Despite its seeming complexity, the rules are very simple. You don’t need a visa to enter the UK if you are a British citizen. If you are an EU national, you may want to double-check the rules in the near future, but you don’t need a visa for now.
You do not need a visa if:
- you are NOT a visa national list; AND
- you are going to visit the UK for less than 6 months; AND
- you do not have the intention of marrying in the UK or working or doing anything inconsistent of activities of visitors;
If you ARE on a visa national list (see below) OR intend to remain in the UK for more than 6 months, you’ll need to apply for a visa. In legal terms, it is known entry clearance. It is prior permission from the UK Immigration authorities to enter the UK. It should be made at either British Embassy or British High Commission (if in Commonwealth countries).
Visa National List
|Central African Republic||Pakistan|
|People’s Republic of China*||Philippines|
|Cuba||Sao Tome e Principe|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Saudi Arabia|
|Equatorial Guinea||South Africa*|
|Jamaica||United Arab Emirates*|
There are almost always exceptions to the rules. The ‘star’ symbol: [*] next to the country indicates that there is some kind of an exception to the rule.
a) nationals or citizens of the People’s Republic of China who hold a passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; or
b) nationals or citizens of the People’s Republic of China who hold a passport issued by the Macao Special Administrative Region; or
c) nationals or citizens of Taiwan who hold a passport issued by Taiwan that includes in it the number of the identification card issued by the competent authority in Taiwan; or
d) people who hold a Service, Temporary Service or Diplomatic passport issued by the Holy See; or
e) nationals or citizens of Oman who hold a diplomatic or special passport issued by Oman; or
f) nationals or citizens of Qatar who hold a diplomatic or special passport issued by Qatar; or
g) nationals or citizens of the United Arab Emirates who hold a diplomatic or special passport issued by the United Arab Emirates; or
h) nationals or citizens of Turkey who hold a diplomatic passport issued by Turkey; or
i) nationals or citizens of Kuwait who hold a diplomatic or special passport issued by Kuwait; or
j) nationals or citizens of Bahrain who hold a diplomatic or special passport issued by Bahrain; or
k) nationals or citizens of South Africa who hold a diplomatic passport issued by South Africa; or
l) nationals or citizens of Vietnam who hold a diplomatic passport issued by Vietnam; or
m) nationals or citizens of Indonesia who hold a diplomatic passport issued by Indonesia.
For Citizens of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates Nationals or Citizens Only
If you are a citizen or a national of one of the above countries, you can travel to the UK without a visa. This is despite the fact that your country is on the visa national list. You can do so if you hold an Electronic Visa Waiver Document.
The application process for an Electronic Visa Waiver Document is online and is relatively straightforward. You can make an application BY CLICKING HERE.
Exceptions to the Exceptions
Guys, one final thing. Even if, after reading this article you discovered that one of the exceptions does apply to you – it’ll only work if you are NOT:
1. visiting the UK to marry or to form a civil partnership, or to give notice of this; or
2. seeking to visit the UK for more than 6 months.