Do you need a visa to go to the United Kingdom?

James March

Jun 25, 2022 • 3 min read

Group of people walking along cliff edge looking at city views. Edinburgh Castle in the distance

Here's the visa info you need for a visit to Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland Andrew Merry / Getty Images

Traveling between England , Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland reveals both the shared culture and distinct local flavors that contribute to the UK . Save for the occasional inconvenience of long lines at passport control and security, entering and leaving the UK was fairly straightforward in the past. Now, due to Brexit, information on visa requirements has changed for EU citizens and immigration restrictions are often on the news in the UK. It's essential to check with your local British embassy, high commission or consulate before leaving home.

What you need to know about visas in the UK

The UK government has a handy online guide to help you check if you need a UK visa . Britain is not a member of the Schengen Zone, so you will need to show your passport when arriving and leaving from a UK border point.

Visas are generally not needed for stays of up to six months for tourism or visiting friends and family. This applies to citizens of the EEA (European Economic Area) nations, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, and the USA.

Following Brexit, the EU Settlement Scheme is the system that EU citizens who are already living in the UK need to follow, but there is also a family permit you can apply for if you’re a family member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. ​​It lets you come to the UK for up to 6 months. You can work and study, and come and go as many times as you want before the permit expires.

Anyone wishing to work, do business or academic research in the UK will need to apply for a visa, as will students wishing to study for longer than six months. The Youth Mobility Scheme , for Australian, Canadian, Japanese, Hong Kong, Monégasque, New Zealand, Sammarinese and Icelandic citizens aged 18 to 30, allows working visits of up to two years, but must be applied for in advance. Those coming from Hong Kong (if you have a SAR passport), Japan, South Korea and Taiwan must be selected in the Youth Mobility Scheme ballot before they can apply.

Tourists from China, India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and many other destinations , will need to apply for the Standard Visitor visa . It lasts six months, costs £100 and must be applied for online in advance of travel. A decision is usually provided within three weeks. Applications to extend your stay must be made before your visa runs out, but there are strict limitations. If you know you want to be in the UK beyond six months, it's best to apply for the more costly long-term Standard Visitor visa, which lasts for two (£376), five (£670) or ten (£837) years.

Commonwealth citizens with a UK-born parent may be eligible for Right of Abode , which entitles them to live and work in the UK. You can only get the right to abode through marriage if you’re a female Commonwealth citizen. Commonwealth citizens with a UK-born grandparent could qualify for a UK Ancestry visa, allowing them to work full-time for up to five years in the UK. You should get a decision on your visa within three weeks when applying from outside the UK and the fee is £531.

British immigration authorities have always been tough; you may be required to demonstrate proof of onward travel or an outbound departure date (for example, a flight booking home), and possibly evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself while in Britain.

This article was first published Mar 16, 2021 and updated Jun 25, 2022.

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UK Visitor Visa (Tourist Visa Advice!)

Anne morris.

  • 2 October 2022

IN THIS SECTION

There are many reasons why you might require a UK visitor visa to come to the UK, from seeing the sights to seeing friends or family.

If you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, the Standard Visitor Visa allows you to visit the UK, usually for a period of up to 6 months.

The UK Visitor visa requires an application to be made from outside the UK, which will be assessed to assess whether you meet the requirements under the visitor rules and qualify as a genuine visitor. You will need to provide supporting documents that prove you qualify for a visitor visa. Failure to show that you meet the visa requirements will result in a refusal and loss of your application fee.

What is a UK visitor visa?

The UK Standard Visitor visa replaced a number of previous categories of visitor visas. It allows visitors to come to Britain for a short stay for a number of permissible reasons, including leisure (for tourism, visiting family and friends), for  business-related activities or sporting or creative events, and other reasons such as receiving private medical treatment.

It is not possible to switch into a different visa category from the visitor visa once you are in the UK; you would need to return to your home country and apply from there for a different visa.

How long does a UK visitor visa last?

The visitor visa generally lasts for 6 months.

You can apply to stay longer if you’re coming to the UK for private medical treatment (up to 11 months) or you’re an academic on sabbatical and coming to the UK for research (up to 12 months) but you will also need to apply for a biometric residence permit.

Under the Approved Destination Status (ADS) agreement, Chinese nationals are allowed to enter the UK with an approved tour group for up to 30 days.

Long term visitor visa 

The long-term visitor visa may be available if you are looking to make frequent visits over a longer period, such as 2, 5 or even 10 years, however you can only stay in the UK for up to 6 months at a time.

What are the permitted activities for visitors?

The visitor rules specify activities that are allowed under the route. The following are permissible activities:

  • Tourism, for example on a holiday
  • Visit family or friends
  • Volunteering for up to 30 days with a registered charity
  • Transiting through the UK to travel to another country
  • Certain business activities, for example attending a meeting or interview
  • Taking part in a school exchange programme
  • Undertake a recreational course of up to 30 days, for example a dance course
  • Study, do a placement or take an exam – this cannot be the main purpose of the visit and is limited to a maximum of 30 days
  • Visiting as an academic, senior doctor or dentist
  • For medical reasons

You are not allowed to do the following under a visitor visa:

  • Undertake paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
  • Claim benefits or access public funds
  • Reside in the UK for long periods using frequent and/or successive visits
  • Get married or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership (instead, apply for the  Marriage Visitor Visa )

It may be that the visitor visa is not appropriate and alternative immigration options will need to be considered. For example, the permitted paid engagement visa may apply if a UK company is paying you to come to the UK as an expert in your profession.

Visitors should also prepare to travel with supporting documents as they may be asked to present proof of eligibility by UK border officials.

UK visitor visa requirements

The visitor visa is limited in its eligibility. Your stay must generally be for no longer than 6 months and you have to leave the UK by the expiry date.

Your reason for travel will also be critical to your eligibility and it will be important that you understand what is allowed under the UK visitor visa to ensure you do not breach these conditions for the duration of your stay in the UK.

Applying for the UK visitor visa

Applicants must ensure they comply with the regulations and evidence their eligibility through the visa application process.

To apply for the UK visitor visa, you will need to be outside the UK. You complete the online application form and provide supporting documents to evidence your status as a genuine visitor. You will be required to attend an appointment at a visa appointment centre in your country of residence, where you will be interviewed about your application and your biometric information will be taken.

As part of your visa application you will need to prove to the caseworker that you will not be staying for more than 6 months and that you have enough money to maintain yourself (and any dependants travelling with you) during your time in the UK and to fund your return travel.

Supporting documents

Your circumstances will dictate the exact documents to provide with your application to support your case. As a minimum, you will need to verify your identity with your current passport or other valid travel identification, valid for the whole of your stay in the UK and with a blank page for the visa.

Additional supporting documents should also be provided to prove:

  • Planned travel dates and itinerary including accommodation details
  • Personal information such as home address and parents’ names
  • Travel history (past 10 years)
  • Work information such as your employer’s name and address
  • Contact information of the people you will visit
  • You have a genuine relationship with the person you are visiting
  • Details of any convictions
  • Intention to leave the UK on visa expiry. Evidence could include proof of a job or studies in your home country, or family living in your home country.
  • Sufficient funds to support you and your dependants in the UK for the duration of your visit. This could be funded by you of the person you are visiting in the UK. You will not be allowed to access public funds. Proof should include recent bank statements and payslips. An estimate of the total cost of the trip should be provided, as well as details of your income.

Any documents not in English or Welsh must be provided as certified translations.

After completing the form, you will need to attend a visa application centre overseas to have your fingerprints and photograph taken.

Visitor visa processing times

Under normal Home Office processing standards , visitor visa applications from overseas usually takes around 3 weeks. However, ongoing delays in processing services mean visit visa applications are currently taking 6 weeks, and in some cases longer.

You can apply up to three months before your intended date of travel. Fast tracked processing within 5 working days is available in some visa application centres for a premium fee.

How much does a visitor visa cost?

Currently, the UK visitor visa costs £100 for the standard 6 month stay. If you are travelling for medical reasons, the cost is £200 for six months, or £200 for academic visitors .

Longer-term visit visas cost £376 for the 2-year visit visa, £670 for the 5-year visit visa or £837 for the 10-year visit visa.

Can you stay in the UK for longer than six months? 

Generally speaking, all Standard UK visitor visas are short-term visas with a six-month maximum stay cap. Immigration regulations also prevent you from getting around this restriction by utilising a guest visa or making many, frequent, or consecutive trips, although you are free to enter and exit the UK whenever you like while your visa is still in effect.

However, citizens of China, Pakistan, India, and other non-EEA nations can apply for a long-term visit visa in order to go to the UK. These are chargeable extras that can be reserved for terms of two, five, or 10 years.

Be aware that you are still limited to a single visit lasting no longer than six months with these visas. You may, however, enter and exit the UK more than once throughout the permitted time. If you know you’ll need to visit the UK repeatedly over the course of a set amount of time, applying for a long-term visitor visa in the UK is a terrific option.

Academic visits from outside the EEA and people seeking private medical care in the UK do have another option for a longer stay. The Biometric Residence Permit is what it is called (BRP). You will need to provide biometric data about yourself, including your fingerprints, a photo, your immigration status, and more, but doing so will extend your stay in the UK over six months. This procedure, called biometric enrolment, still necessitates the presentation of proof of adequate financial support for your stay.

Visitor visa application refused?

If your UK visitor visa application. has been refused, your options could include reapplying and making a new application; submitting an appeal, where the grounds are on human rights; applying for a Judicial Review of the decision.

Your options will depend on your specific circumstances. Take professional advice to decide what you should do next.

Need assistance?

Travellers to the UK should note that even with a valid visitor visa in place, you may still be questioned at the UK border by immigration officials, to verify that you are a genuine visitor and will comply with the visitor visa rules. Where officials are concerned that you may stay longer than your visa date, or if your activities are prohibited under the visitor rules, you may be denied entry.

As a team of immigration lawyers and former Home Office employees, we have an established reputation for advising on the most appropriate immigration route for your needs, and supporting you with effective and efficient processing of your visa application. We also understand the stresses involved with making a visa application, and take great pride in playing a supportive role to ease the pressure.  Contact us  for advice.

Visitor visa FAQs

How much funds are required for uk visitor visa.

You will need to show you have sufficient funds to cover the cost of tickets, travelling, living and accommodation expenses while you are in the UK.

What documents do I need for UK visitor visa?

Your visitor visa application will need to include your current passport or other valid travel identification, as well as other documents that prove you meet the visa requirements, such as your intention to leave the UK and that your planned activities come within the visitor visa permissible activities.

Last updated: 2 October 2022

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Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator , and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

  • Anne Morris https://www.davidsonmorris.com/author/anne/ Self Sponsorship Visa UK
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The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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Getting a visitor visa for family and friends

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland , See advice for Scotland , See advice for Wales

Your friend or family member can apply for a visitor visa so they can visit you in the UK. Visitor visas are usually for up to 6 months.

Bringing your partner to the UK to get married or register a civil partnership

Your partner can’t use a standard visitor visa to come to the UK to get married or register a civil partnership.

If you and your partner want to live in the UK after you get married or register a civil partnership, check if they can apply for a partner visa .

If you and your partner don’t want to stay in the UK together, your partner can come to the UK on a marriage visitor visa. This means they’ll have to leave the UK within 6 months. Check how to get a marriage visitor visa on GOV.UK .

Check if your visitor needs a visa

You’ll need to check if they need a visitor visa on GOV.UK if you don’t already know - it depends on their nationality.

If your visitor doesn't need a visa, they might need to get an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) before they travel to the UK. You can check if your visitor needs an ETA on GOV.UK .

Some visitors can scan their own passport at an ‘eGate’ instead of speaking to an immigration officer. Check who can use the eGates on GOV.UK .

If they can't use an eGate, they should still be prepared to explain why they’re visiting when they get to the border. If the Border Force thinks they might try to stay longer, they can refuse them entry

If you’re helping your visitor apply for a visitor visa

They’ll have to apply online .

Make sure your visitor puts their information in where it asks for the applicant’s details .

After you fill in the form, the visitor will need to have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre. Check where their nearest visa application centre is  before you apply, because it might be in a different country.

The online form asks you some questions to get to the visa you need. 

If you need more support with your application 

You should consider getting specialist advice if you’re unsure about the application. It might cost you money but it can save you time and hassle. Your local Citizens Advice can either help you or let you know where to get expert advice.

Documents you’ll need to include

You’ll need to include documents that support their application when you send it off. The online form will give you guidance on what to include, but here are some things to keep in mind.

If your documents aren’t in English or Welsh, you’ll need to provide certified English translations of your documents with the originals. Each translation has to include:

confirmation from the translator that it’s an accurate translation of the original

the date of the translation

the translator's full name and signature

the translator's contact details

Prove they’ll be returning to their country after their visit

You could show proof your visitor has a job or studies to go back to in their home country. You can also show they have family who depend on them in their home country.

Prove there’s enough money for the trip

You’ll have to provide evidence to show that the visitor’s trip can be afforded, whether it’s being paid for by them or by you. 

If the visitor is paying for themselves, they’ll have to include documents proving that they can afford it, for example bank statements or payslips.

If you’re paying for their visit (eg for their flights and accommodation), you’ll need to prove that you can afford the visitor’s trip as well as your own costs - for example your rent, mortgage and general expenses.

an estimate of how much the trip will cost - this needs to be as accurate as possible

proof of your income and where you work, for example payslips or an employment contract

proof that you have enough money to pay for the visitor’s stay, for example recent bank statements

proof that you’re in the UK legally, for example a copy of your passport or visa

Prove you have a genuine relationship

You’ll have to show how you’re connected to the person visiting you.

If the person visiting you is a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, you might need to give stronger proof they’ll be returning to their country after their visit.

If your visa is refused

You can read the government’s guidance on reasons for refusing visas on GOV.UK, if you're concerned the visa you're applying for might be refused.

You can’t usually appeal if the visitor visa is refused. It's quicker and easier to apply again. Make sure you deal with the reasons your first application was refused.

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U.S. Travelers Will Soon Have to Pay to Enter the U.K.

An elevated view of the London skyline  looking east to west

U.S. visitors—as well as visitors from Europe , Australia and Canada —will soon be required to apply for permission to enter the U.K. through a new scheme known as Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA).

The U.K. government is in the process of fully digitizing U.K. borders by the end of 2025—and the ETA scheme will play its part, allowing “individuals, and carriers, with more assurance at an earlier point in time about their ability to travel to the U.K.,” the government said.

The scheme will be in place by the end of this year (2023), and visitors will be required to fill out an online application granting them permission to travel. There will be a small fee included in the application—similar to how the U.S.'s own ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) system works for U.K. travelers.

Here's everything we know.

Will I need a visa to enter the U.K.?

This isn't technically a visa—the ETA system will grant travelers permission to enter the country. You will need to apply for an ETA prior to arrival. If you haven't received permission to travel before arrival, you may get fined.

West London UK

Travelers from the U.S. will soon need to apply for permission to enter the U.K.

How long will it take to get an ETA?

Travelers will be advised to apply for an ETA at least a few days before their journey. Approval should be granted within 72 hours of application.

How long will an ETA last?

After your ETA has been approved, visitors will be granted permission to stay in the U.K. for six months, whether for business or tourism reasons.

The U.K. government is yet to confirm how often visitors will need to apply for a new ETA, but it's likely to be valid for two years—meaning there's no need to apply for a new one every time you visit within the valid time period.

Peak District National Park Derbyshire UK

Visitors with valid ETAs can stay—and travel—in U.K. for up to six months.

How much will an ETA cost?

We don't know yet—but the government has said that the cost will be small. The EU implemented a similar system in 2022, which costs €7. A U.S. ESTA, meanwhile, costs $21.

Who will need to apply for an ETA?

The full list of nations included hasn't been announced yet. We do know that U.S. citizens who don't hold a visa will need to apply for an ETA, as will other visa-exempt nations such as Canada and Australia. European countries are likely to be included, too.  Those traveling from nationalities without a visa-free agreement with the UK will still need to apply for another applicable type of UK visa.

What will I need to apply for an ETA?

You'll need a valid passport , an email address to register with, and to supply the details of your travel, as well as a valid debit or credit card to pay any fees to apply.

To keep up to date with the latest information on the ETA scheme, check the official website for more details as they become available.

This article originally appeared on Condé Nast Traveller U.K.  

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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

United Kingdom travel advice

Latest updates: The Need help? section was updated.

Last updated: July 11, 2024 13:46 ET

On this page

Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, united kingdom - exercise a high degree of caution.

Exercise a high degree of caution in the United Kingdom due to the threat of terrorism.

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There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities.

In the United Kingdom, previous attacks have resulted in casualties. They have included random violent incidents in public areas, such as knife and vehicle attacks as well as explosions.

These incidents have occurred mainly in the London area but have also happened elsewhere.

Further attacks in the United Kingdom are likely. Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant if attending:

  • sporting events
  • religious holidays
  • public celebrations
  • major political events, such as elections

Terrorists have used such occasions to mount attacks.

The Government of the United Kingdom maintains a public alert system on terrorism and communicates terrorism and national emergency threat level changes online and through local media. The national terrorism and national emergency threat level is currently 3 (“substantial”) on a scale of 5. A separate threat level for Northern Ireland is currently 4 (“severe”) on a scale of 5.

National threat level  - British Home Office

Petty crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, is common. Cellphone theft is common in certain tourist areas of London. Vehicle theft and theft from parked vehicles also occurs, particularly in tourist areas and roadside rest areas. Theft is common in restaurants, pubs and bars. Never leave bags or purses hanging on the back of your chair.

Thieves work alone and in groups. They may use various techniques to distract you and steal your belongings.

They are especially active in crowded areas, such as:

  • tourist attractions and busy areas, including Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square
  • airports and public transportation
  • patios and outdoor cafés
  • hotel lobbies
  • underground pedestrian walkways
  • roadside stops

Violent crime

Violent crime, such as mugging, knife crime and sexual assault occurs, particularly in larger cities. There have been incidents of passengers being sexually assaulted and robbed when riding in unlicensed taxis.

If you are the victim of a crime on the transportation system, including in a taxi, consult Transport for London to learn how to report it.

Report a crime or incident on the transportation system  - Transport for London

During your trip:

  • ensure that your belongings, including your passport, are secure at all times
  • don’t keep your passport and other types of ID at the same place and carry a photocopy rather than the original
  • avoid showing signs of affluence
  • avoid carrying large sums of cash or unnecessary valuables
  • pay attention to your surroundings, particularly in crowded and tourist areas
  • be wary of unsolicited offers or advice from strangers
  • be vigilant in urban areas, particularly after dark
  • never leave personal belongings unattended in a vehicle, even in the trunk
  • use secure parking facilities, especially overnight

Spiked food and drinks

Snacks, beverages, gum and cigarettes may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

  • Be wary of accepting these items from new acquaintances
  • Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers

Credit card and ATM fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Fraud can range from simple to sophisticated, and sometimes involve hidden electronic devices that obtain account information and personal identification numbers.

When using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when others are handling your cards
  • use ATMs located in public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

Cybercrime occurs. Perpetrators may compromise public Wi-Fi networks to steal credit card or personal information.

  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks
  • Avoid making purchases on unsecured websites
  • Use judgment when posting information on social media
  • Be especially careful if you are meeting people you have met online
  • Never click a suspicious link in an email or text message asking for your credit card details

Useful links

  • More about overseas fraud
  • Cybercrime - National Crime Agency

Demonstrations

Demonstrations take place regularly. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Strikes and pressure tactics occur from time to time, in key sectors such as transport. These strikes can sometimes complicate travel and disrupt public services.

  • Consult local media to be aware of strikes that may affect your stay or travel plans
  • In the event of a transport strike, plan extra time to get to your destination

Northern Ireland

Inter-communal tensions can arise from April to August during the summer marching season. This is particularly common during the weeks leading up to July 12.  

During the summer marching season:

  • expect possible delays and disruptions in some areas
  • exercise caution
  • follow the advice of local authorities

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Adventure tourism

Outdoor activities, such as hiking and biking, may lead to safety concerns if they are not well-organized. Weather conditions can change rapidly, even in summer.

Avalanches can occur in Scotland, especially in the Cairngorms area between December and April. Check local avalanche forecasts before you go.

If you intend to go walking, biking or hiking in remote areas:

  • never do so alone and do not part with your hiking companions
  • obtain detailed information on your activity and on the environment in which you will be doing it before setting out
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • avoid venturing off marked trails
  • ensure that you’re adequately equipped
  • stay informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
  • Weather conditions - Met Office
  • Avalanche Forecasts - Scottish Avalanche Information Service

Road safety

Vehicles drive on the left.

Pedestrians should use caution when crossing streets and be mindful that traffic comes from the opposite direction than it does in Canada. There are many one-way streets in London and other cities. Always confirm the direction of traffic before you cross the street.

Road conditions

Roads are excellent but are often narrow and congested, especially in urban areas. Use caution when entering a traffic circle (roundabout). Rural roads may become hazardous during severe weather conditions. You should be especially careful when driving in the countryside during periods bad weather or freezing temperature. You should always slow down before approaching turns on narrow roads as curves may hide oncoming traffic.

Public transportation

Public transportation is extensive. Train and bus services connect most cities and areas of the country.

Taxis are widely available. Only use officially licensed and marked taxis or private hire vehicles.

  • Getting around Britain - Visit Britain
  • Train schedules and service alerts - National Rail
  • Taxis and minicabs – Transport for London

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the British authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

electronic_travel_authorisation_(eta)

Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)

The United Kingdom has started to unroll a new Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) program. Canadians are not currently able to apply for an ETA.

Once the program goes into effect, you will need to apply for your ETA before you travel to or transit through the UK. You must travel on the passport used for your ETA application.

Apply for an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) – UK Visas and Immigration

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least the expected duration of your stay in the United Kingdom. This requirement may also apply when travelling to Northern Ireland from other parts of the United Kingdom, and vice versa.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Tourist visa: not required for stays of up to 6 months Business visa or work permit: required Student visa: required

You may need a work permit or visa even if you plan to do:

  • unpaid work
  • volunteer work
  • part-time work
  • temporary work

A marriage visitor visa is also required if you plan to get married or register a civil partnership in the United Kingdom.

You must apply online for your visa before you travel to the UK. The High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom, in London, cannot assist you in your visa application process. Useful links

  • Check if you need a UK visa  - UK Government
  • UK Visas and Immigration  - UK Government
  • Pay for UK healthcare as part of your immigration application  - UK Government

Other entry requirements

UK Border officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself for the duration of your stay.

If you are unable to do so, or if you seek entry as a visitor but are found with items indicating that you intend to seek any type of employment (such as curriculum vitae or educational certificates), you may be denied entry and expelled from the country.

Similarly, if you seek entry as a visitor and are suspected of planning to reside in the UK for any reason, including having a UK-based partner, you may be denied entry.

If you have previously been refused entry, contact the British High Commission in Ottawa to enquire about entry clearance before making plans to visit the UK, even if a visa is normally not required.

Transiting through a United Kingdom airport

If you plan to transit through a United Kingdom airport, make sure you comply with the entry requirements of your final destination. If you don’t meet the entry requirements of your final destination, you may be denied boarding or forced to wait in the UK to apply for a new passport, which can take several days.

Unplanned layovers could lead to substantial travel costs and delays. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.

  • Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children .

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 13 March, 2024
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 13 March, 2024

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

In this destination, rabies  may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. 

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife. 

Polio (poliomyelitis) is an infectious disease that can be prevented by vaccination. It is caused by poliovirus type 1, 2 or 3. Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus 2 (cVDPV2) is present in this country. Polio is spread from person to person and through contaminated food and water. Infection with the polio virus can cause paralysis and death in individuals of any age who are not immune.

Recommendations:

  • Be sure that your polio vaccinations are up to date before travelling. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
  • One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult .

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a risk in some areas of this destination. It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or occasionally when unpasteurized milk products are consumed.

Travellers to areas where TBE is found may be at higher risk  during April to November, and the risk is highest for people who hike or camp in forested areas.

Protect yourself from tick bites . The vaccine is not available in Canada. It may be available in the destination you are travelling to.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Human cases of avian influenza have been reported in this destination. Avian influenza   is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds and in rare cases it can infect mammals, including people. The risk is low for most travellers.

Avoid contact with birds, including wild, farm, and backyard birds (alive or dead) and surfaces that may have bird droppings on them. Ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs and wild game, are properly cooked.

Travellers with a higher risk of exposure include those: 

  • visiting live bird/animal markets or poultry farms
  • working with poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks)
  • hunting, de-feathering, field dressing and butchering wild birds and wild mammals
  • working with wild birds for activities such as research, conservation, or rehabilitation
  • working with wild mammals, especially those that eat wild birds (e.g., foxes)

All eligible people are encouraged to get the seasonal influenza shot, which will protect them against human influenza viruses. While the seasonal influenza shot does not prevent infection with avian influenza, it can reduce the chance of getting sick with human and avian influenza viruses at the same time.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical services and facilities

Health care is excellent. Service is available throughout the country.

You must pay for medical services provided by the National Health Service (NHS) unless:

  • you are ordinarily a resident of the United Kingdom
  • you are accessing emergency services exempted from fees

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

  • Accessing NHS services as a visitor - National Health Service (NHS)
  • Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Transfer to a Canadian prison

Canada and the United Kingdom are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in the United Kingdom to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and the United Kingdom authorities.

This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs, including cannabis, are severe. Convicted offenders can expect prison sentences and heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Laws on knives

It is illegal to carry, purchase, sell or enter the country with certain types of knives. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines and jail sentences.

Selling, buying and carrying knives - UK Government

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the United Kingdom.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of the United Kingdom, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements .

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and the United Kingdom.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in the United Kingdom, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the British court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in the United Kingdom to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

  • List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
  • International Child Abductions: A guide for affected parents
  • The Hague Convention – Hague Conference on Private International Law
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Request emergency assistance

Traffic drives on the left.

Parking in London and other major city centres is limited and expensive.

Driver's licence

You can drive with a valid Canadian licence for up to 12 months from your date of entry.

Car rental companies may require an international driving permit, especially if your licence is not in English. Check with your car rental agency in advance.

Congestion Charge

If you drive into central London, you will be required to pay a daily congestion charge. The Congestion Charge zone is indicated by a large “C” painted on the roads and by signs.

You can pay the fee by phone, online or at selected shops and gas stations.

Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

All boroughs in London are part of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). If you drive in London, your vehicle must meet the ULEZ emission standards. If it does not, you must pay a daily charge to drive within the ULEZ.

  • More about the International Driving Permit
  • Congestion Charge  - Transport for London
  • Ultra Low Emission Zone – Transport for London

The currency of the United Kingdom is the pound sterling (GBP).

If you are carrying £10,000 or more, or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs when you enter or leave the United Kingdom.

It includes sums in:

  • banknotes and coins
  • bearer bonds
  • travellers’ cheques
  • cheques that are signed but not made out to a person or organization
  • money orders (Northern Ireland only)
  • gold coins, bullion or nuggets (Northern Ireland only)
  • prepaid cards (Northern Ireland only)

Take cash in and out of the UK - Government of the United Kingdom

Climate change

Climate change is affecting the United Kingdom. Extreme and unusual weather events are becoming more frequent and may affect your travel plans. Monitor local news to stay informed on the current situation.

Severe weather

The United Kingdom is subject to severe storms that can cause death and injury and severely damage commercial, residential and natural areas.

High winds, fog, and snow can also have widespread impacts, including transportation disruptions.

  • Keep informed of regional weather forecasts
  • Stay away from disaster-affected areas
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities, including evacuation orders

Storm forecast  - Met Office

Flooding and landslides

Heavy rains can cause severe flooding, mudslides and landslides, particularly in certain coastal and riverside areas. Roads may become impassable and infrastructure damaged.

  • Exercise caution, particularly in coastal areas and around major rivers
  • Stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • Follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders
  • Flooding risks in England  - UK Government
  • Flood forecasting  - Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Heat waves are becoming more common in the United Kingdom, and most houses and public places are not designed or equipped to provide shelter from high heat.

High temperatures can be dangerous. Know the symptoms of dehydration and heatstroke, which can both be fatal.

If you are in the United Kingdom during a summer heat wave:

  • stay indoors or in the shade during midday hours
  • stay hydrated and carry a sufficient water supply
  • monitor local media for information on heat warnings

Local services

Dial 999 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

The Falkland Islands and Gibraltar

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom, in London, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

Visa Traveler

Exploring the world one country at a time

43 countries you can travel VISA-FREE with UK visa [2024 edition]

Updated: March 21, 2024 533 Comments

Travel Countries VISA-FREE with UK visa

One of the frequent questions I get is which countries can I visit with a UK visa. The short answer is the UK. The long answer is you can travel to 40 countries and territories VISA-FREE with UK visa.

I encourage you all to get a US visa or at least a Canada visa first. Both these visas are long-term visas. These visas offer VISA-FREE travel to quite a few countries. But if you happen to have a UK visa or applying for one, then it is still better than not having any visas at all. There are about 40 countries and territories you can visit with a UK visa.

UK tourist visas are mostly short-term (C-Type) visas valid for 6 months. The UK does issue long-term visas for 5/10 years but it would cost an arm and a leg.

The UK visa application is not the most difficult, but it can be stressful due to its lengthy processing times and lack of customer service.

Table of Contents

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER Visa requirements change constantly but we make every effort to keep the information accurate and up to date. We provide links to official sources wherever necessary, so you can conduct your own due diligence to verify the visa requirements before planning your trip. We shall not be held liable for any damages incurred as a result of using the information in this article. Refer to our full disclaimer for more information.

Which UK Visas are eligible?

United Kingdom UK Tourist Visa Image

Depending on the country, any of the below UK visas can be used.

  • UK Visitor Visa (Standard visitor and Short-term study)
  • UK Student Visa (Tier 4)
  • UK Work Visa (Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 5)
  • UK Transit Visa (DATV and Visitor in Transit)
  • UK Family Visa (Spouse)
  • UK Residence Permit (ILR and BRP)

Refer to each country below for permitted UK visa types. Some countries require the UK visa to be multiple-entry and have been used at least once to travel to the UK.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

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North America

Travel Countries VISA-FREE with UK visa - Guanajuato Mexico

  • Eligible nationalities: All nationalities
  • Permitted visas: All used/unused multiple-entry UK visas
  • Permitted resident permits: All valid ILRs (permanent resident cards)
  • Entry granted: Up to 180 days
  • UK visa or residence permit must be valid during the entire stay in Mexico
  • Passport must be valid during the entire stay in Mexico
  • Official source: National Institute of Migration, Mexico

WARNING UK BRP cards are NOT ACCEPTED to enter Mexico. Only valid/unexpired UK visas (visa sticker in the passport) or UK ILR cards (permanent residency) are accepted. Also, if you are from the African continent (ex: Nigeria, Ghana, etc.), please check with Mexican authorities before planning your travel. I’m hearing a lot of stories of entry refusals and deportations at Mexican airports.

RELATED: 53 countries you can travel VISA-FREE with a US visa in 2024

Central America

Travel Countries VISA-FREE with UK visa - Panama City

02. Costa Rica

  • Permitted visas: All valid used/unused multiple-entry Tier 1, 2, 4 or 5 visas (student and work only)
  • Permitted residence permits: All valid ILR and BRPs
  • Entry granted: 30 days
  • IMPORTANT: UK standard visitor visas are NOT accepted
  • UK Tier 1, 2, 4, 5 visas or BRPs must be valid for at least 3 months from the day of arrival
  • Official source: Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington DC, USA
  • Permitted visas: All valid used multiple-entry UK visas
  • UK visa or residence permit must have been used at least once to enter the UK before
  • UK visa or residence permit must be valid for at least 6 months from the day of arrival
  • Must show proof of economic solvency for a minimum of 500 USD
  • Original sources: Embassy of Panama in the USA

RELATED: 38 countries you can travel VISA-FREE with Canada visa in 2024

Beach of Catalina Island in Dominican Republic

04. Anguilla (British Territory)

  • Permitted visas: All valid used/unused multiple-entry UK visas
  • Entry granted: 90 days
  • Official source: The Government of Anguilla

05. Antigua and Barbuda

  • Permitted residence permits: A valid ILR (permanent resident permit)
  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT, but are eligible to obtain Visa ON ARRIVAL (VOA)
  • VOA fee is 100 USD, valid for 30 days, single-entry only
  • UK Visa must be valid for at least 6 months from the day of arrival
  • Official source: Department of Immigration, Antigua and Barbuda
  • Permitted residence permits: All valid ILR and BRPs (applies to all nationalities)
  • Official source: Netherlands Worldwide

07. Bahamas

  • Permitted residence permits: A valid ILR (permanent resident card)
  • Official source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Bahamas

08. Bermuda (British Territory)

  • UK visa or residence permit must be valid for a minimum of 45 days beyond the date of departure from Bermuda
  • Passport must be valid for a minimum of 45 days beyond the date of departure from Bermuda
  • Official source: Government of Bermuda

09. Bonaire (Dutch Territory)

10. british virgin islands (british territory).

  • Permitted residence permits: None
  • Entry granted: 180 days
  • Entry rule: UK visa must be valid for at least 6 months from the day of arrival
  • Official source: Government of the Virgin Islands (British)

11. Cayman Islands (British Territory)

  • Entry rule: Must arrive in the Cayman Islands directly from the UK. Arriving from a third country is not permitted.
  • Official source: Cayman Islands Customs and Border Controls

12. Curaçao

13. dominican republic.

  • Permitted visas: All valid used/unused multiple-entry UK visas, except transit
  • Entry rule: If arriving by land or sea, must pay a departure tax of 20 USD before departing. If arriving by air, the departure tax is included in the airfare.
  • Official source: Embassy of the Dominican Republic in the UK

14. Jamaica

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Dominican Republic
  • Entry rules: UK visa must be valid for at least 30 days from the day of arrival
  • Official source: Immigration Department of Jamaica

15. Sint Maarten

16. turks and caicos (british territory).

  • Official source: Ministry of Border Control of Turks and Caicos

RELATED: 53 countries you can travel VISA-FREE with Schengen visa in 2024

South America

Machu Picchu Peru

  • Official source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru

RELATED: 18 countries you can visit VISA-FREE with an Australian visa or PR in 2024

Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi, Georgia

18. Albania

  • Permitted visas: All valid USED multiple-entry UK visas
  • Entry rule: UK visa must have been used at least once to enter the UK
  • Official source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Albania

19. Armenia

  • Marshall Islands
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Timor-Leste
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkmenistan
  • Entry granted: 21 or 120 days
  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT, but are eligible to obtain Visa ON ARRIVAL
  • VOA fee is 3,000 AMD, valid for 21 days, single-entry (OR) 15,000 AMD, valid for 120 days, single-entry
  • Visa must be a STICKER in the passport, E-Visa prints are not accepted
  • Official source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia

20. Georgia

  • UK visa must be valid on the day of arrival in Georgia
  • Total duration of consecutive stays must not exceed 90 days in any 180-day period
  • Official source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

21. Gibraltar (British Territory)

  • UK visa must have been issued for at least 6 months or more
  • UK residence permit must have been issued for at least 12 months or more
  • Official source: Gibraltar Borders & Coastguards Agency

22. Ireland

  • North Macedonia
  • Permitted visas: A valid used multiple-entry UK short-stay standard visitor visa
  • Entry granted: 90 days or until the exit date on your UK entry stamp, whichever is shorter
  • Must enter the UK first before entering Ireland
  • Must enter and exit Ireland within the exit date on your UK entry stamp (this is different from the visa expiry date)
  • Can enter Ireland directly from the UK or elsewhere, but must enter Ireland within the exit date on the UK entry stamp
  • Official source: Department of Justice of Ireland

23. Moldova

  • Central African Republic
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • South Africa
  • Entry rule: The UK visa or BRP must be valid for the intended period of stay
  • Official source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova

24. Montenegro

  • Entry rule: UK visa must be valid for the intended period of the stay
  • Official source: Government of Montenegro

25. North Macedonia

  • Entry granted: 15 days
  • UK visa must be valid for at least 5 days beyond the intended period of stay
  • Total duration of consecutive stays must not exceed 3 months in any 6 months period
  • Official source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia
  • UK visa must be valid for the entire duration of the stay
  • Official source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia
  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria (those aged 15-18 and 35-65)
  • North Korea
  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT, but are eligible to apply for Turkey e-Visa online
  • eVisa fee is 43 USD, valid for 180 days, single-entry only
  • Official source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey

If you hold a UK visa or BRP, you can follow this  step-by-step guide to apply for Turkey e-Visa . This guide has step-by-step instructions and screenshots to help you fill out the application, pay the visa fee and download your approved e-Visa.

28. United Kingdom (Of course!)

  • Includes all parts of the United Kingdom: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • Includes British Crown Dependencies: Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (Bailiwick of Jersey and Bailiwick of Guernsey)

RELATED: 5 ways to get proof of onward travel for your next trip

Middle East

Dubai Global Village at Night

29. Bahrain

  • Entry granted: 14 days or 30 days
  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT, but are eligible to obtain Visa ON ARRIVAL or Bahrain eVisa
  • Single-entry VOA fee is 5 BD, valid for 14 days, entry up to 14 days
  • Multiple-entry VOA fee is 12 BD, valid for 3 months, entry up to 30 days
  • Single-entry eVisa fee is 9 BD, valid for 14 days, entry up to 14 days
  • Multiple-entry eVisa fee is 16 BD, valid for 1 month, entry up to 14 days
  • For VOA, the UK visa must be valid for the entire stay in Bahrain
  • For eVisa, the UK visa must be valid for at least 6 months from the day of arrival
  • Official source: Bahrain eVisa Portal
  • Burkina Faso
  • Congo, Dem. Rep. Of
  • Congo, Rep. of
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Sudan
  • Permitted visas: None
  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT, but are eligible to apply for Jordan E-Visa
  • The ILR or BRP must be valid for at least 6 months from the day of arrival
  • Official source: Jordan E-Visa Portal
  • El Salvador
  • Entry granted: 10 or 30 days
  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT, but are eligible to obtain Oman 26M or 26N Tourist Visa online
  • 26M eVIsa fee is 20 OMR, valid for 30 days, single-entry only
  • 26N eVIsa fee is 5 OMR, valid for 10 days, single-entry only
  • Official source: Sultanate of Oman, Royal Oman Police
  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT, but are eligible to apply for A3 Visa online on the Hayya portal
  • A3 Visa fee is QAR 100, valid for 30 days, single-entry only
  • Must provide hotel booking for the entire stay reserved through the Discover Qatar website
  • UK visa or BRP/ILR must be valid on the day of the A3 Visa application
  • Official source: Qatar Tourism Board

33. Saudi Arabia

  • Permitted visas: Valid USED multiple-entry UK standard visitor visa (other visas not accepted)
  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT, but are eligible to obtain Visa ON ARRIVAL or Saudi Arabia eVisa
  • VOA or eVisa fee is 300 SAR, valid for 1 year, multiple-entry (plus service fee and insurance fee)
  • UK visa must have been used at least once to enter the UK
  • Official source: Saudi Arabia Tourism Authority

34. United Arab Emirates

  • Permitted residence permits: All valid ILR, BRP and spouse visas
  • Entry granted: 14 days
  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT, but are eligible to obtain Visa ON ARRIVAL at all UAE airports
  • VOA fee is 100 AED, valid for 14 days, single-entry only
  • UK residence permit must be valid for at least 6 months from the day of arrival
  • Official source: Embassy of UAE in London, UK

RELATED: How to turn your weak passport into a strong passport (with examples)

Old Medina Marrakech Morocco

  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT, but are eligible to obtain Visa ON ARRIVAL at all international airports
  • VOA fee is $25 USD, valid for 30 days, single-entry only
  • UK visa must have been used to enter the UK at least once
  • Official source: Egypt Tourism Department

36. Morocco

  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT, but are eligible to apply for Morocco e-Visa
  • E-Visa fee is 770 MAD, valid for 180 days, single-entry only
  • UK visa or BPR/ILR must be valid for at least 90 days from the day of arrival
  • Official source: Morocco E-Visa Portal

RELATED: How to book flight tickets with 24 hour FREE cancellation on Expedia: A step-by-step guide

Travel Countries VISA-FREE with UK visa - Carabao Island in Philippines

  • Permitted visas: Valid multiple-entry UK RESIDENT visas such as student, work, etc.
  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT but are eligible to apply for  Japan eVisa
  • eVisa fee is JPY 3,000, valid for 90 days, single-entry only
  • Must submit  proof of residence  to prove that you reside in the UK
  • Must show the visa issuance confirmation via the eVisa website on your phone at the immigration (Prints and PDFs are not accepted)
  • Must enter Japan by flight only
  • Official source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

38. Kyrgyzstan

  • Permitted visas: All valid used/unused LONG-TERM multiple-entry UK visas, issued for at least for 3+ years
  • Entry granted: 7 days
  • UK visa must be a long-term visa issued for 3 or more years, visas issued for less than 3 years are not accepted
  • After entering Kyrgyzstan this way, you can only reenter Kyrgyzstan again after 21 days
  • Official source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan

39. Philippines

  • Passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of departure
  • Official source: Embassy of the Philippines in India

40. Singapore

  • Entry granted: 96 hours (4 days)
  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT but are eligible to obtain Visa Free Transit Facility (VFTF) upon arrival
  • Must be traveling to or from the country of passport. Example: Must be traveling to a third country from India via Singapore or traveling to India from a third country via Singapore. An example itinerary would be India-Singapore-Bali or Bali-Singapore-India.
  • Both arriving and departing flights in Singapore must be on the same itinerary
  • UK visa or BPR/ILR must be valid for at least 1 month at the time of arrival
  • Official source: Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority

41. South Korea

  • Eligible nationalities: All nationalities (except these 23 countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameron, Cuba, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan and Yemen)
  • Entry rule: Must be traveling to/from the UK through South Korea
  • Official source: South Korea Embassy in Washington DC, USA
  • Permitted visas: All valid/expired used/unused single/multiple-entry UK visas, except transit
  • Permitted residence permits: All valid/expired ILR and BRPs
  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT but are eligible to apply for ROC Travel Authorization Certificate online
  • ROC Travel Authorization Certificate is free of charge, valid for 90 days, multiple-entry
  • If using an EXPIRED UK visa or residence permit, the visa or residence permit must have expired in the last 10 years
  • Official source: Bureau of Consular Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan)

43. Thailand

  • Permitted residence permits: A valid ILR or BRP
  • Entry granted: 60 days
  • Visa is NOT EXEMPT, but are eligible to apply for Thailand e-Visa online
  • E-Visa fee is 40 USD, valid for 90 days or 180 days, single or multiple-entry
  • Must submit  proof of residence in the UK such as driver’s license, utility bill, etc
  • Thai E-Visa Portal

So, there you have it! 43 countries and territories you can travel VISA-FREE with UK visa.

Do you know any other country (I haven’t listed here) where you can travel VISA-FREE with UK visa? Let me know in the comments below.

Change history:  For those who are interested, here are the changes to this list.

WRITTEN BY THIRUMAL MOTATI

Thirumal Motati

Thirumal Motati is an expert in tourist visa matters. He has been traveling the world on tourist visas for more than a decade. With his expertise, he has obtained several tourist visas, including the most strenuous ones such as the US, UK, Canada, and Schengen, some of which were granted multiple times. He has also set foot inside US consulates on numerous occasions. Mr. Motati has uncovered the secrets to successful visa applications. His guidance has enabled countless individuals to obtain their visas and fulfill their travel dreams. His statements have been mentioned in publications like Yahoo, BBC, The Hindu, and Travel Zoo.

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Purchase travel medical insurance for your trip from SafetyWing . Insurance from SafetyWing covers COVID-19 and also comes with a visa letter which you can use for your visas.

Need more? Check out my travel resources page  for the best websites to plan your trip.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER We are not affiliated with immigration, embassies or governments of any country. The content in this article is for educational and general informational purposes only, and shall not be understood or construed as, visa, immigration or legal advice. Your use of information provided in this article is solely at your own risk and you expressly agree not to rely upon any information contained in this article as a substitute for professional visa or immigration advice. Under no circumstance shall be held liable or responsible for any errors or omissions in this article or for any damage you may suffer in respect to any actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the information in this article. Please refer to our full disclaimer for further information.

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please refer to our full disclosure for further information.

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Before You Go

Learn About Your Destination

While Abroad

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United Kingdom

Travel Advisory July 26, 2023

United kingdom - level 2: exercise increased caution.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise increased caution in the United Kingdom due to terrorism.

Country Summary:  Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in the United Kingdom. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

There is also a risk of isolated violence by dissident groups in Northern Ireland, focused primarily on police and military targets.

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to the United Kingdom.

If you decide to travel to the United Kingdom:

  • Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and crowded public venues.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and Twitter.com/Travelgov
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for the United Kingdom.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel and return to the United States.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .

Embassy Messages

View Alerts and Messages Archive

Quick Facts

Must be valid for the duration of your stay in the United Kingdom   (If you have onward travel to countries outside the United Kingdom, you should check the passport validity requirements for each additional country on their respective information pages.)

Must have at least one page

Not required for stays less than six months.

Embassies and Consulates

U.s. embassy london.

33 Nine Elms Lane London, SW11 7US United Kingdom Telephone: +(44)(20) 7499-9000 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(44)(20) 7499-9000 Fax: +(44) (20) 7891-3845 Email:   [email protected]

U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh, Scotland 3 Regent Terrace, Edinburgh EH7 5BW Scotland Telephone: 013-1556-8315 / from the United States: 011 (44)(13) 1556-8315 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  020-7499-9000 / from the United States: 011 (44)(20) 7499-9000 Fax: 0131-557-6023 /from the United States: 011 (44) 131-557-6023 Email:   [email protected]

U.S. Consulate General Belfast, Northern Ireland Danesfort House, 223 Stranmillis Road, Belfast BT9 5GR Northern Ireland, United Kingdom Telephone: 028-9038-6100 / from the United States: 011 (44)(28) 9038-6100 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 01253-501106 / from the United States: 011 (44) 1253-501106 Fax: 028-9068-1301 / from the United States: 011 (44)(28) 9068-1301 Email: [email protected]

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

  • To enter the United Kingdom, your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your planned stay.
  • Starting June 2019, U.S. passport holders will be able to use the ePassport Gates upon arrival in the United Kingdom. U.S. citizens who had previously registered for the UK’s Registered Traveller Service (RTS) should now also use the ePassport Gates on arrival in the UK.
  • If you are planning onward travel after departing the UK, note that many other countries require at least six months’ remaining validity on your passport to enter. If you are bound for Continental Europe, please see our  U.S. travelers in Europe page for additional details.
  • Visas for specific categories of visitors must be obtained prior to travel. Visit the  UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website to determine if you need a visa to enter the United Kingdom. We cannot intervene on your behalf when you apply for a UK visa, nor can we advocate for your admission into the UK if you are denied entry.
  • Students and prospective students should visit the  UKVI website  to determine if they need a visa.
  • For some U.S. travelers, especially students, an entry stamp is required.  Please consult this website  for more information.
  • Unpaid and paid workers, interns, volunteers, charity workers, and temporary workers can find information about obtaining a visa on the  UKVI website .
  • Visitors traveling to the United Kingdom to get married, even if they do not plan to reside there, must obtain a visa in advance. See the  UKVI website  for visa information.
  • Surcharges apply to certain categories of visas, generally those involving work, study, or residency for more than six months. More information is available on the  UKVI website  and in our Health section below.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of the United Kingdom.

Find information on  dual nationality ,  prevention of international child abduction  and  customs regulations  on our websites.

Safety and Security

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible near-term attacks in Europe. The UK Security Service publishes specific reasons for any changes in the threat level and recommended actions for the public via its  UK threat levels website .

There is the potential for  isolated violence  related to the political situation in Northern Ireland. The Police Service of Northern Ireland assesses there is a continued threat of violence from dissident groups in Northern Ireland, focused primarily on police and military targets, and may involve the use of  firearms  and  explosives . Tensions may be heightened during the summer marching season (April to August), particularly on and around the July 12 public holiday.

Avoid areas of demonstrations  if possible, and be careful within the vicinity of demonstrations. Demonstrations occur frequently in and around city centers and areas where tourists frequent. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate to violence.

The phone number for  police/fire/ambulance emergency services  is  999  in the United Kingdom and  112  in Gibraltar. You should also use these numbers to report security threats or suspicious packages. Also see information for  contacting police from abroad .

  • Be cautious and aware of your surroundings.
  • Be vigilant, as  pickpocketing ,  mugging,  and “snatch and grab” theft of mobile phones, watches and jewelry can occur.
  • Do not leave bags unattended in restaurants, pubs, hotel lobbies, and parked cars.
  • Be alert to other criminal schemes, such as  impostors  posing as undercover police officers and “fining” tourists for bogus minor offenses. A legitimate Metropolitan Police Services officer will never demand an immediate cash payment.
  • Use only licensed Black Cabs or pre-ordered car services (minicabs) . Unlicensed taxis or private cars posing as taxis may offer low fares, but in some instances, travelers have been  robbed  or  sexually assaulted  while using these cars. See Transport for London for additional information on cabs and car services .
  • Avoid using ATMs that look temporary in structure or location  or are located in isolated areas – they may not be legitimate. Use ATMs located inside a bank branch.

Scams : Before sending any money to individuals you have never met in person, visit the  Embassy London website  for more information about  internet financial scams  and how to protect yourself.

See the  Department of State  and the  FBI  pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime : Report crimes to the local police at 999 (United Kingdom) or 112 (Gibraltar) and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(44) (20) 7499-9000.

  • Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on  help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on  victim compensation programs in the United States
  • The Victim Support website  is maintained by an independent UK charity to help people cope with the effects of crime
  • A Northern Ireland-based independent charity maintains a similar  victim support website
  • In Scotland, victims of crime should contact  Victim Support Scotland
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support if you are destitute
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

Tourism:  The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance . 

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on  crimes against minors abroad  and the  Department of Justice  website.

  • You will be arrested if you bring pocket knives, blades, mace or pepper spray canisters, or any part of a gun into the United Kingdom . Please refer to the UK government publication  Travelling to the UK , which details the items visitors are prohibited from bringing into the United Kingdom.
  • Penalties against  alcohol-related  and other  in-flight  crimes committed aboard aircraft to and from the United Kingdom are stiff and are enforced with  prison sentences . Please also see  our information on U.S. customs regulations  covering your return to the United States.
  • Controlled Substances: UK law prohibits possession and trafficking of controlled substances and narcotics, including some substances that may be legal to possess under the law of certain U.S. states. More information on controlled substances is available here . Individuals who violate UK drug laws may face penalties including fines or prison sentences.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained in the United Kingdom, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our  webpage  for further information.

Special Circumstances:

  • The legal drinking age in the United Kingdom is 18. Parents and organizers of school trips should read our  Students Abroad website  to help plan a safe and enjoyable experience.
  • Scotland’s “drink drive limit” law was amended to a lower level (roughly .05 BAC) and is stricter than the rest of the United Kingdom (roughly .08 BAC). This means that  driving after even one drink  can result in a charge of driving under the influence.
  • The United Kingdom has very strict gun control laws, and importing firearms is extremely complicated.  Information on applying for a firearm and/or shotgun certificate can be found on the  London Metropolitan Police Firearms licensing webpage .  Licenses from England or Wales may not be valid in Scotland; please check with the appropriate authorities.  For firearms certificates for Scotland, please check with  Police Scotland .

Faith-Based Travelers:  See our following webpages for details:

  • International Religious Freedom Report  – see country reports
  • Human Rights Report  – see country reports
  • Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
  • Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

LGBTI Travelers:  There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in the United Kingdom.

See our  LGBTI Travel Information  page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report  for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:

  • UK law requires that all public service providers (except in the transportation sector) make “reasonable adjustments” to ensure their services are available to persons with disabilities.  Nevertheless, code exemptions permit many older buildings to have steps up from the street.
  • Getting around in cities may be difficult at times because sidewalks can be narrow and uneven.
  • Most London Underground and UK National Rail System stations are not readily accessible for people with disabilities.  Many stations do not have elevators, and have stairways and long corridors for changing trains or exiting to the street. Many UK buses are equipped with lowering platforms for limited-mobility or sight- or hearing-disabled travelers.
  • Many taxis have swivel-entry seats or retractable ramps to ease entry.
  • Disabled parking permits (known as “blue badges”) are issued by local government councils throughout the country. Visit the  UK government website  for contact information. Some councils may not offer permits to temporary visitors.

The  Transport for London  and  National Rail  websites provide information for passengers with disabilities.

Students:  See our  Students Abroad  page and  FBI travel tips .

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for  women travelers .

While medical services are widely available,  free medical care  under the National Health System (NHS) is allowed only for UK residents, certain EU nationals, and some visa holders.

An NHS surcharge is assessed on certain visa applicants at the time of application.  Tourists and short-term visitors will not be assessed the surcharge, but will be charged 150 percent of the cost of any medical treatment they receive from the NHS. Unpaid balances of £1,000 or more can result in being barred from return to the United Kingdom.

  • The U.S. government does not pay medical bills, and U.S. Medicare is not valid overseas.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides  coverage overseas . Most care providers overseas only accept  cash payments . See our webpage for more information on insurance coverage overseas.

  • We strongly recommend  supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation.

Carry  prescription medication  in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Traveling with sufficient supplies to last the duration of your trip is recommended. Mailing prescriptions is prohibitive and may be delayed or rejected by British customs.

Certain prescriptions available in the United States are classified as a "controlled drug"  in the United Kingdom and cannot be brought into the country without applying for and obtaining a prior license. This includes prescriptions for medical marijuana or products containing CBD and THC.  Please visit the https://www.gov.uk/travelling-controlled-drugs for additional information. 

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all  vaccinations  recommended for international travel by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

  • World Health Organization
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC)

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  Road conditions in the United Kingdom can differ significantly from those in the United States.

  • In contrast to the United States, UK traffic drives on the left.  Read the  Highway Code  before driving.
  • Emergency call boxes  (orange telephone booths with “SOS” printed on them) are found at half-mile intervals along motorways. White and blue poles point in the direction of the nearest call box. Call boxes dial directly to a motorway center. Use these phones rather than a personal cell phone, because motorway center personnel will immediately know your exact location.
  • Generally,  pedestrians do not have the right of way  and should not expect vehicles to stop for them.

Many U.S. citizen pedestrians are injured, some fatally, every year in the United Kingdom, because they forget that oncoming  traffic approaches from the opposite direction  than in the United States.  Exercise extra care when crossing streets; remain alert and look both ways before stepping into the street.

Traffic Laws: 

  • UK penalties for driving under the influence of  alcohol  or  drugs  are strict and often  result in prison sentences .
  • Using a  hand-held cell phone  or similar device while driving is  illegal  in the United Kingdom. Only hands-free phones may be used. You will be  fined , or in the case of an accident,  arrested  and serve time in  prison .
  • The speed limit on highways/motorways in the United Kingdom is 70 mph, or lower when posted.
  • You will be  detained  and  arrested  if you cannot provide a UK address to receive a subpoena or are about to depart the United Kingdom and have to be brought to court quickly for a motoring offense.
  • In Central London, a congestion charge is levied on all drivers who pass through the congestion zone. You will be  fined  or  arrested  if you do not pay the charge. See  Transport for London  for more information about driving in London.

Public Transportation:  Public transport in the United Kingdom is extensive.

  • Information on disruptions to London transportation services can be found on the  Transport for London  website.
  • Information about the status of National Rail Services can be found on the  National Rail Enquiries  website.
  • Bus and train service information in Northern Ireland can be found on the  Translink  website.
  • Bus and train service information in Scotland can be found on the  Traveline Scotland  website.

See our  Road Safety page  for more information. For specific information concerning UK driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, refer to the  UK Department for Transport  website or the  Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency  website.

Aviation Safety Oversight:  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of United Kingdom’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the  FAA’s safety assessment page .

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to the United Kingdom should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at  www.marad.dot.gov/msci . Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings website (select “broadcast warnings”).

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in the United Kingdom . For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA ) report.

Travel Advisory Levels

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Afghanistan

Antigua and Barbuda

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba

Bosnia and Herzegovina

British Virgin Islands

Burkina Faso

Burma (Myanmar)

Cayman Islands

Central African Republic

Cote d Ivoire

Curaçao

Czech Republic

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Dominican Republic

El Salvador

Equatorial Guinea

Eswatini (Swaziland)

Falkland Islands

France (includes Monaco)

French Guiana

French Polynesia

French West Indies

Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, and Saint Barthélemy (French West Indies)

Guinea-Bissau

Isle of Man

Israel, The West Bank and Gaza

Liechtenstein

Marshall Islands

Netherlands

New Caledonia

New Zealand

North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)

Papua New Guinea

Philippines

Republic of North Macedonia

Republic of the Congo

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Sao Tome and Principe

Saudi Arabia

Sierra Leone

Sint Maarten

Solomon Islands

South Africa

South Korea

South Sudan

Switzerland

The Bahamas

Timor-Leste

Trinidad and Tobago

Turkmenistan

Turks and Caicos Islands

United Arab Emirates

Vatican City (Holy See)

External Link

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Exemption of Visa (Short-Term Stay)

Japan has taken measures on the visa exemption arrangements for 71 countries/regions as shown in the chart below.

・Period of Stay

  • The period of stay granted at the time of the landing permission will be "15 days" for Indonesia and Thailand, “14 days” for Brunei, "30 days" for United Arab Emirates and Qatar, and "90 days" for other countries and regions.
  • (Note 1) For nationals of Indonesia (since December 1, 2014), visas are not required only for those who have registered ICAO-compliant ePassport to diplomatic missions of Japan in Indonesia (the embassy, consulates-general, or the consulate). Validity of the registration is three years period or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.
  • (Note 2) For nationals of Malaysia (since July 1, 2013), visas are not required only for holders of ePassport in compliance with ICAO standards. Those who do not hold such ePassport are advised to obtain a visa in advance, otherwise will be strictly examined and may be refused entry to Japan.
  • (Note 3) For nationals of Panama (since April 1, 2024), Brazil (since September 30, 2023), United Arab Emirates (since November 1, 2022), Thailand (since July 1, 2013) and Serbia (since May 1, 2011), visas are not required only for holders of ePassport in compliance with ICAO standards. Those who do not hold such ePassport are requested to obtain a visa in advance, otherwise will be refused to enter Japan.
  • (Note 4) For citizens of Hong Kong, visas are not required only for holders of Special Administrative Region (SAR) passport issued by the Hong Kong SAR of the People’s Republic of China or British National Overseas (BNO) passports who have the right of residence in Hong Kong.
  • (Note 5) For citizens of Macao, visas are not required only for holders of SAR passport issued by the Macao SAR of the People’s Republic of China.
  • (Note 6) Visa exemption arrangements for Taiwan is limited to passport holders with a personal ID number.
  • (Note 7) For nationals of Barbados (since April 1, 2010), Türkiye (since April 1, 2011) and Lesotho (since April 1, 2010), visas are not required only for holders of Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) in compliance with ICAO standards. Those who do not hold an MRP are advised to obtain a visa in advance, otherwise will be strictly examined and may be refused entry to Japan.
  • (Note 8) For nationals of those countries with visa exemptions permitting stays of up to 6 months under the bilateral visa exemption arrangements, those who wish to stay in Japan for more than 90 days are required to apply for an extension of the period of stay to the Ministry of Justice (Regional Immigration Bureau) before the period of permitted stay is to expire.
  • (Note 9) For nationals of Qatar (since April 2, 2023), visas are not required only for those who have registered ICAO-compliant ePassport to diplomatic missions of Japan (the embassy, consulates-general, or the consulate). Validity of the registration is three years period or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.
  • (Note 10)Nationals of Peru (since July 15,1995) and Colombia (since February 1, 2004) are advised to obtain a visa in advance, otherwise will be strictly examined and may be refused entry to Japan.

Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) in compliance with ICAO standards

(image 1) The identification data page with machine-readable passport data such as personal information

MRP in compliance with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standards has certain individual information, which is able to be read by computer, entered on the identity page of the passport.

ePassport in compliance with ICAO standards

(image 2) The passport that show the ICAO standard IC passport mark is printed on the cover page.

ePassport in compliance with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standards has IC chip that stores certain individual and biometric data including a digital image of the passport photograph. ePassport in compliance with ICAO standards has ePassport’s symbol on the front cover of the passport.

Related Links

  • VISA/Residing in Japan

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visit uk need visa

  • Visas and immigration

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South Africans lose visa-free entry to Ireland

visit uk need visa

South Africa and Botswana nationals are required to obtain a visa before travelling to Ireland, effective from Wednesday.

A transit visa will also be required if intending to transit through Ireland en route to another destination.

"This is a carefully considered decision which will bring Ireland into closer alignment with the Schengen area in respect of both countries, and into line with the UK in respect of South Africa," justice minister Helen McEntee said on Monday.

She said in recent years a significant number of international protection applications, which are referred to as refugee status in South Africa, have been received from nationals of Botswana and South Africa.

The Dublin visa office will establish a dedicated desk to process applications from South African passport holders. The department will also establish three visa applications centres in South Africa  with visa service provider VFS Global.

Transitional arrangements will be put in place for nationals of Botswana and South Africa who have existing arrangements made before July 10 2024 to travel to Ireland until August 9. Those  who have existing travel arrangements are advised to check irishimmigration.ie for further information.

Ireland is clamping down on illegal entry into the country.

More than 3,700 "doorstop" operations were carried out on flights that pose risks of irregular migration at Dublin airport in the first half of 2024, and more than 115 people were arrested for arriving without appropriate documentation in the same period.

World’s most powerful passports: SA’s ‘green mamba’ rises one spot

The government said its border management unit continues to provide training and 24-hour advice to airlines on how to identify and deal with immigration abuse. A review of carrier liability legislation has been completed and new increased levels of fines will soon  be introduced.

Other nationalities who require visas for travel to Ireland include Afghanistan, Bahrain, Belarus, Egypt, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, China, Qatar, Rwanda, Thailand, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

A year ago, South African passport holders had visa-free access to 106 countries. These include Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Argentina, Israel, Seychelles, Peru and Qatar. A visa was required for 121 countries, including Morocco, Mexico and Malta.

Two years ago a South Africa passport allowed citizens visa-free entry to 105 countries in the world, ranking it in 55th place from a high of 35th place in 2008 and 2009.

The government was advised then by travel experts to do more to reduce passport fraud to improve the rating and ensure an effective, automated evisa system to improve the processing of applications.

The world’s most powerful passports: Japan tops the ratings

New home affairs minister leon schreiber extends temporary visa concession, africa’s workers among the unhappiest, living the high life, and catching some rugby, in visa-free hong kong.

  • ‘A R5m lump sum and then R1m paid monthly to EFF’: Jailed VBS boss Tshifhiwa ... South Africa
  • 'How we looted VBS': Tshifhiwa Matodzi details how the now-defunct bank ... South Africa
  • VBS boss Tshifhiwa Matodzi ‘robbed of millions by attorney and associates’ ... South Africa
  • How disgraced Tshifhiwa Matodzi funnelled VBS funds via family South Africa
  • Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula asked for R4.5m and a wig, court hears South Africa

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visit uk need visa

Strict visa regulations students need to know before applying for US, UK, Australia and Canada

I n the same way as higher education dynamics are shifting worldwide, so are the guidelines for student visas. Since most students seek scholarships to study in other countries, it is vital to be updated with new visa regulations and conduct.

Many countries that attract international students, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the United States, have recently introduced many changes to visa regimes. This moderation is in an attempt to protect the sanctity of their systems of education while at the same time catering to international students.

Before students apply for study visas to a country, there is a lot they need to know as they are impacted by the new visa reforms:

Indians suffer financial loss of ₹ 109 crore due to rejected Schengen visas

United kingdom, starting in january 2024, the uk has implemented stricter rules for student visas:.

● Dependent Visas:

Except for PhD and postgraduate research students, dependent visas are no longer permitted for other international student categories.

● Work Visas:

International students can now only apply for a work visa after completing their program and securing a job with a start date post-course completion. There’s positive news for Indian students. It was confirmed in May that the duration of the Graduate visa route in the UK will not change until the UK parliament concludes its session. This means that the Graduate visa route remains intact for the immediate future, allowing international students (except PhD and doctoral students) to work in the UK for two years post-study. PhD and doctoral students can work for up to three years.

The Migration Advisory Committee also pointed out some of the practices of recruitment agents for international students. As a result, the UK government has designed stringent compliance rules for educational establishments related to these agents. Also, the TOEFL iBT score is recognised by all the universities in the United Kingdom.

Despite US EB-5 visa issuance surge in FY24 so far, Indians witness 22% decline

Canada has made significant changes to its student visa regulations for 2024:.

● Intake Cap: There is now a cap on international student permit applications.

● Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL): Undergraduate students must submit a PAL from a province or territory with their study permit application.

● Open Work Permits: These are now available only to spouses of overseas students marked in master's, doctorate and professional courses.

● Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC): The required GIC amount for living expenses has increased from C $10,000 to C $20,635.

These changes may limit the number of Indian students pursuing undergraduate programs in Canada but benefit those opting for master’s, doctoral, and professional programs, who can now obtain three-year post-study work permits.

Furthermore, IRCC recently endorsed four new language tests, TOEFL iBT for SDS applicants. The SDS route has a higher visa approval rate, and also that’s why it guarantees visa decisions within the three-week period.

Australia is implementing stricter policies concerning international students. Some key changes include:

● Genuine Student (GS) Requirement: Students must now make a mandatory appearance to fulfil this requirement.

● Increased Financial Requirements: Students must show proof of savings amounting to AUD 29,710 (roughly ₹ 16.3 lakh) to cover living expenses throughout their studies.

● Work Hour Limits: International students can work up to 48 hours per fortnight during study terms and semesters. In addition, the Australian government has also raised new application rates for future students from 1st July 2024 onwards for student visas. Applicants will also be charged AUD 1,600 as their application fee, up from AUD 710, indicating an increment of 125%. On a bright note, the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has now resumed the acceptance of TOEFL tests taken at the testing centre for all visa-related applications starting from 05 May 2024, after the department had suspended them last July for some reviews that were being conducted.

Australia boosts visa application fees for international students by 125%

United states.

The US has also introduced critical updates affecting international students:

● Document Authenticity: The US embassy has advised students against bringing any forged documents for the visa interview.

● Work Opportunities: The US has a system known as OPT that lets foreign students work for up to three years after they complete their course. Indian students like OPT because the programme offers a chance to gain work experience worldwide.

● Visa Processing: The US consular team in India is making significant efforts to reduce wait times for student visas. The team expects a rise in student visa applications for 2024, having issued a record 130,000+ student visas in 2023.

The most recent SEVIS data reveals that over 350,000 Indian students are presently enrolled in US institutions, positioning India as the leading source of international students comprising nearly 30% of the total international student body.

In 2023, for the first time in the GRE’s 80-year existence, India superseded the USA in terms of GRE test-takers, though Indian students' persistent desire to study in the US remains robust.

Growing Destinations for studying abroad Countries such as France, Germany, the European Union, and Ireland are becoming increasingly attractive to international students due to:

● Strong Public Higher Education Systems: The above-mentioned countries have sound systems of education.

● English-Taught Programs: English is now used in teaching programs more than ever in the past.

● Lower Cost of Living: On the issue of cost of living it is also considerably lower in these countries as compared to other conventional study destinations.

Read more news like this on HindustanTimes.com

Many countries that attract international students, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the United States, have recently introduced many changes to visa regimes.

IMAGES

  1. UK Tourist Visa: Requirements, Fees, Application & More *Updated

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  2. UK Visa Application Process and Requirements

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  5. UK Visit Visa

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COMMENTS

  1. Check if you need a UK visa

    You may need a visa to come to the UK to visit, study or work. Start now Before you start Find out about the visas you can get if you or your family member is from Ukraine.

  2. Visit the UK as a Standard Visitor: Apply for a Standard Visitor visa

    If you need a Standard Visitor visa, you must apply online before you travel to the UK and attend an appointment at a visa application centre. The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you ...

  3. Visit the UK as a Standard Visitor: Overview

    Visit the UK as a Standard Visitor for tourism, business, study (courses up to 6 months), medical treatment and other activities. Find out whether you need a Standard Visitor visa, or can visit ...

  4. Visiting the UK and Europe

    The UK government's UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website is your best source for information about UK immigration regulations and requirements. It includes an interactive tool to help you check whether or not you will need a visa. If your questions are not answered online, you can contact UKVI directly.

  5. Who Needs a UK Visa? List of Nationalities Who Need a Visa for the UK

    You only need a UK visa if you are from one of the following countries: *Only for holders of service and emergency passports. **If you have a valid Venezuelan biometric passport with an electronic chip, you do not need a visa. ***Citizens of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates can also apply for an electronic visa waiver (EVW ...

  6. UK Visitor Visa Requirements for Tourists

    The UK visa policy grants EU citizens and citizens of over 60 other countries the possibility to enter the UK visa-free for up to six months. However, all non-British nationals need to apply for a visa if they intend to stay longer. For example, if you are a US citizen, you can visit the UK without a visa for up to six months.

  7. Brief info for U.S. Visitors to the United Kingdom

    The State Department's Background Notes: United Kingdom gives basic statistics on the UK, a brief account of U.S./U.K. relations and some background on U.K. government and politics. The State Department also from time to time issues travel warnings and country specific information on travel to particular countries.

  8. PDF Uk Visa Requirements

    UK VISA REQUIREMENTS ALL nationals of the countries and territories listed below in red (underlined) need visas to enter or transit the UK. ALL nationals of the countries and territories listed below in black need visas to enter or transit the UK landside. ALL visa nationals may transit the UK without a visa (TWOV) in certain circumstances.Please see below for details.

  9. Visa requirements for visiting the United Kingdom

    The UK government has a handy online guide to help you check if you need a UK visa . Britain is not a member of the Schengen Zone, so you will need to show your passport when arriving and leaving from a UK border point. Visas are generally not needed for stays of up to six months for tourism or visiting friends and family.

  10. UK tourist visa: Requirements and application procedure

    To visit any of these four countries, you would need a UK tourist visa. UK tourist visas are valid for 6 months and you can stay up to 180 days in the UK. The UK tourist visa application process is long and there is no status tracking. Make sure to start your UK visa process at least two months from your intended date of travel to the UK.

  11. UK Visitor Visa Requirements & Application Guide

    Currently, the UK visitor visa costs £100 for the standard 6 month stay. If you are travelling for medical reasons, the cost is £200 for six months, or £200 for academic visitors. Longer-term visit visas cost £376 for the 2-year visit visa, £670 for the 5-year visit visa or £837 for the 10-year visit visa.

  12. Apply for UK Visa From USA

    To apply for a UK visa in USA, you must follow these steps: Find out if you need a visa for UK. Complete the Online UK visa application form. Book an appointment to provide Biometrics. Attend the visa interview. Complete the Online Application form. After determining whether you need to apply for a UK visa from the US you can begin the ...

  13. Getting a visitor visa for family and friends

    If your visitor doesn't need a visa, they might need to get an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) before they travel to the UK. You can check if your visitor needs an ETA on GOV.UK. Some visitors can scan their own passport at an 'eGate' instead of speaking to an immigration officer. Check who can use the eGates on GOV.UK.

  14. U.S. Travelers Will Soon Have to Pay to Enter the U.K

    Karl Hendon/Getty. U.S. visitors—as well as visitors from Europe, Australia and Canada —will soon be required to apply for permission to enter the U.K. through a new scheme known as Electronic ...

  15. How to apply for a visa to come to the UK

    If you want to visit the UK. Apply for a Standard Visitor visa to visit the UK for up to 6 months. For example: for a holiday or to see family and friends. for a business trip or meeting. to do a ...

  16. Travel advice and advisories for United Kingdom

    Student visa: required. You may need a work permit or visa even if you plan to do: unpaid work; volunteer work; part-time work; temporary work; A marriage visitor visa is also required if you plan to get married or register a civil partnership in the United Kingdom. You must apply online for your visa before you travel to the UK.

  17. Can a US green card holder travel to UK without visa: A comprehensive

    Yes. US citizens can travel to the UK without a visa. US passport holders can enter and stay in the UK for up to 180 days without a visa for purposes of tourism or visiting family or friends. Your US passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the day of arrival. You must also carry proof of return or onward ticket.

  18. 43 countries you can travel VISA-FREE with UK visa [2024 edition]

    The short answer is the UK. The long answer is you can travel to 40 countries and territories VISA-FREE with UK visa. I encourage you all to get a US visa or at least a Canada visa first. Both these visas are long-term visas. These visas offer VISA-FREE travel to quite a few countries.

  19. Visa requirements for British citizens

    The current British passport. Visa requirements for British citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of the United Kingdom.. As of 2024, British citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 192 countries and territories, ranking the British passport 4th in the world according to the Henley Passport Index.

  20. Ambassador Gormley on New Visa Requirement for Nationals from South

    Any person who books travel to Ireland after 10th July cannot avail of the limited transitional arrangements and will need to have obtained an Irish visa in advance of travel, even if travelling to Ireland before 10th August 2024. Persons who are in possession of a valid Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card do not separately need to have an Irish ...

  21. gov

    Minister McEntee immigration visa South African Botswana nationals Visa Applications Centres VACs VFS Global travelling transit Dublin Airport ... having regard for the need to ensure that effective immigration controls are in place whilst also facilitating those who wish to travel to Ireland for the purposes of a visit, to work, to study, or ...

  22. United Kingdom International Travel Information

    Visit the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website to determine if you need a visa to enter the United Kingdom. We cannot intervene on your behalf when you apply for a UK visa, nor can we advocate for your admission into the UK if you are denied entry. Students and prospective students should visit the UKVI website to determine if they need a visa.

  23. Visit the UK for a holiday or to see family or friends

    Depending on the country you're from, you might be able to visit the UK without a visa or by applying for an electronic travel authorisation. Check if you need a visa Step 3 : Apply for a visa

  24. PDF Irish visa introduction for South Africa and Botswana nationals, July

    Irish visa introduction for South Africa and Botswana nationals, July 2024 - FAQs PAGE Q1. I am a South African or Botswanan national. I booked my travel to Ireland before 10 July 2024 and I am due to arrive in Ireland before 10 August 2024. Do I need a visa to come to Ireland? 2 Q2. I am a South African or Botswanan national and booked my ...

  25. Exemption of Visa (Short-Term Stay)

    (Note 6) Visa exemption arrangements for Taiwan is limited to passport holders with a personal ID number. (Note 7) For nationals of Barbados (since April 1, 2010), Türkiye (since April 1, 2011) and Lesotho (since April 1, 2010), visas are not required only for holders of Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) in compliance with ICAO standards.

  26. Visas fall by a third after crackdown on immigrants bringing families to UK

    Visas fall by a third after crackdown on immigrants bringing families Number of dependants moving to UK fell from almost 180,000 to just under 115,000 in the first six months of this year

  27. Immigrant Visas

    You may wish to review our Directory of Visa Categories - usvisas.state.gov to learn about the different types of immigrant visas to the United States, including our Diversity Visa Program. Then, follow the steps on the Immigrant Visa Process, or on the Diversity Visa Process, on usvisas.state.gov to begin applying for an immigrant visa.

  28. Visit the UK

    Visit the UK Visit for tourism, business or a short stay (up to 6 months), airport transit visas. Find out if you need a visit visa Check if you need a UK visa; Ways to visit the UK

  29. South Africans lose visa-free entry to Ireland

    Transitional arrangements will be put in place for nationals of Botswana and South Africa who have existing arrangements made before July 10 2024 to travel to Ireland until August 9.

  30. Strict visa regulations students need to know before applying for US

    Visa Processing: The US consular team in India is making significant efforts to reduce wait times for student visas. The team expects a rise in student visa applications for 2024, having issued a ...