South Africans and the UK Visitor Visa
2017-11-15 – The South African
With the very large South African community living in the UK, it is no surprise that we receive many queries on the UK Visitor Visa.
Grandparents, parents, friends, and family all want to visit those fortunate enough to live in the UK. There is also a large number of persons wanting to visit the UK to explore business and job opportunities, before making a final decision about moving to the UK.
Do South Africans need a UK Visitor Visa to travel to the UK?
South African nationals are regarded as visa nationals by the UK Government. All South African citizens thus need to apply for UK Visitor Visas, before traveling to the UK.
How long beforehand can I apply for the UK Visitor Visa?
You are only able to apply for the UK Visitor Visa 3 months before you travel to the UK.
How long can I stay in the UK?
You can stay up to six months in the UK with the UK visitor visa. If you have received a visitor visa for a shorter period of time, it will be possible to extend your visa. You only have to ensure that the total time you spend in the UK is not more than 6 months.
If you travel to the UK frequently, it is also possible to apply for a long-term UK visitor visa.
These visas are valid for 2, 5 or 10 years. However, you are still only allowed to stay a maximum of 6 months during any given year. You are thus not allowed to basically live in the UK through frequent visits.
Do I need to take a Tuberculosis Test before I apply for the UK Visitor Visa?
No, there is no need to take a Tuberculosis (TB) test. This test is only required for South Africans applying for UK Visas that allow you to live in the UK for longer than six months.
Will I be allowed to attend a business meeting whilst in the UK as a visitor?
Yes, you will be allowed to attend a business meeting on a UK Visitor Visa.
There is a range of business activities that are allowed. Please feel free to discuss with one of our consultants if you are not sure whether your business activity is allowed or not.
Can I get married in the UK with the UK Visitor Visa?
You have to apply for the Marriage Visitor Visa. This visa will allow you to marry, register a civil partnership or give notice of marriage or a civil partnership.
Please feel free to contact one of our consultants with regards to the requirements and type of documents needed for this visa.
Can I apply for another type of UK Visa while I am in the UK as a visitor?
No, you are not allowed to switch to another type of UK visa whilst in the UK. You have to return to South Africa, and submit the application for the visa or permit from there.