UK Immigration Rules Affect Visitor Visa Routes

The Immigration Rules for visitors are being consolidated to reduce the current 15 routes to four, simplifying the application process and enabling visitors to engage in a wider variety of activities in each visitor sub-category than currently permitted. From 24 April 2015, immigration permission as a visitor may be granted in the following four sub-categories:

  • visitor (standard) – the existing visitor categories of general, business, child, sport, entertainer, visitors for private medical treatment, Approved Destination Status visitors, prospective entrepreneur, and visitors undertaking clinical attachments will be consolidated;
  • visitor for marriage or civil partnership;
  • visitor for permitted paid engagements; and
  • transit visitor.

Additionally, the student visitor route is being re-categorised as a short-term study route and will sit together with a new category of child student visitor and a revised route for parents of children at school in the UK. The Rules for parents of a child under the age of 12 at private school in the UK will be significantly restricted, limiting it to the parents of Tier 4 (child) students (therefore excluding those whose children are studying at private school but have immigration permission other than under Tier 4) and requiring the parent to be the sole carer in the UK.

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