Visiting the UK Entry Requirements

UK Customs

UK Customs - © Ralf Roletschek

For visitors travelling to the UK it is important to check the entry requirements in advance of your trip. The information in the visiting the UK entry requirements guide gives travellers a better understanding of the main requirements the UK currently has on visitors coming to these shores. For visitors to the UK it is advisable to familiarise your self with the expected requirements to ensure you get the correct visa/comply with requirements.

The guide outlines the passport and visa requirements along with customs and excise considerations and information on where to find UK Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates around the world.

Entry Requirements for Visiting the UK

Passports & Travel Documents
Customs & Excise
UK Embassies, High Commissions & Consulates

Passports & Travel Documents

Visitors should try to ensure they have more than 6 months validity on their passports when travelling, this can help stop any potential problems not only in the UK but in any other countries you may be visiting.

Upon arriving at a UK airport or port of entry, immigration officers will want to see your passport. The passport must be a valid national passport, this is used to establish your identity and nationality. Alternatively if you do not have a passport for any valid reason, a valid travel document needs to be shown. Visitors may be asked questions regarding the purpose of their visit and to establish whether you have permission to enter the UK.


Visitors may require a visa to enter the UK, with is dependent on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. There are no visa requirements for nationals of European Union member states. There are also no visa requirements for US and Canadian nationals for visits less than six months.

Visas are required if you a national from one of the countries identified as requiring a visa, (details are on the UK Visa website).

If you are stateless or if you hold a non-national travel document.

For the latest information on visa entry requirements and to establish whether you require a visa depending on the purpose of your visit please see: UK Visas

Customs & Excise

For visitors to the UK from outside the EU, you are allowed to bring in certain amounts of goods before being liable to pay duty or tax. Visitors bringing bring up to the allowable amounts will not be liable for duty and tax, whilst those that bring over the allowable amounts will be subject to a duty or tax charge.

At entry ports there are usually a choice of 3 channels for visitors to go through, these are:

Red Channel

Use this channel if you have good to declare or

Have commercial goods or

Are unsure what you should declare.

Green Channel

Use this channel if you are travelling from a country outside the European Union and

Have No goods to Declare

Have no goods deemed as restricted or banned.

Blue Channel

Use this channel if you are travelling from a country within the European Union and

Have No goods that are restricted or banned

Have No tobacco products that go above the import limits of that country

Visitors from another European Union country do not face restrictions on alcohol and tobacco, you can bring in as much as you wish to however do bear in mind you may have to satisfy customs officials that the goods are for your personal use only and have not been brought back for resale.

Visitors to the UK should make sure they pack their bags themselves and there is nothing in their baggage or on their person that is deemed illegal, the penalties for smuggling in illegal goods are severe.

For further information on UK Customs & Excise, the duty free allowances and goods that are banned & illegal please see: UK Customs & Excise

UK Embassies, High Commissions & Consulates

For visitors coming to the UK, a useful source of information on UK entry requirements, including finding out if you need a visa for you holiday, business or study trip to the UK and getting more information about the UK is the local UK Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. Within commonwealth countries the UK diplomatic presence is referred to as the High Commission rather than Embassies.

For worldwide locations and contact details of UK Embassies, High Commissions & Consulates please see: UK Embassies Worldwide

For the locations and contact details of Foreign Embassies, High Commissions & Consulates in the UK please see: Foreign Embassies in the UK

The guide is intended to give travellers considering visiting the UK useful information on the entry requirements in operation currently in the UK. Please note: The information given has been given in good faith and to the best of our knowledge at the time. Due to the dynamic nature of entry requirements and rules and regulation on customs and immigration, it is recommended that you check on the UK Visas website for the latest rules and procedure.

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Disclaimer: The information given in on this website is given in good faith and to the best of our knowledge. If there are any discrepancies in no way do we intend to mislead. Important travel details and arrangements should be confirmed and verified with the relevant authorities.
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