British Customs - passports and visas | VisitBritain

Customs and immigration

Before you arrive...

Make sure you have the appropriate identification and the correct visa before you get here:

Passports

To enter the UK you will need to show a valid passport, or national identity card if you are an EEA citizen. If you are not an EU national, you will need to show further documentation, including a landing card, and you may need a visa. For detailed information please refer to www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk 

Visas

You may need to acquire a visa before you travel to Britain, if you are not a British citizen or a citizen of one of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries.

Nationals from some countries will need a visa whatever the reason they are travelling to the UK, while nationals from other countries may only need a visa for a particular reason; for example, to marry and live with a British citizen.

If you have a valid passport and UK visa, you will normally be granted entry to the UK. When you arrive in Britain your visa tells UK immigration:

  • The reason you are travelling to Britain
  • How long you are allowed to stay
  • The last day you are allowed entry
  • Entry clearance follows strict rules and procedures.

For full details about visa requirements and application procedures, visit UK Visas.