Fri | Dec 3, 2021

I want to visit the UK for vacation

Published:Tuesday | July 1, 2014 | 12:00 AM
John S. Bassie, UK

Dear Mr. Bassie,

I have quite a bit of vacation that must be used up and, since I have never been to the United Kingdom, I am considering taking a vacation there. Could you explain what is involved in applying for a visa to go there?

- FL

Dear FL,

Based on your question, it would seem you would need to apply for a General Visitor visa.

A person can apply for a General Visitor Visa if he or she would like to visit the United Kingdom for leisure, that is as a tourist on holiday and if he/she is from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

An applicant is advised to apply for a visa up to three months before the date of travel to the United Kingdom. The applicant should get a decision on his/her visa application within three weeks. The processing times on how long it might take on getting a visa will vary from country to country, and depends on the country from where the application is made.

A person can stay in the United Kingdom for up to six months with a General Visitor Visa. However, it should be noted that he/she can also apply for a Long-Term Visitor Visa if he/she can prove the need to make repeat visits over a longer period. A person can stay for a maximum of six months on each visit and his/her visa can last for one, two, five or 10 years.

It should be noted that it costs PS83 to apply and the fees associated with long-term visit visa fees are as follows: one year - £300; two years - £300; five years - £544; and 10 years - £737

Also, a person can study for up to 30 days, as long as it is not the main reason for his/her visit. A person cannot take paid or unpaid work; live in the United Kingdom for long periods of time through frequent visits; marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership; get private medical treatment; and/or get public funds.

John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (U.K.).