The United Kingdom of Great Britain (UK) is informally known as Britain. It encompasses the four territories namely England, Scotland, Wales, and North Ireland. The UK is considered the 78th largest independent state in the world. In terms of population, it has 65.5 million inhabitants as of 2016. If you want to visit the UK, you need to check if you need a visa. Before that, it would be better to have a better picture of the UK tourism industry.
The most common reason for visiting the United Kingdom
There are many reasons why you want to visit the United Kingdom. Whether you want to visit the Natural History Museum, conduct business dealings or hoping to glimpse Queen Elizabeth II – the longest reigning monarch in the world.
If you look into the details, here are the most common reasons for visiting the UK according to a study conducted in 2016 by the Office for National Statistics:
- Holiday visits: There were around 13.9 million of holiday visits to the UK in 2016. This comprises the 37% of the total visit. It goes to show that people visit the UK for pleasure.
- Family/friend visits: There were 11.6 million of visitors who stayed with family and friends.
- Business visits: There were 9.2 million visitors who conducted business dealings.
The average length of visits
- You have to know that the average length of visits to the UK is between 7 to 8 nights.
- As with the countries that stayed the longest, it would be residents from outside Europe and North America. These residents stayed for about 13.7 nights on average. This group of people also travelled the furthest.
- As with European residents, they stayed the shortest. These residents stayed for about 5.9 nights on average.
- The shortest type of visit is business trips. In fact, businessmen stayed for 4 nights on average.
The top visiting countries
The top visiting countries include France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Belgium. Now that you have an idea of the reasons and the average length of visits to the UK, it is time to consider their visa services. It is important that you check the country you reside in. You can get the help of visa consultants or you can research for more information. Here are the things that you need to know about UK visa services.
What is UK visa?
It is a document that gives the person right to temporarily stay or permanently live in the UK. You already know the most common reasons for going to UK namely holiday, visiting friends/relatives and business. You have to know other reasons or circumstances for visiting the UK including study, transit, a stateless person, as a refugee, and to live permanently.
What are the types of visas?
The visas are also called leaves. There are several types of visas like entry clearance, leave to enter, leave to remain and indefinite leave to remain.
- Entry clearance: This is a document given to candidates outside the UK.
- Leave to enter: This is a document given to candidates that do not qualify for entry clearance but are required to get a visa to enter at the borders.
- Leave to remain: This is a document given to candidates who already have a visa but they want to extend it or want to switch to other visa categories.
- Indefinite leave to remain: This is a document issued to candidates who lived in the UK for a continuous period with a valid visa without the existing of borders.
What are the different visa categories?
The visa applications of candidates are evaluated based on the points-based system. There are different visa categories to include:
a) Tier 1 visas: This is for highly-skilled foreigners
b) Tier 2 visas: This is for skilled foreign workers with job offer
c) Tier 3 visas: This category was never implemented.
d) Tier 4 visas: This is for foreign students and specialists
e) Tier 5 visas: This is for youth mobility and provisional foreign workers
Knowing things can take you to places. For whatever reasons you want to visit the UK, do not book a ticket yet without your visa because there is always this chance of being denied. It is easier if you look for British Visa services agencies around you.