VISITOR VISA RULES: NEW GUIDELINES FROM 1 JANUARY 2021
The newest visa route to have its post-Brexit modifications published is the UK visit visa. As the Brexit transition period terminates, there has been updated guidance as to what EU and EEA national visitors to the UK can imagine from 1 January 2021. It is significant that all visitors to the UK are mindful of all the obligations as many visit visa applications are rejected (with no right of appeal) and many applicants are also deflected at the border.
New guidelines for EEA and Swiss national visitors from 1 January 2021
Swiss and EEA citizens will continue to be able to take a trip to the UK for vacations or short trips with no need of a visit visa. They will be able to pass through the UK border using a valid EEA or Swiss passport.
They can carry on to use their Swiss or EEA national ID cards to come to the UK until at least 31 December 2025 if they have any of the following conditions fulfilled:
- A Swiss Service Provider;
- A frontier worker permit;
- Pre-settled or Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme; or
- An S2 Healthcare Visitor.
If none of the above conditions apply then EEA and Swiss nationals will be unable to use their national ID cards to enter the UK from 1 October 2021. There will be no modifications to the system that Irish nationals arrive and reside in the UK.
New rules for non-EEA family members
An Article 10 Residence Card (which is generally stated as an EEA Family Permit or EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit under domestic regulation) is presently obligated for non-EEA family members of EU or EEA nationals desiring to come to the UK with their EU or EEA national family member. This will continue until 2021 when the UK Home Office will publish latest guidance in respect to these Applicants.
Funds are required for UK tourist visa
There is no set minimum income obligation for UK visit visa applications. As an alternative, visit visa Applicants must prove that they have sufficient funds to cover the expenses of their return ticket as well as to be able to maintain and back themselves (or be helped by a third party; i.e. the family member they are staying with) in the UK with no recourse to public funds. Providing the accurate documentary proof is important for successful visit visa applications.
Marrying in UK on visitor visa
It is feasible to get married in the UK on a visit visa, on the other hand the Applicant must openly mention this intent within their UK visa application. If permitted a marriage visit visa, the Applicant should get married in the UK and then depart from the UK at the end of the visit period. Many non-EEA citizens who come to the UK on a visit visa might confront further queries at the UK border and it is essential that they give honest answers about their purpose of visit, which also correspond to the information in their UK Visa application.
Visitor’s stay in the UK
On a standard visitor visa, Applicants can reside in the UK for up to 6 months before they are required to leave the UK. If they desire to return to the UK for a further visit or to stay long-term in the UK they will be required to reapply under the appropriate UK visa route. If an Applicant has a multiple entry visit visa then they still can only stay in the UK for up to 6 months once (except for private medical procedure in which this could be for 11 months subjecting on the Home Office grant of leave) on the other hand, they can come back to the UK again and again as they desire during the 2, 5 or 10 year period without having to reapply for an additional visit visa.
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