Visitor (standard): avoiding common pitfalls
Produced in partnership with Gillian McCall of Richmond Chambers and Zoe Bantleman of Richmond Chambers

The following Immigration practice note produced in partnership with Gillian McCall of Richmond Chambers and Zoe Bantleman of Richmond Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Visitor (standard): avoiding common pitfalls
  • Credibility
  • Common pitfalls
  • UK-based family members
  • Relationship between allowed business activities and prohibited work
  • Refusals and Deception
  • Addressing prior refusal

Visitor (standard): avoiding common pitfalls

This Practice Note highlights some common pitfalls associated with applications under the visitor (standard) immigration category that may lead to additional scrutiny of an application and/or its refusal. These often involve issues that may cast doubt on an applicant's credibility as a genuine visitor.


Many of the requirements of this category refer to a person's subjective intentions as a genuine visitor, not to take employment, to leave at the end of the visit and not to base themselves in the UK. Establishing credibility is key for the business visitor and for one intending to undertake study. The Home Office will look at the person's overall circumstances to see if what they propose to do in the UK is consistent with other evidence.

The Home Office's Visit guidance provides information to Home Office officials on how to assess if an applicant is a genuine visitor. It states that the factors to be considered can include:

  1. the applicant's immigration history in the UK and other countries

  2. the duration of previous visits to the UK and whether these were significantly longer than stated on the entry clearance application form or on arrival

  3. the applicant's financial circumstances and their family, social and economic background

  4. the cumulative period of time spent in the UK as a visitor and the pattern of their travel over the last 12

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