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A visitor is someone from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who is coming to the UK for a temporary purpose, for example as a tourist, to visit friends or family or to carry out a business activity. If an applicant is a visa national they will always need to obtain a Visitor visa in advance of travel to the UK even if coming to the UK for 6 months or less whilst 'non-visa nationals' do not require a Visitor visa for up to six months.

Even if an applicant is a non-visa national, an applicant is required to obtain a visa depending on the purpose of thier visit. For example, an applicant should always obtain a visa fit for the purpose of their stay when intending to participate in academic conferences, engage in a research-oriented visit during a sabbatical year, undergo private medical treatment or make an organ donation, or for purposes other than simple tourism, for a period exceeding the period of stay allowed under the visa waiver agreement.

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