Visitor visa conditions


Those who intend to enter the UK under one of the Standard visitor visa categories must ensure they are only undertaking permissible activities under their particular visitor visa route.


In addition they must also demonstrate to a Home Office case worker or border control authority that they:

  • are genuinely seeking entry as a Visitor to undertake the activities stated by them as main purpose of their visit
  • only want to visit the United Kingdom for up to 6 months (or up to 12 months if applying to be an Academic Visitor)
  • intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit
  • can maintain and accommodate themselves (and any dependants) without using public funds
  • can meet the cost of an onward or return journey
  • will not receive pay from a UK source, unless entering as a PPE Visitor where they must be paid (it is also permitted to receive payment from a UK source of reasonable expenses to cover the cost of travel and subsistence)
  • do not intend to live in the UK for extended periods by making frequent or successive visits
  • do not intend to undertake paid or unpaid employment (other than as permitted if a PPE Visitor)
  • do not intend to produce goods or provide services within the UK
  • do not intend to undertake a course of study as the main purpose of the visit (any 'incidental study' must not exceed 30 days in total)
  • are not a child under the age of 18, unless they are accompanying an adult Visitor
  • do not intend to marry or form a civil partnership, or give notice of a marriage or civil partnership (an appropriate type of visa category for this purpose is Marriage/ Civil Partnership Visitor)
  • do not intend to receive private medical treatment (for this, a Visitor for Private Medical Treatment visa would be required)
  • are not in transit to a country outside the common travel area (a Transit Visitor visa would be needed in this case)

Permitted Study

Visitor visa holders may undertake a course of 'incidental study' as long as it:

  • does not exceed 30 days in duration (either alone or taken together with any other course, and whether taken as a single period or a number of shorter periods); and
  • is not the main purpose of the visit

Requirements for the course:

  • to be recreational (for leisure purposes only) and not lead towards a qualification, such as horse-riding, painting, pottery, sailing, etc.,
  • or it must be provided by an institution holding a Tier 4 licence under the Points Based System,
  • or, in the case of an English language or academic course, it must be provided by an institution accredited by a Home Office-approved body.

Further information including details of required accreditation for institutions to meet these requirements can be found in the Home Office Permitted study guidance.


Please note that if the purpose of the visit(s) to the UK changes to being mainly for study, the individual would need to apply for a Short-term study visa instead. Please see the Student Visa and Immigration guidance and relevant Home Office guidance for information in relation to Short Term Study visas.

Contact us

Medical Sciences / Humanities / GLAM / UAS / Continuing Education / Colleges

Angelina Pelova Tel: 01865 289904 Email: 

James Galloway Tel: 01865 289927 Email:


MPLS / Social Sciences

Nina Song Tel: 01865 289926 Email:

Solveig Alsaker Tel: 01865 289912 Email:




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