UK Visitor Visa for South African citizens
You need to apply for a Visitor Visa if you wish to travel to the UK from South Africa for the following reasons:
- Leisure, such us on holiday or to visit your family and friends;
- Business, or to take part in creative or sports events;
- To receive private medical treatment.
Based on the reason why you wish to enter the UK, you must fill in your application form with several details. Besides, the Home Office may need additional documents to review your case.
To receive professional help with your UK Visitor Visa application, you can get in touch with our UK immigration specialists. Call us today to speak with one of our attorneys.
UK Visitor Visa for South Africans requirements
To qualify for a visa to enter the UK from South Africa, you must demonstrate that you:
- Intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit
- Can pay for your onward journey to South Africa
- Can pay for any costs relating to your visit, as you won’t be able to get public funds
- Can support your family for the duration of your trip, if you are travelling with your dependents
- Have valid proof of any activities you want to do in the UK
Can I travel to the UK from South Africa on business?
You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa for South Africans if you wish to visit the UK for business-related activities. This includes:
- Taking part in certain sports-related events;
- Coming to the UK for a conference, training, or meeting;
- Artists, entertainers or musicians who wish to perform in the UK;
- Academics who are doing research or accompanying students;
- Businesspeople who want to get funding to start or take over a new business in the UK;
- Doctors or dentists coming to the UK to take a clinical attachment.
It must be noted that professionals who are being paid by a UK company to visit as experts in their professions are not eligible for this permit. If this is your case, you must apply for a Permitted Paid Engagement visa.
Requirements for South Africans seeking private medical treatment in the UK
To qualify and seek private medical treatment in the UK, you must:
- Have a medical condition that needs private consultation or treatment in the UK
- Intend to leave the UK once your treatment is completed
- Have made arrangements for consultations or treatment
- Be able to pay for your treatment, as well as for any other expenses relating to your journey
- Not have any infectious disease or be a danger to public health.
Visitor Visa required supporting documents
When you apply for a UK Visitor Visa from South Africa, you need to prepare a bundle of documents, including the following:
- Your passport or any other valid travel document with a blank page
- Additional documents related to your reason to visit the UK
- The dates you are planning to enter and leaving the UK
- Details of where you will be staying during your visit
- The name, address and passport number of your family and friends in the UK
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The UK Visitor Visa for South Africans is valid for 6 months.
However, you may be able to stay for longer if you:
- Are entering the UK for a private medical treatment which requires up to 11 months
- Are an academic and you are coming to the UK for research.
If you intend to remain in the UK for longer than 6 months, you must apply for a biometric residence permit.
It usually takes up to 3 weeks for the Home Office to decide on a Visitor Visa case. You can submit your application within 3 months from the date you intend to travel to the UK.
As a South African holding a Visitor Visa, you can:
- Study for up to 30 days, provided that this cannot be your main reason to enter the UK
- Pass through the UK in transit when travelling to other countries
- Take part in all business-related activities allowed by this visa
- Take part in an exchange or educational programme if you are under 18
- Convert your civil partnership into a marriage
While in the UK as an international visitor, you cannot:
- Live in this country for long periods
- Do any type of paid or unpaid work
- Get married or register a civil partnership
- Seek public funds
If you are applying as an academic, you may be able to stay in the UK for up to 12 months. However, to qualify, you must prove that you are highly qualified within your field of expertise. You can enter the UK and remain for up to 12 months if you wish to:
- Carry out your own research
- Take part in an exchange programme with a UK counterpart
- Take part in someone else’s research
The Visitor Visa application from South Africa fees are £95.
The Visitor Visa cannot be used to enter the UK regularly over a longer period. If you wish to do that, you can request a long-term Standard Visitor Visa, which lasts from 2 to 10 years based on your circumstances.
To find out more about your options to enter the UK, you can get in touch with IAS’ team of UK immigration attorneys.