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I am an EU citizen; let's suppose I get a standard visitor visa for >6 months to stay in the UK, and then I need to come back temporary to my EU country for some days. Can I then go back in the UK with the same visa, or do I need to apply for another one?

Let's make an example:

July 2021: I go to the UK with a standard visitor visa valid for 12 months. August 2021: I go back to my EU country for 15 days, then came back in the UK.

Is this legit?

What are the rules of going "in and out" the UK with a standard visitor? Is there any limit?

[EDIT] Some more details are useful here. I am not entering for tourism, but for academic purpose - long story short, after some searches I found that Standard Visitor Visa is the most suitable option in my case.

The question here is whether or not I am allowed to come back for a period in my EU country and then come back in the UK again (all in the timespan granted by the Standard Visitor Visa, of course), or in other words to do multiple entry. Do I need to pre-specify that in advance?

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  • Left this open because of the implication of short-term study, which is relevant to Expatriates.
    – ouflak
    Jul 21 at 6:53
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I think you are confusing Standard Visitor Visa with leave to enter.

As an EU citizen you don't need a Standard Visitor Visa, which must be applied for before you enter the United Kingdom as a visitor.

When you enter the United Kingdom, Immigration will decide to grant a leave to enter for a specific amount of time. When you leave, this leave becomes invalid.

When you return, Immigration will, again, decide to grant a leave to enter for a specific amount of time (or not).

The decision will be based on the circumstances known to them.

When you first enter, you should inform them of your intentions:

  • planning to stay altogether for around 4 months, but returning in August for about 3 weeks

They may, or may not, make a note of this statement. If they do, the immigration officer will not be surprised when you return in August. (They don't like surprises).

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  • 1
    Ok, I get it - maybe some details from my side would have been useful: I am not entering for tourism, but for academic purpose - long story short, after some searches I found that Standard Visitor Visa is the most suitable option in my case. So I will get that before entering the UK. The question here is whether or not I am allowed to come back for a period in my EU country and then come back in the UK again (all in the timespan granted by the Standard Visitor Visa, of course). Do I need to pre-specify that in advance?
    – user092438
    Jul 17 at 12:53
  • In other words, does the Standard Visitor Visa allow for multiple entry during the validity period?
    – user092438
    Jul 17 at 12:59
  • @user092438 I will read throught the guidence manual tomorrow (after downloading the latest versions), but I don't think this is a problem if the visa is issued to attend something from date x to y. Please add your comments into the question. Jul 17 at 13:15
  • @user092438 The answer from Traveller has given all the needed information you need. The process when entering the UK given here still applies. Jul 21 at 8:34
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Except in rare circumstances, the UK Standard Visitor visa is valid for 6 months and is multiple entry.

4.—(1) A visit visa, during its period of validity, shall have effect as leave to enter the United Kingdom on an unlimited number of occasions, in accordance with paragraph (2).

(2) On each occasion the holder arrives in the United Kingdom, he shall be treated for the purposes of the Immigration Acts as having been granted, before arrival, leave to enter the United Kingdom for a limited period beginning on the date of arrival, being:

(a) six months if six months or more remain of the visa’s period of validity; or

(b) the visa’s remaining period of validity, if less than six months.

Source: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/1161/article/4/made

A visitor is permitted to stay in the UK for a maximum of six months from the date of any given entry (or up to the expiry date on the visa, whichever is soonest). Every time they arrive at the border, notwithstanding the fact that they hold entry clearance, the immigration officer will scrutinise them and determine whether or not to grant them entry in line with the visit visa rules.

When you apply you must show that you meet the eligibility criteria, including V4.2 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-v-visitor:

  • you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit

  • you’ll not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home

Therefore, if you know in advance that you’ll be making repeat visits during the validity period of your visa, it would be best to explain that as far as possible in your application.

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