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Standard Visitor Visa Route

Section 2: What is the Standard Visitor Visa Route?


To enter the UK, you must hold valid permission to do so.


The Standard Visitor Visa Route allows successful applicants to enter the UK under this route for the purpose it was issued for.


Please click on the following link for more information:


GOV.UK | Visas and Immigration

Section 3: Who is the Standard Visitor Visa Route for?


The Standard Visitor Route is for anyone who is not a UK or Irish citizen, AND does not already have a valid immigration permission to enter the UK for the purposes listed below.


It provides the holder Permission to Enter for the purpose it was granted for.


If you already hold a visa for the UK, the grant of this visa will cause your previous visa to be cancelled, and you will not receive a refund on that visa.


This visa, once granted, has a validity of:


  • 6 months, if applying in advance

OR



The Standard Visitor Visa is issued for the following reasons:


  • To do a short course of study

  • To take part in research or an exchange programme as an academic

  • For tourism, for example, a holiday or to see your family and friends, or to attend your graduation

  • For certain business activities, for example, attending a meeting

    • For medical reasons, for example, to receive private medical treatment

    • You can also use a visit visa for the purpose of re-sitting exams

    Holders of this visa are permitted to volunteer for up to 30 days with a registered charity.

    There is no specific English language requirement when you apply for this visa, however, you will still need to meet the University's English language entry requirements for academic purposes.


    With this visa you cannot:

    • Do paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
    • Live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visit
    • Cannot switch to a student or work visa
    • Claim public funds (benefits)
    • Marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership. You’ll need a Marriage Visitor visa instead




    I will be / I am a student at Warwick, is this visa right for me?

    This visa is suitable for an potential Warwick Student, or, a current Warwick Student who wishes to:

    • Attend an interview for a course at Warwick.
    • Attend a course of study for up to 6 months.
    • Attend a viva, if they do not already hold a visa that allows this.
    • Re-sitting exams, if they do not already hold a visa that allows this.
    • Attend an on campus portion of study as part of a distance learning course, if they do not already hold a visa that allows this.
    • Attend their Graduation Ceremony, if they do not already hold a visa that allows this.
    • Invite friends or family members to visit you during your time at Warwick.



    Please note:



    • Holders of this visa who do not have access to the NHS should, therefore, purchase adequate travel insurance before travelling, which includes cover for any medical costs for the duration of the visit.

    Section 4: Where can I apply for the Standard Visitor Visa Route?


    If your nationality is NOT listed on the following link, then you are are considered a Non-Visa National under the Immigration Rules, and you should follow the guidance in the Non-Visa National section below.


    If your nationality is listed on the following link, then you are are considered a Visa National under the Immigration Rules, and you should follow the guidance in Visa National section below.


    GOV.UK | Visas and Immigration | Immigration Rules | Immigration Rules Appendix Visitor: Visa national list

    You can use the tool CLICK HERE to check if you need to apply for visitor visa in advance OR if you can get one at the UK border.

    Non-Visa Nationals

    You can apply:


    • In advance, outside of the UK, within any country that you are legally in

    OR


    • On arrival at the UK Border; you must go to a border control officer at the immigration desk to get a stamp in your passport - This will allow you to study in the UK.

    You cannot get a stamp if you use the E-Gate System, therefore, please keep a hold of you bording pass as evidence of your date of entry, as you will need this to complete your enrolment.


    Visa Nationals


    You must apply:

    • In advance, outside of the UK, within any country that you are legally in.

    Section 5: When do I apply for a Standard Visitor Visa Route?


    If your nationality is NOT listed on the following link, then you are are considered a Non-Visa National under the Immigration Rules, and you should follow the guidance in Non-Visa National section below.


    If your nationality is listed on the following link, then you are are considered a Visa National under the Immigration Rules, and you should follow the guidance in Visa National section below.


    GOV.UK | Visas and Immigration | Immigration Rules | Immigration Rules Appendix Visitor: Visa national list


    Non-Visa Nationals

    If you are a Non-Visa National, under the Immigration Rules, you can apply for a Standard Visitor Visa at the Immigration Desk on arrival at a UK Border.


    You will still need to carry with you the same application evidence as stated in "Section 6: What are the application requirements for the Standard Visitor Visa Route?" below.


    You will need to re-apply each and every time you enter the UK Border, regardless of if you already have a stamp that has not expired yet.


    You are, however, able to apply in advance, which will mean you will not need to apply every time your enter the UK Border.


    If you wish to do this, please follow the guidance in "Section 7: How do I apply for a Standard Visitor Visa?", below.



    Visa Nationals

    If you are a visa national, you will need to apply for your visa in advance of your visit to the UK.

    You can apply:

    • No more than 3 months before you intend to travel.
    • When completing the visa application form, remember to state specifically the date you want this visa to be valid (usually a few days before your intended travel date). This is particularly important if you are coming to the UK for a period of study abroad or visiting research that is close to 6 months. This is because there is a risk that the visa decision maker may grant your visa to be valid from the date of decision and therefore, your visa length may not cover the whole length of the course. If your visa application form is completed correctly but the 'valid from' date is too early for you to complete the whole intended study duration, please raise it with your local visa application centre in the first instance.

    Please see "Section 6: What are the application requirements for the Standard Visitor Visa Route?" below for the application requirements.


    Please see "Section 7: How do I apply for a Standard Visitor Visa?" below for how to make your application.


    A standard overseas UK visa application currently takes up to 15 working days, which is around a month.


    Therefore, you should ensure you have given yourself enough time to make the application, receive your visa and travel to the UK.

    Section 6: What are the application requirements for the Standard Visitor Visa Route?


    To make an application under the Standard Visitor Route, you will need the following:

    • Travel Document (passport)
    • Written confirmation that you have been accepted on your course, if applying to study at Warwick
    • Previous travel documents/passports, which show previous travel *confirmation of legal residence, if you are not a national of the country in which you are applying or your right to reside there is not included in your passport
    • Financial documents showing that you have sufficient funds available - These must clearly show that you have access to the funds, such as:
      • Bank statements
      • Building society books
      • Proof of earnings, such as a letter from employer confirming employment details (start date of employment, salary, role, company contact details)

    If you are being sponsored by a third party:

      • What support is being provided and whether it extends to any dependent family
      • How this support is being provided
      • The relationship between you and the sponsor, for example if they’re your family member or your employer)
      • The person supporting you is legally in the UK (if applicable), for example if they have a British passport or residence document
    • ATAS certificate: if your course is at Postgraduate level and is listed in Appendix ATAS of the Immigration Rules, you will be required to include an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate (ATAS) certificate with your visa application, or at the border if seeking permission to enter on arrival to the UK. You can apply for an ATAS certificate up to nine months before the start date of the course and it is valid for six months from the date of issue. Nationals from the EU, EEA, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA are exempt from obtaining ATAS clearance.

    Please click on the following link to see the full application requirements for the Standard Visitor route:

    GOV.UK | Entering and Staying in the UK | Visas and entry clearance | Visit and transit visas | Visit visa: guide to supporting documents

    Section 7: How do I apply for a Standard Visitor Visa?


    If your nationality is NOT listed on the following link, then you are are considered a Non-Visa National under the Immigration Rules, and you should follow the guidance in Non-Visa National section below.


    If your nationality is listed on the following link, then you are are considered a Visa National under the Immigration Rules, and you should follow the guidance in Visa National section below.


    GOV.UK | Visas and Immigration | Immigration Rules | Immigration Rules Appendix Visitor: Visa national list


    Non-Visa Nationals

    If applying on arrival:

    • You must carry your application evidence with you in your carry on luggage.

    • You must visit the Immigration Desk, on arrival at the UK Border.

    • You must state the purpose for your visit, e.g. short period of study under 6 months, attending a viva, tourism, etc.

    • The Border Force official will ask you for any evidence they require - do not volunteer any evidence unless they specifically ask you for it.

    If they are satisfied, they will endorse your passport with an Ink Stamp, which will look similar to the image on the following image:



    • Once you have received you have cleared Border Control, you will have leave as a Standard Visitor.

    If you entered via the E-Gate:

    You will not have obtained an Entry Stamp, and you will not be able to obtain a new one without leaving the Common Travel Area.

    To prove you have the Right to Study in this scenario, please provide the University with your Boarding Pass in place of the Entry Stamp.

    If you entered via the Republic of Ireland:

    The period of leave that you will automatically be considered to have (if you are a non-visa national without entry clearance and are not an excluded person, as outlined in Article 3 of the Order) will increase from three to six months.


    This will be reduced to two months if you enter the Republic of Ireland from the UK at a time when you still have permission to be in the UK but that permission expires while you are in the Republic of Ireland.


    You must not engage in any 'occupation or employment' except an exempt work activity, for which you may receive a permitted payment. Occupation or employment that is prohibited includes: undertaking employment; doing any work for an organisation or business; establishing or running a business as a self-employed person; undertaking a work placement or internship; undertaking any direct selling to the public; fulfilling a contract to provide goods or services;


    Note also that any immigration permission you are given on arrival in the Republic of Ireland is for the Republic of Ireland, not for the UK.


    If applying in advance:

    • Please follow the guidance for Visa Nationals below.

    Visa Nationals

    You must apply in advance:

    • To apply for a visa, you will need to gather all your application evidence first.

    • Once you have all your application materials you need to make your application using the online application form, via the following link:

    GOV.UK | Standard Visitor Visa | Apply


    • Once you are satisfied you have filled in the form correctly, your need to pay for your application fee, and submit your online application.

    Once you have submitted your online application, please see "Section 8: I have applied for my Standard Visitor Visa, what happens now?" for your next steps.

    Section 8: I have applied for my Standard Visitor Visa, what happens now?


    If you have applied in advance:

    Once you have submitted your online application, you will need to attend an appointment to verify your evidence.


    You will then receive a decision to the email address you gave in your application in around 3 weeks.


    You will then need to either:


    • Attend the VAC to have your passport endorsed with your visa vignette

    OR


    • Post your passport to the instructed address to have it endorsed with your visa vignette.

    Section 9: I have received my Standard Visitor Visa, what do I need to do now?


    If you applied in advance:


    Once you have received your endorsed passport back, you should check your vignette for any errors, e.g. spelling of name, the visa is valid for 6 months.

    Any errors should be corrected via your VAC BEFORE you travel to the UK.

    If you do not have enough time to correct your error before your intended date of travel, you must correct the error within 7 days of your arrival in the UK.


    You will then need to enter the UK during the validity period of your vignette.


    If you are using this visa to study, and you are a new student:

    You will need to have completed your online course enrolment within 2 weeks of your course start date, 4 weeks if you are a PGR student.


    • You can do this as soon as you have received your 'invite to register' email, even if you are not in the UK yet, or, have not made your application or received your visa yet.

    • If you have not completed your online registration by this deadline, you will be withdrawn from your course.

    You will need to ensure you arrive in the UK by your course latest arrival date - please see the guidance on the following link:


    Warwick | Stay Safe at Warwick | Arrivals, immigration and dates | Term Two dates and arrivals update (November 2020)


    • If you have not arrived by your course latest arrival date, you will not be permitted to register, and you will be withdrawn from your course.

    Arriving in the UK and beyond:


    Once you arrive at the UK Border, you must visit the Immigration Desk to:


    • Have your visa activated by UK Border Force, if you applied in advance.

    OR


    • To have your passport endorsed with an Ink Stamp if you are a Non-Visa national, applying on arrival.


    Before you leave the Immigration Desk, please check that the entry stamp to make sure they have endorsed the right vignette and that they have stamped the right date of entry.


    • If it is not stamped, or incorrectly stamped, you may have to leave the UK and re-enter to activate your visa.

    New Students Enrolment:

    Once you have cleared Border Control, you will need to upload a clear and legible scan or photo of your Activated Vignette, or Ink Entry Stamp, to your enrolment portal.