Do’s and don’ts for Standard Visitors to the UK

There is useful guidance published on GOV.UK that explains the do’s and don’ts for Standard Visitors to the UK. Visitors to the UK who are classed as a ‘Standard Visitor’ are allowed in the UK for tourism, business, study (courses up to 6 months) and other permitted activities.

Permitted activities include the following:

  • for tourism, for example on a holiday or vacation;
  • to see your family or friends;
  • to volunteer for up to 30 days with a registered charity;
  • to pass through the UK to another country (‘in transit’);
  • for certain business activities, for example attending a meeting or interview;
  • for certain paid engagements or events (a ‘permitted paid engagement’) as an expert in your profession, for example to give lectures or perform;
  • to take part in a school exchange programme;
  • to do a recreational course of up to 30 days, for example a dance course;
  • to study, undertake a placement or take an exam;
  • as an academic, senior doctor or dentist; or
  • for medical reasons.

The following activities are not permitted for a Standard Visitor:

  • undertake paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person, unless you are doing a permitted paid engagement or event;
  • claim public funds (benefits);
  • live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent or successive visits; or
  • marry or register a civil partnership or give notice of marriage or civil partnership – you will need to apply for a Marriage Visitor visa.
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