Visa Requirements for UK citizens

Discover the visa requirements for British citizens for all the countries around the world.

Visa Requirements for United Kingdom Citizens

Visa requirements for citizens of the United Kingdom vary according to the administrative entry restrictions determined by the authorities of other states.

Citizens of the United Kingdom have visa-free access to around 190 countries and territories, and are able to obtain an eVisa for over 20 nations around the world. It is necessary for British passport holders to apply for a consular or embassy visa in order to enter around 30 countries.

The British passport ranks eighth in the world on the Henley Passport Index, measured in terms of travel freedom. In 2016, the World Tourism Organization concluded that the British passport ranked first in the world for travel freedom.

Despite being able to enjoy a high level of visa-free (and eVisa) travel, British passport holders should be sure to check the visa requirements for British citizens before planning a trip to any foreign country.

Most territories with visa-free or eVisa access for British citizens permit travelers from the United Kingdom to spend between 14 and 360 days in the territory. For longer stays, travelers may be required to apply for a visa extension or obtain another visa type from a diplomatic mission.

The type of visa a British individual requires depends on the purpose of the stay, whether for business, to work or trade, or to study.

Whether citizens of the United Kingdom require a visa or not, it is necessary to have a valid British passport to gain entry into a foreign country or territory.

The minimum validity required for British passports varies depending on the country or territory to be visited. Minimum passport validity can be from 30 days up to six months. It may also be necessary for British citizens to ensure their passport has one or two blank pages in order to receive entry or exit stamps.

Other types of UK nationals, such as British Overseas Nationals, British Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens, British Protected Persons or British Subjects, have different visa requirements.

List of Visa Countries for British Passport Holders in 2020

Unless visiting a visa not required country for UK nationals, British citizens need a visa to visit their destination.

This will either entail obtaining a visa from the destination country’s consulate or embassy in the United Kingdom or applying online for electronic travel visa authorization (or eVisa).

Over 20 countries around the world require British citizens to obtain an eVisa. This type of visa can be applied for online simply and conveniently, eliminating the need to travel to an embassy or consulate in order to submit a visa application.

Citizens of the United Kingdom require an embassy visa to visit around 30 countries, with varying requirements for British passport holders. A visa is required to enter these countries no matter the duration and purpose of the intended stay.

In some cases, a visa on arrival type can be obtained upon entry to a country, but often requires waiting in a queue at the border.

Find below a list of the main countries for which British citizens require a visa.

Electronic Travel Visa Authorization

Online electronic travel visa authorization enables British passport holders to apply for online visas and electronic visa waivers for a destination country using the internet. Online application removes the need to visit a consulate or embassy to submit an application in person.

UK passport holders require electronic travel visa authorization to visit more than 20 countries and territories.

In order for British citizens to travel to some visa-free countries, it is necessary to register for an online visa waiver prior to traveling. Travelers will receive the visa waiver via email before departure. This is the quickest and easiest method of obtaining travel authorization.

Many countries that require UK citizens to obtain a visa, allow travelers to submit an online eVisa application prior to traveling. In some situations, applicants will need to supply additional documents, which can also be submitted electronically.

Many online visa waivers and eVisas permit British passport holders to enter the destination country multiple times for a period of between 28 and 90 days with each entry.

Depending on the country, an electronic travel visa authorization for UK citizens can be valid for multiple years, meaning there is no need to submit an application before each trip.

Electronic visa waivers and eVisas are often electronically linked to an applicant’s passport. In some cases, it is possible for travelers from the United Kingdom to simply use their passport to demonstrate authorization to enter the country of destination. Other countries require visitors to print out a copy of the approved visa waiver or eVisa and carry it with them for the duration of the stay.

Processing times for eVisas vary, so travelers should take this into consideration when planning their trip.

Browse the cards below to discover the countries that citizens of the United Kingdom are permitted to visit by applying for electronic travel visa authorization.

Countries for nationality

Embassy Visa Required

Citizens of the United Kingdom are required to apply for a consular or embassy visa in order to enter around 30 countries and territories worldwide.

A consulate or embassy visa is a type of travel document that British nationals must obtain from a government diplomatic office in advance of their visit to the country of destination.

In order to apply for an embassy visa, it is usually necessary for British citizens to make a visa appointment at the destination country’s embassy or consulate in the United Kingdom. If residing abroad, UK passport holders are usually able to apply at the consulate or embassy of their country of residence.

The application process usually requires applicants to complete an embassy visa application to bring to the appointment, as well as various supporting documents. The documents required will vary depending on which visa the British traveler is applying for.

It is recommended that travelers submit a visa application well in advance of their intended arrival date in the destination country. In some cases, it may take several weeks for British nationals to receive approval for an embassy visa.

Uk citizens may be granted an embassy visa for a variety of durations of permitted stay and as either a single- or multiple-entry travel document.

The type of visa issued depends on the purpose of the trip – for work, study, tourism, or business, for example.

Below you will find the main destinations that require British nationals to obtain an embassy visa.

Transit Visa Further Information

British citizens may transit without a visa through China for either 72 hours or 144 hours through several designated border entry checkpoints in the country. UK travelers are advised to check in advance which points of entry qualify for these exceptions under the transit visa policy.

Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan count as third countries under the 72 and 144-hour visa-free transit policy. For longer stays in China, British citizens will be required to obtained to obtain a transit visa from a diplomatic mission in order to pass through the country.

Visa Not Required

A travel document such as an electronic authorization or a visa is not required for British passport holders for around 190 countries around the world.

Many South American and Southeast Asian territories, European countries, and African nations currently allow British citizens to visit without a visa.

British citizens can travel to visa-free countries for varying periods, from 14 days to more than a year, depending on the country of destination.

In order to gain entry to any of the visa-free countries for UK citizens, travelers are simply able to present a valid British passport upon arrival. In most cases, British nationals are permitted to visit these countries visa-free for purposes of tourism, business, or to transit onto an onward destination.

If British travelers wish to travel to visa-free countries for longer periods or in order to work or study, they will be required to apply for a consular or embassy visa for their destination. An embassy visa should be applied for well in advance of their intended date of arrival into the country.

Below you will find a complete list of the countries that do not require British citizens to obtain a visa.

Visa Not Required: Country list

Click on the links below to find out more about each country

ETIAS for UK Citizens

Following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union in January 2020, British passport holders are advised to pay close attention to EU visa requirements and policies for travel beyond December 31st, 2020.

Until a formal agreement is reached regarding visa requirements for British citizens traveling to the EU and EEA (except Ireland), it is assumed that British nationals will become visa-exempt third country nationals.

From 2021, it may be necessary for citizens of the United Kingdom to apply for travel authorization through ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) to apply for. However, this is yet to be confirmed. Please check the ETIAS information page for update.

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