What does it mean to be "legally present" or "lawfully present" in a country?

Hi, I'm applying for a visa right now to the UK. I'm originally from Canada, but am visiting the States for a few months to stay with my friend. I wanted to apply for the visa while I'm here, but I saw that you must be "legally present" in the country you are at in order to apply for the visa. 

So I was wondering do tourists of a country count as being "legally" or "lawfully" present in a country, or is that term only geared towards immigrants or working visa holders of a country.

Thank you!!

8 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    Even if a tourist is legally present under a currently valid tourist visa (or visa waiver/ESTA), many countries will not allow you to apply for a visa outside your own country, or one where you are legal residing, even temporarily such as student or employment visa. You must prove you are returning to your country of citizenship, or have the right to return under currently valid longer-term visa, when applying for any temporary visa. 

    Canadian citizens have the unique privilege of visa-free entry to US for tourism ONLY, for up to 180 days in any 365-day period. So you won't be returning to US, but need to prove you will return from UK to your own country. Of course, if you overstay or violate even this visa-free tourist entry to US, you have a problem getting any type of visa to go practically anywhere. 

    What kind of visa are you applying for? If going to UK as a tourist, Canadian citizens have visa waiver privileges & you don't need a tourist visa. And can you prove you have sufficient funds of your own for all typical tourist expenses in UK after spending "a few months" in US? You have to have sufficient funds for all typical tourist expenses while in US, too. You're fabulously wealthy?

  • 1 month ago

    Canadian citizen do NOT need a via to visit the UK.  Don't apply for one. 

  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    If you hold a Canadian passport and don't have a criminal record you don't even need a visa to visit the UK. But assuming you're applying for some other type visa, you'd have to be on something more substantial than tourist privileges to apply for a visa from a nation that isn't your own.

  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    They mean are you legal in the country, either live there as a citizen, on the correct  visa to be there or legally don't require a visa to visit... so someone who 'moved' to another country and is working or visited and overstayed their allotted legal time is illegal and no illegal can apply

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  • 2 months ago

    It's not referring to the tourist part. It means are you legally allowed to live in Canada, ie a Canadian citizen, and not living there on a temporary visa of any sort.

  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    It means that you live there legally, not visiting on a tourist visa.

  • 2 months ago

    To Scott: yes, that sounds like you just have to be legally present in the country which includes tourists. But when I searched up the meaning of legally/lawfully present I keep getting definitions that include immigrants. So I wanted to make sure.

    For example this is a definition I saw:

    The term “lawfully present” is used to describe immigrants who have:

    “Qualified non-citizen” immigration status without a waiting period

    Humanitarian statuses or circumstances (including Temporary Protected Status, Special Juvenile Status, asylum applicants, Convention Against Torture, victims of trafficking)

    Valid non-immigrant visas

    Legal status conferred by other laws (temporary resident status, LIFE Act, Family Unity individuals)

    I guess maybe valid non-immigrant visas could include tourist visas? But could somebody confirm?


  • 2 months ago

    Which word do you not understand? "Lawfully/legally" or "present"? Because it seems pretty clear what that means. You have to be present, lawfully.

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