Who Needs and doesn’t Need a UK Visa?

You are going to visit the UK but don’t know whether you need a UK visa or not. It can seem a bit tricky, especially after Brexit. But it is easier than you think.

This article will explain whether you need a visa or not and explain a guaranteed way to make sure of it.

Who Needs a UK visa?

Whether you need a UK visa or not depends on:

  • The lengths of your stay
  • Your nationality
  • The reason or purpose of your trip

The above factors have an impact on whether you need a visa or not.


The duration of your stay

There are a short-stay and long-stay for the UK visa. Providing that you stay in the country for up to six months, it is a short-stay. When you stay for longer than six months, it is long-stay. Determine the lengths of your stay before doing anything.


Your nationality

A few nationalities do not need a UK visa for short-stay. At the same time, almost anyone needs a UK visa for long-stays. You can see the below section to make sure you need a visa or not. If you are exempt from the UK short-stay visa, you must have a valid passport or valid travel document.


The purpose of your visit

When you need a UK visa for short-stays, it must be compatible with your visit’s purpose. The purpose of the visit could be:

  • Tourism
  • Visiting friends and family
  • Business
  • Study
  • Work

Bear in mind that the visa you choose must fit the purpose of your visit.

The following countries need a visa for short-stays in the UK:


Botswana Namibia
Mauritius Seychelles



Brunei Israel Malaysia South Korea
East Timor Japan Maldives Taiwan
Hong Kong Macau Singapore



Andorra EEA members Monaco Vatican City
EU members EFTA members San Marino


North America

Antigua and Barbuda Dominica Nicaragua
Bahamas El Salvador Panama
Barbados Grenada Saint Kitts and Nevis
Belize Guatemala Saint Lucia
Canada Honduras Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Costa Rica Mexico United States of America



Australia Papua New Guinea
Kiribati Samoa
Marshall Islands Solomon Islands
Micronesia Tonga
Nauru Tuvalu
New Zealand Vanuatu


South America

Argentina Chile Trinidad and Tobago
Brazil Paraguay Uruguay



If you are from one of the above countries, then you need a visa for short-stays. The length of your stay isn’t important. You need a visa even to stay for one day.


Who does not need a UK visa?

The UK was part of the EU. Brexit has caused a few confusion over visa rules for the UK. But it is still part of the Schengen agreement. But the EU nationals still are exempt from the UK short-stay visa. The rules might change or stay the same after January 1, 2021. Until then, the EU nationals do not need a short-stay visa.

The following countries are free of the UK short-stay visa for now:


Afghanistan Georgia Kyrgyzstan Palestinian Authority Thailand
Armenia India Laos Philippines Turkey
Azerbaijan Indonesia Lebanon Qatar Turkmenistan
Bahrain Iran Mongolia Russia The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Bangladesh Iraq Nepal Saudi Arabia Uzbekistan
Bhutan Jordan North Korea Sri Lanka Vietnam
Burma (Myanmar) Kazakhstan Oman Syria Yemen
China (PRC) Kuwait Pakistan Tajikistan



Albania Moldova
Belarus Montenegro
Bosnia-Herzegovina Serbia
Northern Cyprus Ukraine
Kosovo Vatican City



Algeria Egypt Libya Sierra Leone
Angola Equatorial Guinea Macedonia Somalia
Benin Eritrea Madagascar South Africa
Burkina Faso Ethiopia Malawi Sudan
Burundi Gabon Mali Swaziland
Cambodia The Gambia Mauritania Tanzania
Cameroon Ghana Morocco Togo
Cape Verde Guinea Mozambique Tunisia
The Central African Republic Guinea Bissau Niger Uganda
Chad Ivory Coast Nigeria Zambia
Comoros Kenya Rwanda Zimbabwe
The Democratic Republic of the Congo Lesotho Sao Tome & Principe
Djibouti Liberia Senegal


North America

Colombia Haiti
Cuba Jamaica
Dominican Republic


South America

Bolivia Peru
Ecuador Surinam
Guyana Venezuela





How to make 100% sure you need a UK visa?

There is another way to know whether you need a UK visa. It is different from the mentioned above way. We can call it the most guaranteed way.

You can visit the UK government’s officials website to know whether you need a visa or not. Working with this site can seem a bit complicated. So read the following guideline.

When you enter the site, there is a box that you can pick your country. Choose the country you live in. if you have dual citizenship, pick the country that you will travel with its passport.

You have to choose the purpose of your visit to the next step. There are different options. So you have to get one that fits the purpose of your visit.

Then the duration of your stay comes in. It is:

  • Up to six month
  • Longer than six months

Choose the lengths of time that first with your stay. Now the site will tell you whether you need a visa or not. If not, you can enter the UK with your passport. If not, apply for the visa that is compatible with your trip’s purpose.


Who Needs a UK visa for long-stays?

Almost anyone needs a UK visa for long-stays. By long-stay I mean staying longer than six months. The type of visa you need depends on the purpose of the visit. It could be work, study, etc.

If you don’t need a visa for long-stays, you have to get a Residence Permit. You must get it when you are inside the country.


Let’s sum up…

This article explained whether you need a visa or not. You can find out whether you need a UK visa for short-stay. Also, it covered how to make sure you need a UK visa or not.

If you want to know more about other UK visas, visit the left-sidebar.

In case you need to know about other country’s visas, go to the Visa Library’s home page.

Visa applicants would appreciate it if you write your experience as comments in the section below.

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