United Kingdom Visa and Passport Requirements

Passport required Return ticket required Visa required
Australian Yes No No
British N/A N/A N/A
Canadian Yes No No
Other EU 1 No No
USA Yes No No

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Passports

To enter the United Kingdom, a passport valid for the duration of stay is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above, except (1) EU, EEA and Swiss nationals holding a valid national ID card. The UK government does not require your passport to be valid for a minimum period of six (6) months from the date of entry into the United Kingdom. Your passport must be valid for the duration of stay.

From May 2019, nationals from EU countries, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States can make use of ePassport gates when entering the United Kingdom. Nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can use ePassport gates at some airports if the passport has the necessary ‘chip’ on it. This move should cut down queues at the immigration control considerably. All passport holders must be aged 12 or over to use ePassport gates.

EU nationals are only required to produce evidence of their EU nationality and identity in order to be admitted to any EU member state. This evidence can take the form of a valid national passport or national identity card. Either is acceptable. Possession of a return ticket, any length of validity on their document, or sufficient funds for the length of their proposed visit should not be imposed.

A passport is not required for travel between Great Britain and Ireland (an official form of identification, such as a driver's licence, is required), Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. However, some airlines or sea carriers consider a passport as the only valid proof of identification. Check with your airline or sea carrier before you travel.

Passengers transiting the UK destined for the Republic of Ireland are advised to hold return tickets to avoid delay.

Passport note

It is important to be aware that the use of national identity cards will not be permitted after 31 December 2020.

Visas

Nationals from 56 countries can also enter the United Kingdom for stays of up to six months without a visa for tourism purposes. The countries include Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, East Timor, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Micronesia, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Taiwan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Vatican City.

Nationals of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates can obtain an electronic visa waiver (EVW) online.

Before travelling to the United Kingdom, it is best to check the entry requirements at www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa.

Visa note

Following the UK's decision to leave the European Union, visa-free travel to and from the UK is still in place for EEA and Swiss citizens until at least 2021.

Nationals not requiring visas are advised to be in possession of either a return ticket or, if arriving on a one-way ticket, proof of sufficient funds to accommodate and support themselves for the duration of stay.

Nationals not referred to in the chart are advised to contact the embassy/high commission to check visa requirements for the United Kingdom.

Types and cost

Standard Visitor visa: £95; long-term visit visa: £361 (two years); £655 (five years); £822 (10 years).

Validity

Standard Visitor visa: six months; long-term visit Standard Visitor visa: two, five or 10 years, with a maximum stay of six months per visit.

Transit

A Visitor in Transit visa is required for those from outside the EEA and Switzerland who will be changing flights in the UK on their way to another country. The Visitor in Transit visa costs £64 and allows you to go through border control, but you must leave the UK within 48 hours and not work or study while in the UK. The Direct Airside Transit visa costs £35 and allows you to change flights in the UK, but you must not pass through immigration control and must leave within 24 hours. For both visas, you must prove you are in transit to another country. Standard Visitor visas are available to frequent travellers.

Application to

Consulate (or consular section at embassy/high commission). In some countries, you can apply online. See the UK government website for details (www.gov.uk/visas-immigration).

Schengen visas

The United Kingdom is not part of the Schengen area.

Working days

The length of time taken to process visa applications depends on the nationality of the applicant and the country where you're applying. See www.gov.uk for further details.

Sufficient funds

If you do require a visa to visit the United Kingdom, you may be asked to provide information about your finances.

Extension of stay

If you are initially given permission to enter for three months, you may apply to UK Visas and Immigration to extend your stay to six months from your original date of entry. As part of the application process, you’ll be asked to make a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services appointment to provide biometric information. The fee to extend your visa is £993 – a decision will be made within eight weeks. It costs an additional £800 if you use the super priority service. The decision will be made by the end of the following working day or two working days depending on whether your UKVCAS appointment in on a weekday or weekend.

See the UK government website for more details (www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa/extend-your-visa).

The maximum total time you can stay in the United Kingdom is six months.

Entry with pets

If bringing pets from an EU or 'listed' country, your animal must have a microchip, pet passport or official third country veterinary certificate, rabies vaccination administered at least 21 days before travel, and tapeworm treatment (dogs only). Listed countries include American Samoa, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension Island, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Bosnia-Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile Curaçao, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Russia, Saint Maarten, Singapore, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, USA, US Virgin Islands, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.

If bringing a pet from an unlisted country, your animal must have a microchip, official third country veterinary certificate, rabies vaccination, a blood test taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination and at least three months before travel, and tapeworm treatment (dogs only).

You cannot bring more than 5 pets unless you’re attending or training for a competition, sporting event or show.

For full details, see www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad.

Please note: Cats, dogs and ferrets are allowed to enter the UK as long as they meet the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme. Pet amphibians, birds, invertebrates, rabbits, reptiles and rodents from EU countries are also allowed to enter the UK but may be subject to different requirements. For full details, see www.gov.uk/bringing-food-animals-plants-into-uk.

Embassies and tourist offices

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7008 1500 (consular assistance). Website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office Opening times: Mon-Fri 0800-1700.
British Embassy in the USA
Telephone: +1 202 588 6500 Website: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-washington Opening times: By appointment only. Mon-Fri 0900-1600 (telephone enquiries).

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Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.