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General Immigration

Immigration Rules

It is very important that when making an application seeking to either remain in the UK, obtain an extension of leave to remain in the UK, vary your leave in the UK or seek entry to the UK, one has a very good understanding of the Immigration Rules.

The Immigration Rules are some of the most important pieces of legislation that make up the UK’s Immigration Law.

The Immigration Rules continued to be updated on a regular basis and thus it is very important to check the Immigration Rules at the time of preparing your application.

We at BUSHRA ALI SOLICITORS are able to assist you in making a variety of different applications in accordance with UK Immigration Law. Your circumstances may be that you do not fit in any of the Immigration Rules exactly, but due to exceptional, compelling or other factors, we feel we are able to assist you in making an application seeking leave to remain or enter outside of the Immigration Rules.

Below are a variety of applications falling within ‘general’ Immigration that may wish to obtain assistance in:-

Visiting the UK

The rules with regards to visiting the UK are now at Appendix V of the Immigration Rules.

For the purposes of the Immigration Rules a visitor is a person who is seeking to come to the UK, usually for up to 6 months, for a temporary purpose. A visitor may come to the UK as a tourist, to visit friends or family or to carry out a business activity. It is not the case that a visitor would come into the UK simply to obtain entry and then whilst in the UK as a visitor, seek to switch into another category.

Visitors cannot work or study in the UK unless this is permitted by reference to the permitted activities that are set out in the Visitor Visa Rules in accordance with the conditions attached to the particular relieve of the visitor.

The type of permission needed

A person of persons wishing to enter the UK for the purposes of a visit must ensure that they have entry clearance as a visitor or visitors.

Do I need a Visit Visa?

If you are a visa national, you must obtain a visit visa before you arrive in the UK. Appendix 2 sets out who is a visa national.

A Visa national who arrives in the UK without a visit visa will be refused leave to enter. This means that you will not be permitted to enter the UK.

A non-visa national may apply for a visit visa, but is not required to unless they are visiting the UK to marry or to form a civil partnership, or to give notice of this, or seeking to visit the UK for more than 6 months.

Can I apply for leave to enter on arrival?

If you are a non-visa national, you may apply for leave to enter as a visitor on arrival at the UK border. There are exceptions to this.

What are the types of Visit Visa leave that may be granted?

  • Visa (visit standard ) this is for up to 6 months
  • Marriage/Civil partnership visit this is for up to 6 months
  • Permitted paid engagements (this is for up to 1 month)
  • Transit visa this is for up to 48 hours

How many times can I enter the UK on my visit visa?

Within the period for which the visit visa is valid, you as a visitor may enter and leave the UK multiple times, unless your visit visa is endorsed as a single- or duel- Entry Visa

How do I apply for a visit visa?

You must make an application for a visit visa whilst you are outside of the UK.

In order to apply for a visit visa, you as an Applicant must:_

  1. Complete the online application process. The link for the online application is here. Put link here
  2. Pay any fee that applies
  3. Provide your Biometrics if required
  4. Provide a valid travel document

What is my actual date of application?

An Applicant is treated as having made a visit visa application in the date in which the fee is paid.

What if I decide I wish to withdraw my visit visa application?

If you as an Applicant decide that you wish to withdraw your application, you may withdraw your application at any time before a decision is made by Entry Clearance Officer. The request to withdraw must be made in writing or email to the Visa Post or Application Centre where the Application was submitted.

Suitability requirements that apply to all visitors
  • Not conducive to the public good: exclusion and deportation

An application will be refused for a visit visa if the Secretary of State has personally directed that the Applicant’s exclusion from the UK is conducive to the public good or the Applicant is currently the subject of a deportation order or a decision to make a deportation order.

An application for a visit visa will be refused if the decision maker believes that exclusion of the Applicant from the UK is conducive to the public good were for example there is concern regarding the Applicant’s conduct, criminal convictions, character, associations or there are other reasons that make it undesirable to grant the person a visit visa.

Not conducive to the public good: – criminal convictions, etc

Application will be refused if the Applicant has been convicted of a criminal offense for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least 4 years, or between 12 months and 4 years, unless at least 10 years have passed since the end of the sentence or less than 12 months, unless at least 5 years have passed since the end of the sentence.

An application will normally be refused if within the period of 12 months before the application is decided, the Applicant has been convicted of or admitted an offense in which they received a non-custodial sentence or out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record, or in the view of the Secretary of State the Applicant’s offending has caused serious harm, or in the view of the Secretary of State the Applicant is a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law.

False information in relation to an application

An Applicant will be refused entry as a visitor were false representations have been made or false documents or information have been submitted or material facts have not been disclosed in relation to their application or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party provided in support of their application.

Breaches of UK Immigration Laws

An Applicant will be refused entry as a visitor if the Applicant previously breached UK Immigration Laws and if the Applicant is outside the UK the application is made within the relevant re-entry ban time period.

If the applicant has previously breached UK Immigration Laws but is outside the relevant re-entry ban time period the application will normally be refused if there are other aggravating circumstances such as failure to cooperate with Immigration Control or Enforcement processes.

Breaching UK Immigration Laws includes overstaying their leave or by breaching a condition attached to their leave or by being an illegal entrant or if deception was used in relation to an application.

What if I have a debt to the NHS?

If an Applicant has a debt to the NHS, the application will normally be refused were the NHS body has notified the Secretary of State that the Applicant has failed to pay charges under relevant NHS regulations on charges to overseas visitors and the outstanding charges have a total value of at least £1,000.

Eligibility requirements for standard visit visas

Apart from the general visit visa requirements affecting standard visits, there are separate additional requirements for each type of visit visa.

Genuine intention to visit

The Applicant must satisfy the decision maker that they are a genuine visitor. This means that the Applicant will a- leave the UK at the end of their visit; and b- will not live in the UK for extended periods frequents or excessive visits, or make the UK their main home; and c- is genuinely seeking entry for purpose that is permitted by the visit visa rules d- will not undertake any prohibited activities e- must have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to their visit without working or accessing public funds. This includes the cost of their return or onward journey, any costs relating to dependants, and the cost of planned activities such as private medical treatments.

Funds, maintenance and accommodation provided by a third party

A visitor’s travel, maintenance and accommodation may be provided by a third party were the decision maker is satisfied that they: –

a- Have a genuine professional or personal relationship with the visitor;

b- are not, or will not be, in breach of UK Immigration Laws at the time of decision or the visitor’s entry to the UK;

c- can and will provide support to the visitor for the intended duration of their stay.

It should be noted that the third part will be asked to give an undertaking in writing to be responsible for the Applicant’s maintenance and accommodations.

Working on a Visit Visa

The Applicant must not intend to work in the UK, which includes the following; a- taking employment in the UK; b- doing work for an organisation or business in the UK; c- establishing or running a business as a self-employed person; d-  doing a work placement or internship; e- direct selling to the public; f- providing goods and services;

Unless expressly allowed by the permitted activities in the Appendices.

Bushra Ali Services

At BUSHRA ALI SOLICITORS we are able to assist in all types of visit visa applications.


Should you or a family member, friend, colleague or associate which to seek advice and assistance in making a visit visa application, please do not hesitate to  contact us.