The main difference between a tourist visa and a visit visa is the purpose of the visit. A tourist visa is used if you are travelling to the UK for the purpose of leisure as a tourist. While a visit visa is used for the purpose of business meetings, attending conferences, pursuing a short study course or visiting the UK to get a medical treatment.
In both cases, one needs to apply through a Standard visitor visa UK.
Apart the purpose of your visit, there are certain activities that you cannot do on a visitor visa
- Do any kind of paid or unpaid work for a UK company or work as a self-employed person
- Stay in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits
- Access public funds
- Pursue a course of study longer than 6 months
- Register a civil partnership or get married.
General eligibility for tourist and visit visas
- You must have intentions to leave the UK at the end of your visit
- You should be able to support yourself and your dependents during your trip
- You are able to bear the cost for your return or onward journey
- You must not stay in the UK for long through frequent visits
- you have proof of any business or other activities you want to do in the UK, allowed as per the Visitor Rules
Procedure for application
There is a common procedure followed while applying for a tourist or visit visa. The only difference is the purpose of the visit and some documents may vary in both.
While making the application, it is also required for you to book an appointment at a visa application centre.
Your biometric information will be processed, that is, your photograph and fingerprints will be taken.
If your visa application centre is in another country then you must allow time to attend your appointment. The visa application centre may keep your passport and other documents to process your application.
There is an exhaustive list of documents required for a visitor visa. You must the following:
- A valid passport with blank pages, else you would have to apply for a fresh passport.
- Any certified translations of documents that are not in English or Welsh.
- the dates of your travel to the UK
- details of your accommodation during your visit to the UK
- Approximate cost of your trip
- your current home address and how long you have been living there
- Details of your parents’ such as names and date of birth (if known)
- Details of your annual income or any other source of income
- Record of any criminal, civil or immigration offences you may have committed in past
You may also need to provide:
- details of any travel history in the past 10 years
- The employer’s address and telephone number if you are on a visit visa, in case of a visit visa
- Your dependent’s name, date of birth, and passport number, in case of a tourist visa
- The name and address of anyone sponsoring your trip, common for both tourist and visit visa.
- The name, address and passport details of any family members you have in the UK, in case of tourist visa
After making an online application, submitting documents and biometrics, it generally takes up to 3 weeks to get a decision on your visa.
To avoid any rejection, it is recommended that you seek assistance from the best immigration lawyers in London. A Y & J Solicitors have been industry recognised experts in UK visa and immigration. They provide tailored advice and have high success rates.