Visitors who are coming for tourist purposes or to see family will often need to apply for a visa, or “entry clearance”, before travelling to the UK.
Applications made to the relevant British Embassy or UK government authority will need to demonstrate that they are “genuine visitors”.
In most cases, applicants will have to show supporting documents of the financial and family ties to their home country, as well as the intention to leave the UK before their visa expires. The visa is normally for 6 months.
Once the visa is granted, applicants can enter the UK and partake in general visitor activities, such as sightseeing, shopping, visiting friends/family etc. Visitors can also enrol on a short-term course in the UK; however the studying should not be the main purpose of the visit.