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Passport & Visa to the UK

Ensure you have a valid travel document such as passport or identity card to enter the UK. Travelling to and from the UK involves a passport or document check at the border i.e. airports and seaports. Upon entering the UK, visitors may be required to show proof they have the means to support their stay in the country. The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is an open border and therefore there’s no border check.

UK Border at Heathrow Airport by Danny Howard

Make sure you have your travel document ready at the border checkpoint. Move together for checking at the checkpoint if travelling as a family. If arriving by coach or bus, get ready to get off and have your travel document ready. If you are from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, use the EU/EEA channel to get your travel document checked it’s usually faster than the other channels.

The following is an outline of visa requirements and exemptions for foreign visitors entering the UK as tourists, on social visits and business trips. Check with the nearest British High Commission, Embassy or Consulate for the latest update on travel requirements and exemptions to the UK.

From EU, EEA and Switzerland

Nationals from countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not require a visa to enter the UK. However, a valid travel document such as a passport or national identity card is required to enter the country. At the time of writing, there is no official confirmation from the British government on entry requirements and terms for EU nationals after the UK leaves the EU (Brexit) on 29th March 2019.

From other European Countries

Travellers from other European countries that do not require a visa include Andorra, Croatia, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City. Nevertheless, a passport is required to enter Britain and the maximum stay is 6 months.

From the Commonwealth

Citizens of some Commonwealth countries (former British colonies) require a passport but may enter the UK without a visa for stays of up to 3 to 6 months. These countries include Australia, Bahamas, Botswana, Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand and Singapore.

Immigration queue at Heathrow Airport by Jnpet

Other Nationals

Other countries that require a passport but can enter visa-free for stays of up to 3 to 6 months include Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Macau, Mexico, Paraguay, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.

Visa Application

Nationals of countries that require a visa to enter the UK will have to apply from the nearest British diplomatic mission (high commission, embassy or consulate) and must pay a fee for the visa.

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