Choose a visa
You may need a visa to come to the UK to study, work, visit or join family.
There are different visas depending on:
- where you come from
- why you want to come to the UK
- how long you want to stay for
- your personal circumstances and skills
Before you apply, you must check if you need a visa and what type you need. Depending on your nationality, you might not need a visa.
Your application must be approved before you travel.
If you want to visit the UK
Check which visa you need to visit the UK:
- for a holiday or to see family or friends
- for a business trip or meeting
- to get married
If you have a visitor visa you cannot take a job in the UK. You can do up to 30 days of study, as long as it’s not the main reason for your visit.
If you’re travelling through the UK
You might need a visa if you’re travelling through the UK on your way to another country, for example if you have a layover between flights.
Apply for a visa to travel through the UK.
If you want to study in the UK
Your course length, type and place of study affect which visa to apply for.
A short-term study visa lets you to study for up to 6 months (11 months if you’re over 16 and studying an English language course).
A general student visa is for a longer course. You must be sponsored by a licensed college or university and have a confirmed place. You can do some work on this visa.
A child student visa is for 4 to 17 year old who want to study at an independent school. If you’re 16 or over, you can do some work on this visa.
If you want to work or invest in the UK
You can work in the UK on a short or long-term basis with a work visa. There are many types of work visa.
The visa you need depends upon:
- your skills and qualifications
- if you have a job offer and sponsorship
- if you want to bring your family with you
- what you’ll be doing – for example sporting, charitable or religious work
You can also invest money in the UK with an Investor visa. You can set up a business with a Start-up visa or an Innovator visa.
If you want to join family in the UK
If you’re a spouse, partner or family member of someone who has British citizenship or settlement in the UK, you can apply for a family visa to join them. They may need to show that they can support you financially.
You may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after a set amount of time living in the UK.
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