Visa Requirements for British Citizens
Visa requirements for British citizens are the applicable for citizens of the United Kingdom rules and regulations that must be followed upon any international travel.
Visa requirements state whether or not British citizens will need a visa to enter a selected foreign country and if they need one, which visa type can they use.
Citizens of the United Kingdom can visit 109 different destinations with no visa on hand. The only document needed for that kind of travel would be either a valid passport or a valid ID, depending on the selected country.
There are also 34 countries that offer an electronic visa option for British citizens visiting, making it possible to get their visas online a few days before the planned trip. The approved document gets delivered to each applicant via email in the form of a PDF file.
41 countries allow British citizens to handle their visas upon their arrival at one of the border control checkpoints. Travelers that wish to get a Visa on Arrival should check the specific VoA requirements applicable to the specific country to be visited and prepare the needed documents before departure.
Lastly, there are 30 countries that require British citizens to present a valid Embassy-issued visa upon their arrival. Embassy-issued visas are regular, traditional visas that usually require numerous supporting documents and have lengthy processing times.
Detailed information on each visa type available for British citizens, including lists of countries for every visa/entry type, is available below.
An electronic visa is an electronic alternative to a regular visa that is issued by official authorities of foreign countries. eVisas are issued as short-term travel authorization documents and are usually processed within a maximum of 72 hours.
List of countries offering eVisas for British citizens
- Ivory Coast
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Saudi Arabia
- Sri Lanka
34 countries offer an eVisa option for British citizens to use upon their international travels. This means that citizens of the United Kingdom can apply for their visas online a few days before their planned trip.
What’s usually needed to apply for an eVisa is simply a valid passport, which expiry date will extend beyond six months from the planned arrival at the selected country. Other than that, eVisa applicants will need an active email address and access to any online payment method.
Completing the eVisa application process takes up to a few minutes and can be done entirely online. The approved travel authorization document gets delivered to each traveler via email in the form of a PDF file, which can easily be downloaded and printed for the travel.
Issued eVisas can be used for short-term stays abroad, usually 30, 60, or 90 days, for all leisure, business, or transit-related reasons, such as going on vacation, visiting one’s family or friends, handle any business matters abroad, attend a conference, meeting, trade fair, or simply taking a layover while transiting.
Visa on Arrival
A Visa on Arrival is a short-term (usually 30, 60, or 90-day) visa handled upon arrival at the selected country. British citizens who wish to visit VoA destinations should go to the closest border control checkpoint and complete the visa application process there to receive their travel authorization documents.
List of countries that offer a Visa on Arrival for British citizens
- Burkina Faso
- The Maldives
- Papua New Guinea
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- Sierra Leone
- The Solomon Islands
- Sri Lanka
- The United Arab Emirates
41 countries make it possible for British citizens to get their visas upon arriving at the selected destination.
To get a Visa on Arrival, travelers should be prepared for the application process. Thus, the first step is to check if there are any supporting documents to collect before departing.
With the complete paperwork on hand and one’s valid passport, travelers should go to the nearest border control checkpoint after arrival at the selected destination, and ask for a VoA application form.
The application form should be filled out thoroughly and with correct data to avoid any issues with approval. The completed form should be submitted along with the required supporting documents at the border checkpoint.
Additional steps, such as providing further supporting documents or covering the visa issuing fee (sometimes in cash using local currency) may be required.
The approved document can be used for leisure, business, and transit purposes upon short stays abroad.
An Embassy visa is a regular visa that is obtained after completing an in-person application process at an Embassy or Consulate. Embassy-issued visas may come in various types, including short and long-term ones, even those allowing its holder to work, study, or join a significant other abroad.
List of countries that require British citizens to present a valid Embassy visa upon arrival
- The Central African Republic
- The Republic of the Congo
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- North Korea
- South Sudan
30 countries make it obligatory for citizens of the United Kingdom to present a valid Embassy visa upon their arrival.
The first step in obtaining an Embassy visa is choosing a specific type that corresponds with the purpose of one’s trip abroad. Next, it’s necessary to collect the required documents that may differ in between different countries and Embassy visa types.
With the collected paperwork a filled application form (obtained from the official government website of the country to be visited), travelers should submit their application at an Embassy or a Consulate and wait for approval.
Some countries may require additional steps to be taken, including an in-person visa interview or covering the visa issuing fees. Moreover, Embassy visas may take quite some time to get processed, even up to a few weeks. That is why it’s crucial to start the application process well ahead of the planned departure.
109 countries welcome British citizens visa-free. This means that visiting these destinations from the United Kingdom does not require any type of visa to be handled.
Check the list of visa-free countries for British citizens.
Traveling visa-free from the United Kingdom will either require British citizens to prepare their valid passports or IDs, depending on the selected destination.
When traveling within the Common Travel Area by land, British passport holders do not need to present even an ID upon arrival. However, traveling by air or sea requires having a valid ID.
Other countries not included in the Common Travel Area will require British citizens to prepare their valid passports. Moreover, some countries may require additional documents supporting the purpose of the planned trip, e.g., proof of hotel bookings, a return ticket, or proof of having sufficient funds for the stay.
Visa-free travel serves perfectly for short-term stays relating to leisure, business, or transit, including vacation, business meetings, trade fairs, conferences, layover, family visits, and more.