New Rules for Visitors to the UK announced in the recent Statement of Changes

The latest Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules contains new rules for visitors to the UK. The changes to the Visitor Visa route will take effect from 9:00am on 1 December 2020. The latest changes were designed to provide more consistency and flexibility within the rules and decision-making. Our Immigration Solicitors in London specialise in visitor visa applications and are happy to advise on a potential application to visit the UK and the prospects of success. It is important that visitor visa applications are prepared correctly as the Home Office often refuses applications which are not accompanied by the correct supporting documents. There is also no statutory right of appeal for negative visitor visa outcomes; therefore adding to the importance of making sure that the application is perfect the first time around.   

What are the categories for Visitors to the UK?

There are 4 categories for visitors to the UK, being:

  1. Standard Visitor- Applicants seeking to undertake activities such as tourism and visiting family and friends usually for a period of up to 6 months;
  2. Marriage and Civil Partnership Visitor – Applicants seeking to come to the UK to marry or form a civil partnership or give notice of marriage or civil partnership in the UK;
  3. Permitted Paid Engagement (“PPE”) Visitor – For experts coming to the UK to undertake specific paid engagements in their field for up to 1 month and
  4. Transit Visitor – For those who want to transit the UK on route to another country outside the Common Travel Area. They will enter the UK for up to 48 hours by crossing the UK border. Certain exemptions apply under the Immigration Rules Appendix Visitor: Transit Without Visa Scheme.

Individuals can apply for the Standard Visitor Visa in order to receive Private Medical Treatment in the UK for up to 6 or 11 months.

What are the changes to the Visitor Visa categories?

There will be changes to marriage visitor visa criteria in relation to EEA nationals (not including individuals with EU Settled Status or Irish nationals) which will mean their applications will be considered in the same way as applications from non-EEA nationals are currently. The changes will require them, from 1 July 2021, to hold a marriage visitor visa if that is their intended purpose for being in the UK.

Changes have also been made to allow academic visitors in the UK on a PPE Visitor visa to extend their permission to stay in the UK up to a total of 12 months if they were working in their field in an academic institution overseas prior to entering the UK.

What is the new S2 Healthcare Visitor visa?

After the Brexit transition period comes to an end the new S2 Healthcare Visitor visa route will allow EEA nationals to complete any healthcare treatment in the UK if they had requested permission from their home country to receive a course of healthcare provided by the NHS before the end of the transition period. Successful Applicants will be granted leave for up to 6 months. The S2 Healthcare route will also allow for another individual to accompany the patient if they are providing them with support and care during the course of the treatment (an “accompanying person”). S2 Healthcare Visitor Applicants must hold valid entry clearance under this route before entering the UK and will need a valid S2 Certificate of Entitlement to Scheduled Treatment.

What are the new rules for overstayers on a visitor visa?

Under the Immigration Rules as they currently stand, anyone who overstays their Visitor Visa in the UK for more than 30 days will receive a re-entry ban of at least 12 months. However, the new rules provide that any period of overstaying that occurred between 24 January 2020 and 31 August 2020 will be disregarded and not be seen as a breach of the immigration rules. This is due to impact of Covid-19 affecting visitors’ ability to leave the UK during the travel restrictions.

What are the changes to criminality provisions for visitors to the UK?

Upon the implementation of the new visitor visa rules, it will be mandatory to refuse an Applicant permission to enter the UK for the first time as a visitor or for entry for less than 6 months if the relevant criminality grounds apply. These changes have been brought in in-line with the policy intention for border control decision-making to be harsher.

What is the new short-term study visa under the visitor visa route?

The current short-term study route will be replaced by a new short-term study route. The new route will allow students to come to the UK to undertake an English language course between 6 and 11 months. For courses under 6 months, migrants may do so under the standard visitor route.

Students and other temporary residents such as visitors are not permitted to bring their private domestic staff to the UK with them. Therefore, Appendix V has been amended to reflect the updated rules for visitors to ensure that those coming to the UK for short term study remain unable to sponsor an Overseas Domestic Worker.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit a successful Visitor Visa application to the UK

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application to apply for a Visitor Visa. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications, which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Visitor Visa applications to the UK with our Immigration Solicitors in London

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a Visitor Visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a UK Visitor Visa application.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice, and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss a Visitor Visa application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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