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Do I need a Visa? – UK and Europe

July 2, 20154 minute read
UK and Europe

If you’re travelling to the UK and Europe, there quite a lot of countries to visit so it’s good to know if you’ll be queuing for entry every time to move on.

Do I need a Visa – UK and Europe?

Regardless of where you are travelling and whether you need a visa or not, please check the expiry date on your passport first. Most countries won’t allow entry if you will have less than 3 months remaining when you are due to leave, so ensure that your passport has at least six months left to run when you make your entry.

It’s also a good idea to take evidence that you plan to return to your home country at the end of your stay. (Bank account / evidence of your employment etc is useful.

United Kingdom

Citizens of Australia, Canada, US do not need a visa to visit the United Kingdom as long as they have a valid passport and sufficient funds to support their stay. This also applies for citizens of other EU countries, carrying a valid national ID.

In addition, passport holders of the following countries are eligible for visa-exemption for stays in the UK of up to 6 months or 3 months if they enter from the Republic of Ireland: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, Timor-Leste, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong (SAR passport), Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macau (SAR passport), Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, FS Micronesia, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Taiwan (some restrictions), Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City (conditions)

Travellers from some countries, including Passport holders of Oman,Qatar and United Arab Emirates may obtain an electronic visa waiver online. Citizens of a number of countries including some African, South American and South East Asian countries require a visa. This includes transit past immigration (landside) but not if they remain airside.

A larger group of passport holders require a visa for any type of visit and transit.

In any case, if you are unsure, or suspect that the arrangements for your type of passport may have changed recently, check with the official United Kingdom Government information. If you need to apply for or extend a UK visa, or apply for a transit visa, these links will help.


Holders of Australian, Malaysian, New Zealanders and Japan planning to spend less than a total of 90 days within a 180 day period in the ‘Schengen area’ are included in the list of tourists who do not require visas for countries which are parties to the Schengen Convention. Citizens of the United States, Canada and a number of South American countries also enjoy this status.  There may be some conditions for holders of passports for some countries. Citizens of other EU countries, carrying a valid national ID may move freely between the countries.

Please note that changes will be made to this access from 2020. Visitors will have to apply for authorisation (ETIAS) prior to leaving from home. Check the details HERE. You can also check if your country of citizenship is included.

The following countries are parties to the Schengen Convention: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. 

Much of the rest of Asia and Africa, along with some South American countries, require a visa. Citizens of some of these countries also require a visa for transit.

If you are required to apply for a visa, make your application to the country you consider your main destination, or the country you will visit first, it is up to them to approve or deny a multiple entry visa. This LINK will give you more information on the Schengen area and information on making the Visa application HERE.

If you are planning to visit non – Schengen countries, check the individual country’s government website for visa requirements.

The non Schengen countries include Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, parts of Russia, part of Turkey, Ukraine, Montenegro, Serbia as well as Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican, Iceland.

Other useful information

One other important thing to remember is non-visa related, but useful to keep in mind. Not all countries in Europe use the Euro as their official currency, even if they are part of the Schengen area. Among these are Switzerland and Czech Republic. You may purchase Swiss Francs before you arrive in Switzerland. Czech Kroner can only be purchased once you are in Czech Republic.

# Europe, Schengen area, United Kingdom, Visas
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