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AIBU to ask if anyone here knows anything about tourist visas?

(43 Posts)
LilJinx Sat 15-Mar-14 16:51:36

OK, so my mum is not British and needs a family visitor visa to come visit me here in the UK.

She has never stayed longer than a couple of months and she doesn't usually visit more than once a year. The last visa actually went unused because she didn't get time to come over.

However, this time (we have met now after 11 months) there are some serious issues that I am facing and I would like her to stay for 3 months to help me through it.

Do you suppose this will cause her problems to get further visas to come visit me? I know the UKBA is strict about people using tourist visas to stay for too long in the UK, and this is what concerns me.

Just to clarify, my mum finances all her visits to the Uk and has never (and will never) access public funds.

LilJinx Sat 15-Mar-14 17:12:30


LilJinx Sat 15-Mar-14 17:14:01

Also she's self employed and so it's fine for her I be away from work as she can supervise things remotely as well.

expatinscotland Sat 15-Mar-14 17:15:14

As long as she can prove she can support herself it should be alright, and has a return ticket.

LilJinx Sat 15-Mar-14 17:17:55

She will definitely show that (she always provides proof of funds etc.) and I will also show my employment and financial documents to prove that in case she can't then I will support her.

CoteDAzur Sat 15-Mar-14 17:19:17

If visa says "maximum 3 month stay in a 12 min period" (as they do, iirc) i think it would be a mistake to overstay that period. It could jeopardise her future visits.

Pigletin Sat 15-Mar-14 17:20:22

Have you looked a this:

With this type of visa she can stay for up to 6 months if she passes the eligibility requirements.

Sunnymeg Sat 15-Mar-14 17:21:34

We have friends who are from Borneo and their parents come over on 6 month visas.

Pigletin Sat 15-Mar-14 17:22:00

Whatever visa she gets it will be a mistake to overstay the allowed period if she wants to visit again in the future.

LilJinx Sat 15-Mar-14 17:37:02

No, no it's a six month visa with multiple entries allowed. There is no question of overstaying the visa duration allowed.

She's been here since February, her visa is valid until August and I want her to say until May.

The reason we're concerned is that she's never stayed for this long a period before and we wouldn't want the authorities to think that she's using a tourist visa to live here

LilJinx Sat 15-Mar-14 17:39:14

To clarify, she already has a visa for her present visit but it will expire in August (she will leave before then).

We are concerned about the next visa application. Will it count against her to have stayed for three months at a stretch?

Pigletin Sat 15-Mar-14 17:39:53

Why would you worry? The authorities have authorised a 6 month stay and that's what she is doing.

Pigletin Sat 15-Mar-14 17:41:53

It wouldn't count against her if she doesn't overstay the period she has been allowed to stay.

LilJinx Sat 15-Mar-14 17:43:20

There's a threatening note on the UKBA website which sates that while anyone is allowed to stay up to six months in any 12 month period, they will make strict checks to ensure that nobody stays for extended periods at a go and they might suspect people of using tourist visas to live in the UK and this might harm her chances of having the next application approved.

Tryharder Sat 15-Mar-14 17:50:56

Your mother is allowed to stay for any period upto 6 months at a time. She may not work or gain access to public funds. She can access NHS emergency treatment but not ongoing hospital care. She can assist you with childcare and it not be considered work.

Hope this helps x

EurotrashGirl Sat 15-Mar-14 18:00:29

As long as she leaves before her visa expires and abides by the conditions of the visa its fine. If you are really concerned about it, make sure that her return ticket is booked for before her visa expires.

dylanthedragon Sat 15-Mar-14 18:02:39

I think when UKBA talk about people living here on those visas, they mean people who stay for the full six months then immediately apply for another 6 months when they get home. I really don't think you have anything to worry about.

mikulkin Sat 15-Mar-14 18:51:35

My mother comes every 2 months and stays for 2 months, never had problems with renewing visa. The rule stays up to 180 days on each visit. As long as she doesn't overstay that and doesn't ask for any public funds etc, she should be fine.

expatinscotland Sat 15-Mar-14 19:28:16

Yeah, dylan is right. My dad has to use the tourist visa when he visits (my mother is an EU national by descent) and when DD1 was sick he came over about 4 times in 8 months and it only raised an eyebrow once, that was because they had left just weeks before and had to come back as she was critically ill in ICU (she passed away) and then the second they found that out they couldn't get them through fast enough. They were an absolute wreck and had come off a cruise in the Caribbean to fly over.

My dad has always had a return ticket, British money on him (usually about £500-£1000), his credit cards, his debit card, etc. But there's ample proof he has no intention of living here - he owns his own home, draws a pension in his home country.

They are pretty good at spotting chancers.

MrsSparkles Sat 15-Mar-14 19:44:11

As far as I've heard a good rule of thumb is as much time out as in. So if you've been here 3 months, then stay out of the country for 3 months.

As long as she can show ties to home (job, property, family), and always stays within her conditions I shouldn't think it will be a problem.

LilJinx Sat 15-Mar-14 20:28:35

Thanks everyone, that's really reassuring. My mum is self employed in her home country and owns property there. She also has parents to take care of as well as friends and family. She's been visiting me in the UK for over 4 years now and has never breached any conditions of her stay.

Expatinscotland- I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. I can't imagine the grief and it's awful you had to go through that.

MrsPear Sat 15-Mar-14 20:38:17

We are having a tough time getting one for the in laws - my father offered his house as a bond but we were still turned down apparently they are coming here to work and have no family at home. They are in their 60s and their are 100s times more relatives at home plus their own home which 100% theirs. It is madness - OP you need to get all finances in order and have clear return date and above all luck.

Potol Sat 15-Mar-14 20:43:10

My parents came separately after DS was born and stayed 3 months. A six month multiple entry visa is precisely that. As long as you abide by the rules I don't see why UKBA would care whether she stayed 1 month or 3.

LilJinx Sat 15-Mar-14 20:51:39


I have been advised that they look for liquid funds (cash in savings account etc.) to determine if someone can support themselves. I have heard of other cases where offering bonds or property instead has led to people being turned down.

nickymanchester Sat 15-Mar-14 21:06:11


My MIL isn't British and she has come over to stay on a family visa many times over the last few years.

You are correct that they are looking for liquid funds, but this can come from the sponsor ie you or your DH.

In our case they rejected her first application and we had to appeal it. Her application was refused on two grounds, firstly that she didn't have close enough ties to her home and secondly that there were insufficient funds to support her.

In the first case, we just provided documents to show that she was still married to her husband and living with him.

In the case of sufficient funds, it seems to be because we transfer any excess money to our savings account and so it seems that we don't have any money spare in our current account at the end of the month. As a result, the visa was refused.

When we appealed we sent details of our savings account as well to show that we had enough money and they were happy with it. Within three days of the British embassy in Moscow receiving the appeal my MIL had a call asking her to come to Moscow to get the visa.

Despite the first ever application being rejected she has never had any problems with any subsequent applications

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