening back up, but not as we previously knew it. The news has been replete with examples of EU citizens being denied entry at UK airports and detained for removal. These stories are nothing new to jaded non-European ears. But for ...21st May 2021
Musicians’ tour visa fears are overstated
No doubt you will have read about the mudslinging between the UK and EU over the lack of a visa-free deal for touring musicians and entertainers. This has been retweeted and attacked by seemingly every artist you’ve heard of, and even been debated i ...28th January 2021
New-look Appendix V: changes to UK visit visa rules from 1 December 2020
New Statement of Changes alert! With the end of EU free movement nearly here and the visitor route likely to see greater use in future, changes to the route have (in the nick of time) now been announced. A new Appendix V will replace the existing vers ...26th October 2020
Upper Tribunal reminds visitors not to try and stay in the UK permanently
What happens when you enter the UK as a visitor and then apply to remain here so that you can stay with your British family members? Most immigration lawyers can easily answer this question: your application will be refused. But things can get a bit m ...27th April 2020
Passport eGates: turning visitors into overstayers since 2019
Every immigration lawyer in the UK will, at least once in their career, be sat in front of a nonchalant non-visa national (usually American, Canadian or Australian) who is blissfully unaware that they have either overstayed their leave as a visitor, b ...12th August 2019
MPs publish damning indictment of UK visa process for African visitors
A cross-party group of MPs has published a highly critical report on the Home Office’s treatment of visit visa applicants from Africa. It forms part of an ongoing inquiry into the high level of visa refusals for Africans seeking to visit the UK for ...16th July 2019
Visit visa refusals: appeal or judicial review?
The removal of full rights of appeal for family visit visas in 2013 has led to a legal dilemma for those considering a challenge to a refusal: should they give up, re-apply, attempt a human rights appeal or launch an application for judicial review? T ...14th August 2018
What’s going on with UK visit visas?
In short: the Home Office are frequently refusing them. This may not come as a surprise to immigration lawyers, who are all too familiar with the Home Office’s culture of disbelief, but it has come as a nasty shock to many artists, authors, and perf ...13th August 2018
Owning a Premier League football club, and other permitted business activities for visitors
Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, whose Tier 1 Investor visa is apparently subject to processing delays, has reportedly been granted Israeli citizenship. The media coverage of the Russian billionaire’s visa woes heavily implies that ...31st May 2018
Court of Appeal stomps on human rights appeals for visitors
The Court of Appeal has dealt a serious blow to rights of appeal for visitors to the UK. Here we analyse the legal situation and take a look at the three judgments. ...11th January 2018
Meghan Markle and the Immigration Rules on marriage
Hearty congratulations from all of us at Free Movement to the former army officer and UN charity worker who are due to marry next year. But given that Meghan Markle is an American citizen, what hoops will the happy couple need to jump through in orde ...28th November 2017
Home Office cracking down on entry of amateur cricketers
The Home Office appears to be cracking down on the entry of foreign amateur cricketers and sportspeople. Emails released by the Home Office under a Freedom of Information request suggest that unpaid amateur cricketers who might in future wish to earn ...26th July 2017
What do immigration officers look for when assessing visit visa applications?
“Two visas had been rejected … I was wrenched by a heavy feeling of humiliation…trying to prove that I’m a “normal person” like any Englishman, that I’m not aspiring to swap my career in Egypt as a cartoonist [and] scriptwriter … for B ...6th March 2017
Presidential Guidance on the Boomerang of Proof
First of all, the official headnote to Muhandiramge (section S-LTR.1.7)  UKUT 675 (IAC) (20 November 2015): Where an application for leave to remain in the United Kingdom is refused under Section S-LTR.1.7 of Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules ...7th January 2016
Could Donald Trump be given a visa ban preventing him travelling to the UK?
Following his attention seeking call for all Muslims to be banned from entering the United States, there have been calls for Donald Trump to be given a “visa ban” preventing him from coming to the UK. Is this feasible in UK immigration la ...9th December 2015
Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules HC535: analysis
Major changes to the Immigration Rules affecting refugees, Tiers 1, 2 and 5, EEA nationals sponsoring family members under the Immigration Rules, visitors, applications for Administrative Review and knowledge of language and life tests are being intro ...11th November 2015
ICI Inspection on Amman Visa Section: improvements made but same old problems remain
Improvements have been made to the quality of decisions and to record-keeping in the Home Office’s Visa Section in Jordan. However, the decision makers regularly failed to take supporting evidence adequately into account, and, in a fifth of ca ...6th November 2015
Inspection of family visit visa system: serious problems remain
The family visit visa system underwent an inspection by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration last month. The posts inspected were Abu Dhabi, Accra, Amman, Dhaka, Kingston, Manila, Nairobi, New Delhi, Croydon and Sheffield. The In ...24th August 2015
Ai Weiwei refused full UK visa because of alleged previous “conviction”
In an interesting example of the self defeating nature of the UK’s immigration rules, failure to follow Home Office policy and failure of basic common sense, the renowned Chinese artist Mr Ai Wei Wei has been refused a visit visa by a senio ...30th July 2015
Family visit appeal fails on human rights grounds
In the case of Adjei (visit visas – Article 8)  UKUT 261 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal dismisses an appeal against refusal of a family visit visa. This is despite the First-tier Tribunal finding that the application in question in truth met the r ...2nd June 2015