Regulated by the OISC. Ref No. F201400926

Professional, Expert and Affordable Immigration Advice



Do I need a visa?

The following is an extract from the Immigration Rules:

“A person who is neither a British citizen nor a Commonwealth citizen with the right of abode nor a person who is entitled to enter or remain in the United Kingdom by virtue of the provisions of the 2006 EEA Regulations requires leave to enter the United Kingdom.”

“The following must produce to the Immigration Officer a valid passport or other identity document endorsed with a United Kingdom entry clearance issued to him for the purpose for which he seeks entry:”

“(i) a visa national;”

“(ii) any other person (other than British Nationals (Overseas), a British overseas territories citizen, a British Overseas citizen, a British protected person or a person who under the British NationalityAct1981 is a British subject) who is seeking entry for a period exceeding six months or is seeking entry for a purpose for which prior entry clearance is required under these Rules.”


The short answer to the question is as follows

If you are NOT a British Citizen or a Commonwealth Citizen and wish to visit the United Kingdom for a period not exceeding 6 months as a tourist, you will need a visa which may be granted at the border when you arrive in the UK, but only if you are NOT a Visa National (i.e. a person who is NOT a citizen of one of the countries listed below). If you ARE a Visa National (i.e. a person who IS a citizen of one of the countries listed below) you will need to apply for Entry Clearance BEFORE you arrive at the border in the UK.

If you are seeking to gain entry for a period longer than 6 months (for example as a student, for work, to get married etc.) then you will need to apply for Entry Clearance BEFORE arriving at the border in the UK regardless of whether you are a Visa National or not.

Nationals or citizens of the following countries or territorial entities are known as Visa Nationals

Afghanistan Dominican Republic Laos Serbia
Albania Ecuador Lebanon Sierra Leone
Algeria Egypt Lesotho Somalia
Angola Equatorial Guinea Liberia South Africa
Armenia Eritrea Libya South Sudan
Azerbaijan Ethiopia Macedonia Sri Lanka
Bahrain* Fiji Madagascar Sudan
Bangladesh Gabon Malawi Surinam
Belarus Gambia Mali Swaziland
Benin Georgia Mauritania Syria
Bhutan Ghana Moldova Taiwan*
Bolivia Guinea Mongolia Tajikistan
Bosnia Herzegovina Guinea Bissau Morocco Tanzania
Burkina Faso Guyana Mozambique Thailand
Burma Haiti Nepal Togo
Burundi India Niger Tunisia
Cambodia Indonesia Nigeria Turkey*
Cameroon Iran Oman* Turkmenistan
Cape Verde Iraq Pakistan Uganda
Central African Republic Ivory Coast Peru Ukraine
Chad Jamaica Philippines United Arab Emirates*
People’s Republic of China* Jordan Qatar (v) Uzbekistan
Colombia Kazakhstan Russia Venezuela
Comoros Kenya Rwanda Vietnam
Congo Korea (North) Sao Tome e Principe Yemen
Cuba Kuwait* Saudi Arabia Zambia
Democratic Republic of the Congo Kyrgyzstan Senegal Zimbabwe

* Exceptions Apply

(b) Persons who hold passports or travel documents issued by the former Soviet Union or by the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

(c) Stateless persons

(d) Persons travelling on any document other than a national passport, regardless of whether the document is issued by, or evidences nationality of, a state not listed in paragraph (a), except where that document has been issued by the UK


  • Working in the UK

    Whether you have been offered a job with UK Company, or maybe you’re an entrepreneur or even a sportsperson, you will need to apply to the Home Office for Entry Clearance before entering the UK. There are many categories of work visa and it is vital to make the correct application.

    Find out more
  • Visiting the UK

    Not all visitors to the UK need to apply for a visa before entering the UK as a tourist. There are many categories of visitor and you must know under which section you are applying. UKIVC will advise and assist you in your application.

    Find out more
  • Studying in the UK

    Student Visa Applications fall under the Points Based System and can be lengthy and complicated. Understanding the rules sometimes requires expert advice. Our advisers here at UKIVC are experienced, friendly and able to assist with your application.

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  • EEA Nationals

    The rules surrounding EEA Nationals are different to those for people applying from outside of the EU. If you are coming to work, visit or apply for settlement as a non EU resident who is husband/wife/partner of an EU resident we can help and assist with the correct procedure and application.

    Find out more
  • Joining family in the UK

    If you are married to a UK citizen and wish to join him/her with a view to settling in the UK you will need to apply to the Home Office for Entry Clearance if you are outside the UK, or Leave to Remain if you are already in the UK. Submitting the correct evidence is absolutely essential for an application to be successful and expert advice is highly recommended.

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  • Appeals and Asylum

    As UKIVC has been regulated by the Office of The Immigration Commissioner to Level 3 we are able to assist clients in their application for asylum. If you have the right to appeal for a failed application we are also able to represent you at tribunal.

    Find out more