The UK is one of the most interesting travel destinations on earth. There are loads of unique places to visit, along with four separate countries all rolled into one package! You’ll marvel at the subtle differences between each member of the UK, so it’s definitely worth touring for a long time.
This begs the question: how long can you stay in the UK when traveling? Well, as you can imagine, the answer isn’t that simple. Well, the government tries to give a simple answer, yet it’s not always that accurate. So, let’s look at some of the main things to understand:
A typical travel visa lasts six months
If you travel from some countries to the UK, you will need a travel visa. The standard travel visa tends to last for six months in most cases. Indeed, this is the benchmark duration that most of you will be able to stay for. There are some circumstances where it can be extended, but these tend to work around medical terms.
However, you can get a visa that covers you for 2-5 years if you want to see a lot of the UK. The only caveat is that you can stay for six months per trip. So, you’d have to hop back home and then book another trip at a later date.
Is this your only option?
No, a standard visa isn’t the only option for tourists. If you wanted to move to the UK to work while you travel, you could apply for a work visa. I won’t go into the specifics as it can be complicated, but this lets you stay for much longer and allows you to do paid work. With a travel visa, you’re technically not allowed to do any paid work. You can volunteer, but no company is allowed to hire you. Many people opt for a work visa so they can earn money while they travel. Plus, it could let you apply for indefinite leave to remain if you wanted to extend your stay or become a UK citizen!
Secondly, if you have family in the UK, you can apply for a family visa. Again, you can stay a lot longer, but it only works if one of your parents or your partner lives in the UK and is a resident. Otherwise, you’re back to square one and need to choose which option benefits you the most.
Which route should I take?
Realistically, this is up to you. In most cases, a 6-month travel visa is more than enough to enjoy all the delights of the UK. However, if you can get a job lined up, then it may be worth using a working visa as you can stay for 3 years before anything needs to be updated. If you’re at a stage in your life where you want a change of scenery, this could be perfect for you.
Mainly, the big piece of knowledge to take from this guide is that a travel visa lasts 6 months. I suggest planning your trip and trying to get everything fitted within this period. It’s much easier and a lot more affordable.