UK Visit Visa from Ireland

Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for a standard, non-immigrant visitor visa to enter the United Kingdom which, normally, grants visitor status in the UK for up to 6 months.

If you have any questions regarding UK visas, you can contact our expert immigration lawyers to discuss any concerns you may have, or for some help navigating the application process. You can call us on +353 (0) 61 518 025, or contact us online seven days a week via our live chat.

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    Do Irish Residents Need Visa for UK?

    For Irish nationals, due to the long-standing agreement between Ireland and the UK government, regarded as the Common Travel Area, Irish and British citizens can freely visit each other countries without the need for a visa.

    Irish citizens can freely relocate to the UK to live, obtain employment, and access the same privileges as British permanent residents (PR) without a British visit visa. From the day that Irish nationals arrive in the UK, Irish citizens are considered PRs. As such, Irish citizens can visit, travel, and enjoy being in the UK without any restrictions of a UK visa.

    However, if you are not a legal citizen of Ireland, the situation will be different and you will likely be required a visa to visit. This is true, even if you are living permanently in Ireland, and/or live in Ireland by way of an eligible visa like an Employment Permit, Long Stay D Visa, Short Stay C Visa, or any other additional type of Irish immigration visa, you will have to apply to visit.

    Great Britain’s policy allows visa-free entry for up to six months to citizens of several countries, including Ireland and European Union countries. However, If you are not from the countries included on the visa exemptions list, then you will have to apply for a standard UK visit visa.

    As the visit visa allows for six months stay, any longer, regardless of nationality (other than Irish) will likely need a separate visa if they wish to exceed six months.

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    Eligibility requirements for the UK Visitor Visa

    In addition to being from an eligible country, you must also prove the following:

    • You’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit/stay
    • You can financially support yourself and any of your dependents during your trip (or prove that you have adequate funding from someone else to support you)
    • You’re able to pay for your return or onward journey (or have funding from someone else to pay for the journey)
    • You’ll not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or intend to make the UK your “main” home

    There are additional requirements if you are visiting for the purpose of study, academic research, or medical treatment, there are additional requirements.

    Family Visit Visa

    Foreign nationals are able to come to the UK for short-term visits to see friends and family residing in the UK.

    The general requirements for a Family Visit visa are the same for any other type of Visitor visa. You must prove to the UK immigration authorities that you have enough funds to support yourself and your dependents while you’re here, as well as proving that you will leave the UK at the end of your stay.

    To help prove that these are true, you may wish for a friend or family member in the UK to write a letter of invitation on your behalf.

    This letter should detail aspects of your stay, such as where you will be staying, who with, and how long for. It should also confirm how the trip will be paid for.

    If you wish to stay with a friend or family member for longer than 6 months, you may wish to consider applying for a long-term visa such as a Family or Work visa.

    Visit Visa for Business Trip

    If you wish to visit the UK short-term for business purposes, a Business Visitor visa will allow you to do so.

    You must adhere to all of the usual Visitor visa requirements. Businesses visitors are allowed to carry out the following activities while in the UK:

    • Attend interviews, meetings, conferences and seminars
    • Negotiate and sign deals and contracts
    • Attend trade fairs to promote your business (though you are prohibited from selling things)
    • Receive work-related training if you’re employed overseas and the training is not available in your home country
    • Give talks as long as they’re not for profit or a commercial event
    • Carry out site visits and inspections
    • Oversee goods and services being delivered to your overseas company or organisation by a UK company
    • Deliver training to UK employees of the company you work for overseas
    • Install, dismantle, repair, service or advise on equipment, computer software and hardware, if your overseas company has a contract with a UK company or organisation

    Visit Visa for Study

    If you want to study in a short term for a course that doesn’t take more than six months. It can be a recreational course. You are also allowed to come to the UK on a Visitor visa to take some exams.

    If you are attending for the sake of research, you’ll also need to prove further information:

    • You’re at least 16 years old
    • You’re enrolled on a course overseas that is the equivalent of a UK degree
    • You’ve been accepted by a UK higher education institution to take part in research that’s relevant to the course you’re studying overseas

    Academic Visitor Visa

    The Academic Visitor visa is specifically for scientists, academics or researchers who are coming to visit the UK to undertake research or take part in formal exchange arrangements.

    In addition to this, senior doctors or dentists may apply for this visa for certain purposes.

    If you are visiting for academic purposes, you’ll also need to prove the following:

    • You are highly qualified in your field of expertise – with a Ph.D. or higher
    • Currently working in that field of expertise at an academic institution overseas
    • Not filling a permanent teaching post in the UK
    • If you’re an academic, but not a senior doctor or dentist, you must also prove you’re visiting to do research or a formal exchange
    • If you’re a senior doctor or dentist, you must prove you’re visiting the UK to do research, clinical practice, a formal exchange or to teach.

    Visit Visa for Medical Treatment

    Visitor visas are also offered for foreign nationals visiting the UK for medical purposes. This includes private medical treatment or treatment at an NHS hospital, as long as the care is paid for by your own government under a reciprocal healthcare arrangement.

    Visitors can also come to the UK to donate an organ to a family member or friend, or to come and be assessed as a possible donor match.

    If you are visiting for a medical reason, you’ll also need to prove the following:

    • Have a medical condition that needs private consultation or treatment specifically in the UK
    • Have made arrangements for consultations or treatment
    • Have enough money/funding to pay for your treatment
    • Will leave the UK once your treatment is completed, or when your visa expires
    • Are not a danger to public health

    Additionally, you must provide a range of documents to prove that your reason for visiting is legitimate. Many of these documents will have to come from medical professionals and will vary based on your reason for visiting.

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      What can holders of a visitor visa in the UK do?

      While in the UK on a visit visa, the holder is permitted to do the following:

      • Enjoy a vacation and tourism, and travel freely through Great Britain on a holiday or vacation
      • Visit and enjoy time with your family members or friends
      • Volunteer for up to 30 days with a registered charity
      • To pass through the UK to another country (often called ‘in transit’)
      • Complete or do certain business activities, for example, attending a meeting or interview
      • Take part in a school exchange program
      • To take part in a recreational course of up to 30 days, for example, a dance course
      • To study, to do a placement, or take an exam
      • As an academic, senior doctor, or dentist
      • For medical reasons

      While holding a UK visit visa, holders are not permitted to:

      • Obtain paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person unless you have a paid engagement visa
      • Claim public funds/benefits or apply for social welfare
      • Live in the UK pas the maximum period through frequent or successive visits
      • Marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership with anyone including British citizens (if you wish to do this, you’d need to apply for a Marriage visa)
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      What is the application process for a UK Visit Visa?

      To apply for visit visas, you will go through the application process before you travel to the UK for a minimum of 3 months before travel.

      The process starts with completing the online application form. Then, you are to gather your supporting documents.

      You will be required to provide the following

      • Evidence of how long you will be staying and where
      • Estimates of how much the trip will cost
      • Your current home address and the length of time that you’ve resided there
      • Your parents’ names and dates of birth (if known)
      • Your yearly income (if you have an income)
      • Information of any criminal, civil, or immigration offences (if applicable)

      Depending on your circumstances, you might also need to provide:

      • Details of your travel history for the past 10 years
      • Your employer’s address and telephone number
      • Your partner’s name, date of birth, and passport number
      • The name and address of anyone helping to pay for your trip
      • The name, address, and passport number of any family members you have in the UK
      • A certificate proving that you’ve had a tuberculosis (TB) test if you’re visiting for more than 6 months

      If you are studying, you will need to confirm with your overseas course provider that the research or research tuition is part of, or relevant to, the course you’re doing overseas.

      If you are visiting to study, you’ll need to provide a letter from the employer outlining the dates of your sabbatical or exchange, your employer outlining the research to be undertaken, and the UK host organization confirming the arrangements for your research, exchange, or clinical practice.

      If you are visiting due to a medical reason, you’ll need a letter from the doctor or consultant, confirming your condition that needs consultation or treatment and the estimated cost and the duration of any treatment, and where the consultation and treatment will take place.

      After submitting your documents and application, you are to schedule an interview with the immigration authorities.

      During the visa interview, the immigration officer will ask questions about the purpose of the visa, and your circumstances.

      You will also need to provide your biometric information, a photograph, and a digital scan of your fingerprints.

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        How to extend a stay in the UK with a Visit Visa

        It is possible to extend the permitted six months stay with a visitor visa in the instance that:

        • You’re a patient receiving medical treatment
        • You’re an academic and meet the eligibility requirements
        • You’re a graduate retaking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board test or finishing a clinical

        You will need to provide proof as to why you need to extend the stay.

        To extend, have to apply while in the UK and before your current visa/ permission expires.

        Cost and processing times for the UK Visit Visa

        The application fee for a Standard Visitor Visa is £115. You may need to pay an additional fee for a biometric appointment.

        If you are applying for a visitor visa extension to stay longer in the UK, you will have to pay the fee of £1,000.

        The UK visitor visa application takes 3 weeks to be processed and accepted or rejected.

        How can Total Law help?

        With Total Law, your UK Visit visa application can be assembled by our team of professional immigration lawyers, ensuring your documentation is correct and your application has the best chance of approval.

        Your Total Law advisor will provide you with all the necessary advice to proceed with your visa application, regardless of what your issue is.

        For further information, contact us today at +353 (0) 61 518 025 or use our online contact form to get in touch with our team of qualified immigration lawyers.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  You have to have sufficient finances for the duration of your visit to the UK. There is no set level of funds you need to show this. You will want to consider all expenses so that it is realistic and throughout for the person reviewing your application.

                  It is unlikely to be given a right to appeal if the application for a Standard Visitor Visa is refused. If you need to challenge a refusal, you will likely have to do so by way of judicial review.

                  You are permitted to get a visitor visa under 18 if you’ve:

                  • Make arrangements for your travel and stay while in the UK
                  • Have written consent from parents/carer/guardian if you are traveling solo
                  • You can prove you have sufficient funds for the trip

                  A single visa lasts for 6 months.