Brexit and reports that US citizens may soon need to apply for visas when traveling to Europe are inundating the news. Most important is for Americans to understand the current immigration policies, particularly if they want to acquire a UK tourist visa.
UK Tourist Visa on Arrival
As of March 2017, US citizens do not need to apply for any tourist visas prior to their arrival in the United Kingdom. If anything, the UK is one of the more lenient countries for US passport holders, requiring no minimum validity, as opposed to the typical six months. However, if you do have an extended stopover at Heathrow Airport and plan to continue on to another country in Europe, your passport should be valid for at least six months.
Currently, Americans may enter the UK without a visa for stays up to 90 days.
When Should you Apply for a UK Visa?
– If you’re planning to study in the UK
– If you’re planning to get married, even if you will return home after the ceremony
– Volunteers and interns should apply for a visa prior to entry
In addition, if you plan on working in the UK, you should apply for a visa well in advance of your arrival.
Do you need a new passport before you travel?
If you are considering traveling to the UK in the next few months, just remember it’s always a good idea to have a passport with at least six months’ validity. Even though the UK doesn’t require it for entry – you can pass through immigration as long as your passport is valid through your stay – if your travel plans change, you’ll be grateful for the flexibility. A new US passport will be valid for ten years and have 52 pages.
Are you planning on traveling to the UK soon? Do you have any travel tips?