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I have a few thoughts regarding the UK 10-year standard visitor visa.

 

The cost of this visa is £822 i.e. a one-off payment. Holders of this visa do not have to pay the NHS Surcharge. The maximum time the holder can spend in the UK is 6 months per visit. I can't find anything that limits the number of visits the holder can make to the UK. It therefore seems technically possible (though highly improbable) that the visa holder could make "border runs" e.g. after 6 months in the UK nip over to France for a day and back. I suppose the Border Force Official would deny entry in such a case. So how about another scenario - visit UK for 6 months, go back to Thailand for 3 months then come back to UK for 6 months etc. etc. At what point would the BFO say that is not within the guidelines of the visa and deny entry?

 

It just seems to me that this could be a very good way of spending significant time in the UK without having to go through all the hoops and costs of a settlement visa e.g. english test, LITUK, NHS Surcharge, TB test, FLRs etc.

 

Obviously it would not be practical for many people. But for others (e.g. retirees) it could be worthwhile.

 

Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks.

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Posted (edited)

I thought there was an unwritten rule that a visit visa can be used for a stay of up to 6 months in any 12 and not a means to "live" in the UK.  Border runs to France might also be problematic as a Schengen visa would be required.  As for the NHS surcharge no, this is not an option, but then again nor is free treatment, it would have to be paid for case by case.

 

Just my thoughts, others may know better.

 

Edit: found this in the gov.uk guidance....

 

"There is no specified maximum period which an individual can spend in the UK in any period such as ‘6 months in 12 months’. However, if it is clear from an individual’s travel history that they are making the UK their home you should refuse their application."

Edited by Upnotover

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Posted (edited)

From the governments asset publications, visit vias  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/827480/Visit-guidance-v9.0ext.pdf

 

• the purpose of the visit and intended length of stay stated • the number of visits made over the past 12 months, including the length of stay on each occasion, the time elapsed since the last visit, and if this amounts to the individual spending more time in the UK than in their home country • the purpose of return trips to the visitor’s home country and if this is used only to seek re-entry to the UK • the links they have with their home country - consider especially any long-term commitments and where the applicant is registered for tax purposes • evidence the UK is their main place of residence, for example: o if they have registered with a general practitioner (GP) o if they send their children to UK schools • the history of previous applications, for example if the visitor has previously been refused under the family rules and subsequently wants to enter as a visitor you must assess if they are using the visitor route to avoid the rules in place for family migrants joining British or settled persons in the UK There is no specified maximum period which an individual can spend in the UK in any period such as ‘6 months in 12 months’. However, if it is clear from an individual’s travel history that they are making the UK their home you should refuse their application.

 

So even if you managed to get a 10 years visa, it could  curtailed if Immigration believe it is being used to 'live in uk'

 

 

And as to ILR it to can be removed 

Cancelling indefinite leave If, upon conducting a thorough examination, you are satisfied that the person has indefinite leave but that they are not returning to the UK to settle, either now or in the future, then you must cancel the indefinite leave due to a change of circumstances. The individual will have a right to an Administrative Review unless they waive their right to it.

so living abroad and returning every 2 years for a few weeks to keep it going is no guarantee,just get a bad tempered IO or even a shrp eyed one

Edited by howerde
additional info

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Unless your girlfriend has a visit visa or two under her belt she is unlikely to get a 10 year visit visa in the first place. My wife got a two year visa immediately after a six month but at the the time I was surprised when she got it. I had the "border run" idea using Turkey and then found that the six month guideline was probably going to get in the way. We just got married and went for settlement. Not worth the hassle.

 

The only people I know who have benefited from a ten year visit visa were married couples who spend six months in Thailand and six months in the UK.

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Thanks for the replies. Pretty much confirmed my thoughts about it. As rasg says in his second para, it mostly benefits people who want to live 6m in UK / 6m in Thailand. Something retirees might consider.

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The other benefit is for families with dual national children where, for example, the father and children have a British passport, but the mother does not.

 

A 10 year visa gives absolute flexibility for the family to travel together immediately, without the need to apply for and wait for a standard visa for the mother.

 

It's convenient if one of the children is at school or university in the UK and both parents want to visit on short notice.

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On 6/28/2020 at 9:37 AM, theoldgit said:

Be aware that whilst a longer term visa does give some sort of flexibility, there is always the danger that an applicant can have their application declined, with the supsequent loss of the application fee, if the decision maker believes that the applicant is attempting to use a standard visit visa to spend a disproportionate amount of time in the UK, even six months in Thailand and the UK is risky, as a Forum members friend discovered to his cost recently.

 

You also need to keep in mind that a Border Force Officer can refuse entry to a visa holder if they believe they are attempting to use longer term visas for regular extended periods in the UK.

 

The reality is that there is no visa class that is designed for use for those who wish to spend six months in each country, and whilst longer term visas allow you to do so, there's always a risk that an applicant could come unstuck at either the application or entry stage. 

 

I'm not trying to be alarmist, my wife has a longer term visa herself, but just be aware of the risks, however remote they may me.

Just to reinterate your comments. My wife and I spend 7 months in Thailand and 5 months in the UK, since 2014. She has had 3 successful 1 year visa and after her first we had 1 refusal because she applied too soon after her previous visit. She now has a 5 year UK visit visa which ends in May 2021. She/I plan to apply for a 10 year next year. @durhamboy As a general rule you need to spend time time outside of the UK, as a general guide 6 months or 180 days should be enough but there is nothing written down. Your plan to pop over to France to reset the 6 months 100% will not work, even the 3 months outside the UK is not enough.

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