UK Visitor Visas have different duration’s.

What is important to note though is that there is a difference between validity of the visa and permitted time to be in the UK.

Validity of the visa.

Validity is the duration that the visa is set for. UK visas have a set start date and a set end date.

The validity of UK Visitor Visas is set to the following periods:

Permitted time to be in the UK.

A common misunderstanding of those new to the visa system is that if one has a UK Visitor Visa with 2 year validity, it does not mean that one can stay in the UK for the duration of the visas validity.

Instead, specifically with UK Visitor Visas, one is permitted a maximum stay of 180 days per annum.

30 days x 6 months = 180 days.

What is important to note though, is if one stays in the UK longer than 180 days, they meet the legal definition of “spending the majority of a year” in the relevant country. When this happens, tax consequences are implemented (global standard practice).

UK Visitor visas do not give permission to remain in the UK, and the UK government is not wanting to complicate their tax system with long term visitors. Therefore, the maximum permitted stay in the UK, as a visitor, is 180 days.

Most South Africans can only afford to take 3 weeks holiday (at most) – with paid leave that is. The minute that a South African looking to visit longer than 3 weeks, questions begin to get raised about the applicants intent and their ability to return.


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Further Information.

For more information about the UK Visitor Visas: