UK Visit Visa for Australians

Australian nationals can travel to the UK visa-free for up to six months. They must, however, meet the Standard Visitor eligibility requirements in the UK.

For more details about what criteria you must meet as an Australian national coming to the UK for six months or less, what documents you should carry with you, what you can or cannot do while in the country, or to receive bespoke advice from a team of immigration experts depending on your circumstances, call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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    Do Australians Need a Visa to Visit the UK?

    If you have a valid Australian passport, you will not need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa to come to the UK for short stays (i.e. six months or less), provided the reason(s) behind your visit meets the Home Office directive.

    You must meet the UK Standard Visitor eligibility criteria. In addition, there are certain documents you must carry with you, which you may have to show to UK border control officers at your port of entry. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) officers may also question you about your eligibility to enter the UK and your planned activities in the country.

    Moreover, there are certain activities that you cannot engage in while in the UK for visiting purposes. Any violation of that rule may result in cancellation of your current permission to stay in the country and/or affect any future UK visa applications.

    However, people with a criminal record or who were refused entry to the UK in the past, must consider applying for a Standard Visitor visa. If you are unsure, dial +44 (0)333 305 9375 today to speak with one of our expert immigration lawyers.

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      What I Can or Cannot Do as an Australian Visiting the UK

      Before you are planning to come to the UK for a short stay, please take note of the UKVI list of permitted activities for a Standard Visitor visa holder in the UK. Even though as an Australian national you will not need to apply for  a visa, you will not be permitted to perform any activities that are not allowed.

      While visiting the UK as a Standard Visitor, you may:

      • Travel through the country as a tourist
      • Visit your family or friends in the country
      • Receive medical treatment
      • Perform certain business activities, e.g. take part in meetings or business negotiations, attend conferences or visit trade fairs etc.
      • Study or research for up to six months, take a test, or do an elective placement
      • Participate in a student exchange programme
      • Take a short recreational course, the duration of which must not exceed 30 days
      • Take part in certain permitted paid engagements or events as a professional expert
      • Visit as a scientist, researcher, academic, senior doctor or dentist
      • Volunteer with a registered charity for up to a month
      • Transit through to another country

      You will not, however, be allowed to work in the UK – even unpaid – as an employee or as a self-employed person, claim social benefits, get married or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage/civil partnership. Additionally, Standard Visitors will not be permitted to live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent or successive visits.

      Eligibility Requirements for Visiting the UK From Australia

      Coming to the UK for a short stay, Australian nationals must possess evidence that:

      • They will leave the country after their intended length of stay, which must be six months or less
      • They will not make UK their home and live there for extended periods through frequent or successive visits
      • They have sufficient financial means to support themselves and their dependents (if any) during their stay in the UK as well as for their onward or return journey from the country, or have a valid sponsor covering those expenses

      In case you are visiting the UK for business, study, medical or paid engagement purposes, or as an academic or senior healthcare professional, you must be able to provide certain additional documentary evidence.

      Necessary Documents for Visiting the UK From Australia

      Although as an Australian national you are exempt from applying for a visa while visiting the UK for up to six months, please carry the below-mentioned supporting documents, required otherwise for a Standard Visitor visa application, with you.

      UK immigration authorities may ask for these documents at your port of entry, and may even refuse you permission to enter the UK if you are unable to show these documents. If your documents are not in English or Welsh, please carry certified translation copies along with the originals.

      • These documents include (but not limited to):
      • A valid passport or any other travel document
      • A copy of your itinerary in the UK
      • Proof of accommodation
      • Proof of funds (or sponsor details)
      • Your current residence address proof (including how long you have been living in that address)
      • Your parents’ names and dates of birth
      • Proof of income
      • Record(s) of any criminal, civil or immigration offences
      • Your travel history for the last 10 years
      • Your employer’s details
      • Your spouse/civil partner’s name, date of birth and passport number
      • Details of your family members (if any) in the UK
      • If you are coming to the UK for study/exam or research purposes, then:
      • Course acceptance letter from an accredited UK educational institution
      • Details of the test/exam you want to sit in the UK
      • Confirmation letter from your overseas course provider that your intended research is part of (or relevant to) the overseas course you are enrolled to
      • Confirmation letter from your UK higher education provider that you will not be treating patients or being paid in the country if you are coming to do an elective in medicine, veterinary medicine and science, nursing, midwifery or dentistry fields
      • If you are coming to the UK for a short-term business visit, then documentary evidence of the activities you are going to perform in the country during your stay, such as invitation letter for participating in a conference, letter from your business supplier whom you are going to visit, tickets to trade fairs etc.
      • If you are visiting as an academic, then:
      • A letter from your employer mentioning the dates of your sabbatical or exchange
      • Details of the research you are going to undertake in the UK
      • Confirmation from your UK host organisation regarding the arrangements for your research, exchange or clinical practice
      • If you are coming to the UK for a permitted paid engagement or event, then:
      • Invitation letter from a UK-based organisation or client for a pre-arranged event or other permitted engagement
      • Documents proving that you are an expert in your profession
      • If you are coming for medical reasons, then:
      • Letter from your doctor confirming the medical condition for which you must have treatment or consultation in the UK, the estimated cost and duration of such treatment, and the facility where the treatment/consultation will take place
      • Proof of funds covering your medical costs in the UK, ideally a health insurance

      Can I Extend My Short Stay in the UK?

      You can extend your short stay in the UK only if:

      • You came to the UK for receiving medical treatment which is going to take more than six months
      • You are visiting the UK as an academic and still meet the eligibility requirements after six months, and have a valid reason to extend your stay
      • You are a graduate retaking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or doing a clinical attachment

      All foreign nationals, including Australian passport holders, looking to extend their short stay in the UK will have to submit an application to the Home Office and pay a fee of £1,000. They must apply from within the UK and before the validity of their current permission to remain expires.

      Visas for Australians to Stay in the UK Longer Than Six Months

      Australians who wish to stay in the UK for more than six months and/or take part in activities not permitted within the scope of a Standard Visitor visa, e.g. working in the country, must apply for a UK visa appropriate in their circumstances.

      UK Work Visas

      If you are an Australian national looking to work in the UK, you must apply for a UK work visa. There are several UK work visa options to choose from depending on the type of work, the length of your intended stay in the UK as well as your qualifications and circumstances.

      If you want to set up and run your own innovative business in the UK instead, you may apply for an Innovator Founder visa, provided you meet the eligibility criteria.

      UK Study Visas

      If you want to study for more than six months in the UK, you may apply for a:

      • Short-term study visa for English Language courses valid up to 11 months
      • Student visa if you are above 17, or Child Student visa if you are 4-17 years of age, for courses run by licensed student sponsors

      Join Family in the UK

      You may apply for a family visa to live in the UK with your spouse/partner, fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner, child, parent or relative responsible for providing long-term care for you, if they are settled in the country.

      Alternatively, certain UK work and study visas may allow the main applicant’s partner and children to join them and live in the country as their dependents, provided respective eligibility requirements are met.

      UK Ancestry Visa

      Australia being a member of the Commonwealth, you may also apply to come to the UK through the UK Ancestry visa route, provided at least one of your grandparents was born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

      You must also have sufficient financial means to support yourself and any dependents without accessing public funds. You should be 17 or more and intend to work in the UK.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      Australians do not need a Standard Visitor visa to come and live in the UK for six months or less. If they are planning to stay longer, they will have to apply for a suitable UK visa as applicable in their circumstances.

      However, irrespective of whether they need a visa or not, they must be able to meet the applicable eligibility requirements as specified by the Home Office as well as carry required documents with them to be able to enter the UK. Given the strict UKVI policies, you must also be aware of what you can or cannot do in the UK, to avoid any future UK visa implications.

      If you have questions or doubts, speak to Total Law. Whether you are seeking overall immigration guidance on visiting the UK, or considering your available options to move to the country for a longer term, our expert immigration lawyers are here for you. To know more about the services we provide and how we can help you, call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                Foreign nationals with permanent resident status in Australia do not hold Australian passports. Whether they can travel to the UK visa-free depends on their nationality. If you are a visa-required country national for the UK, you will have to apply for a Standard Visitor visa.

                Australia and the UK have a reciprocal healthcare agreement in place. So, certain GP and hospital treatments may be free for Australians visiting the UK.

                However, please check what costs are covered and whether you are eligible before you leave Australia. In any case, it is advisable to have comprehensive travel insurance to ensure you are fully covered in case of any emergencies or medical repatriation.