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 at least three months beyond length of stay is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above, except (1) EU nationals holding a valid national ID card.

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.

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

Visas

Visas for the United Kingdom are not required by nationals referred to in the chart above for stays of up to six months.

Visa note

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

General visitor visa: £80; long-term visit visa: £278 (up to two years); £511 (up to five years); £737 (up to 10 years).

Validity

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

Transit

Some nationals (but not those listed above) require a transit visa, which costs £54. The Direct Airside Transit visa allows you to change flights in the UK, but you must not pass through immigration control and must leave within 24 hours. The Visitor in Transit visa allows you to go through border control, but you must leave the UK within 48 hours. For both visas, you must prove you are in transit to another country. Long-term transit 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 Visas and Immigration 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. Generally, you can expect a decision within three weeks.

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. The fee to extend your visa is £578 is you apply by post (decision made in eight weeks) or £953 if you apply in person (decision usually made on the same day).

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

Entry with pets

If bringing a pet from another 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).

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

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

Embassies and tourist offices

UK Visas
Telephone: (020) 7008 8438. Website: http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk Opening times: Mon-Fri 0930-1330.
British Embassy in the USA
Telephone: (202) 588 7800. Website: http://www.ukinusa.fco.gov.uk Opening times: By appointment only.
Edited by Jane Duru

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