Planning where you’re next jetting off to is always fun, but there are plenty of considerations that need to be made. One, in particular, is if you need a visa for that destination. In this article, we provide insight into when you need a visa to travel abroad.
Since Brexit came into action, there’s no doubt that visas are being spoken about more, especially in the coming year. With the EU rules frequently changing, it can be off-putting for UK travellers, meaning many might choose to take their family holiday elsewhere.
Perhaps you might decide to visit the land down under or go where the magic happens, to Disneyland Florida. But no matter where you decide to go, you need to know whether you require a visa.
If you are planning a family trip to a country that requires a visa, a family visa lawyers will be able to assist with the process, so you have more time to plan ahead for the big trip, whether that’s writing your packing list, planning your route or something else. Keep reading to find out more about when you need a visa to travel abroad…
What Are Each Country’s Requirements For Having a Visa?
Each country has their own regulations for which places they do and don’t require to have a visa when travelling. These also take into account others factors, such as how long the visa is valid and whether it must be acquired before travel or on arrival.
Most countries in the world allow UK citizens to stay in their country for some time without a visa or only requiring an e-visa or visa-on-arrival. If you want to be exact on numbers, it currently stands at a total of 183 countries.
The EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein
You can stay 90 days in every 180 days in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Any amount of time that exceeds this point will require the traveller to have a visa.
However, despite this requirement at some period in 2023, the law concerning travel to these countries is set to change for visa-exempt visitors. What this exactly means is that even for short trips to these countries, an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) will be mandatory.
While the ETIAS is not a visa, it is a travel document. The travel document can be obtained online for a small fee each time and lasts for a period of three years. If the visitor does not have this document, they will be unable to enter any of these countries.
For the countries of Algeria, Ghana, Sudan, Mali and Nigeria, British citizens are required to apply online for a visa before travel.
When travelling to Egypt, British citizens do require a visa, but this can be obtained on arrival. This, however, does not apply to the resorts of Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba, where British tourists can stay visa-free in these places for up to 15 days. Any travel outside these areas will, however, require a visa.
South Africa and Morocco do not require visas from British citizens.
UK travellers that want to visit Australia will need to acquire a visa before arrival before they can adventure the wonderful land of Oz. There are, however, different types of visas available depending on the type of travel and your age range.
For those that are only looking to acquire an eVisitor visa, this will permit them to explore the country for up to 90 days.
New Zealand’s requirements are similar to those of Australia, with visitors needing to apply for the NZeTA visa in advance. The one difference between these two types is that the New Zealand visa lasts for a period of two years.
North America is another country that requires those travelling from the UK to have a visa before landing on their soil or even the plane. The visa requirement is an ESTA, which allows those desperate to explore the wonders of the USA to travel for up to 90 days.
If you are interested in visiting the land of the maple, you’ll need to have your visa sorted before stepping onto the plane. Canada requires Brits to have an eTA. Normally the maximum amount of time the visa allows you to stay in Canada is 6 months, but this will be decided at the border.
The majority of countries in South America, except Suriname, don’t require British citizens to have a visa on arrival. This, however, doesn’t mean you can roam South America for as long as you like. The visa-free allowance lasts for 90 days and will require travellers to obtain one once this time is up.
Whether you need a visa to visit Russia entirely depends on the type of travel you are doing. For example, those who arrive via an authorised cruise or ferry can stay in the country for up to 72 hours without the need for a visa. However, this 72-hour waiver only applies to specific cities, including St Petersburg, Kaliningrad and Vladivostok.
If you are entering the country a different way, you will need to obtain a visa before arrival.
Whether you need a visa in China depends on where you are going. For Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan, you do not need a visa to visit. Other areas of China do, however, require a visa, and this must be applied for in person before travelling to the country.
Thailand, Japan, Indonesia (including Bali), Vietnam, Singapore and Sri Lanka do not require having a visa before travel, but there will be a maximum number of days you can stay in the country. Check their entry requirements online to find out more.
If you are going on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the UAE, either visiting Dubai or Abu Dhabi or perhaps even treating yourself to both destinations, you can arrive in the country and be provided with a 30 days free tourist visa.
Turkey is similar to the UAE but for a longer duration of 90 days in any 180-day period.
Visiting other countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, will need British tourists to have acquired a visa before travel.
Whether You Require a Visa Depends on Where You’re Going
What we can conclude from this article is that for most countries in the world, needing a visa isn’t an issue for Britons and in most instances, if a visa is required, you can get it upon arrival.
The best thing to do if you are travelling is to check the visa requirements. Sometimes visas can take a long time to process, so it’s imperative that you do this well in advance, so you are prepared for your trip and don’t face any issues.
What country’s visa requirement surprised you the most? Let us know in the comment box below.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a legal professional if you’re seeking advice about your travel visa. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.