This week, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released figures highlighting the rise of tourism in the UK. According to ONS, 2.6 million visitors came to the UK in November 2014, a 7% increase from November 2013. Over the last five years tourism has become the fastest growing industry than any other rival industry in the UK.
35.1 Million Overseas Visitors expected in the UK in 2015
During the first 11 months of 2014 there were 32.4 million international visitors to the UK, spending over £20bn during this period. The city of London is already popular for attracting business visitors and now has become increasingly popular for general visitors looking to holiday in the UK.
Tourism agency, VisitBritain commented on the ONS figures stating that it surpasses their predictions. Patricia Yates, director of strategy and communications at VisitBritain stated:
“Inbound tourism continues to be the fastest growing sector of the tourism industry and one of Britain’s most successful export industries, generating jobs and growth across Britain. We are delighted to have played our part in delivering this success.”
ONS figures have shown that during the period of January 2014 to November 2014, 13 million visitors chose the UK as their holiday destination, 300,000 more than the previous year. Tourism agency VisitBritain have predicted that 2015 will be a record breaking year for oversea visitors in the UK. They have suggested that there will be a further 2.5% increase in the amount of international visitors in the UK, meaning there will be 35.1 million visitors in the UK generating approximately £22.2bn.
Visa Routes for Visitors to the UK
There are a number of visitor visa routes for non-EU nationals who wish to come to the UK for different purposes:
- General Visit Visa: You can apply for a General Visit Visa if you wish to come to the UK to see friends or family or as a tourist. It is possible for family members settled in the UK to sponsor your visit.
- Business Visit Visa: The business visitor category is for people who want to come and do business in the UK for a short time. Business visitors coming to the UK may include academic visitors, visiting professors, teachers accompanying students, film crews and representatives of overseas news media. You can apply for UK Business Visa if you wish to come to the UK for business purposes.
- Student Visit Visa: The Student Visitor category is for nationals of countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. If you are a short-term student and wish to come to the UK to study you must have been accepted on a course of study in the UK. In order to obtain a Tier 4 Student Visit Visa you must satisfy a certain criteria.
In addition to visiting the UK as a general visitor, student visitor or a business visitor, there are other options available for those who wish to visit the UK short term for a specific purpose. This includes family visitors, medical visitors and prospective entrepreneurs.
Contact us for successful UK Visit Visa application
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of the law. Please always call us for a free telephone assessment and free case assessment even if you wish to consider other advisers.