Planning to travel to the United Kingdom? If it is just a tour or business trip, a US passport will suffice. However, if you are traveling for other reasons, a visa may be required. There are different visas that may be issued to you depending on your purpose. Here are some of the most common visa types for those who are traveling to the United Kingdom:
If you are a US resident but currently do not have a passport, a visitor visa will be issued to you. You need to provide a valid permanent resident card, a valid US visa, or employment authorization card to be eligible.
If you intend to study at a UK school or institution, the Tier 4 visa is the appropriate visa for you. It is valid for as long as you are taking your selected course. There are also student visas for short-term courses.
Business Visitor Visa
If you intend to visit the United Kingdom for business purposes, and is presently a US resident but no US passport, then this is the right visa for you. You need to provide a valid permanent resident card, a valid US visa, or employment authorization card to be eligible.
Visa Allowing for Work in the UK
This is Tier 2 visa and is granted for those who were hired due to shortage of qualified workers in the UK. However, there might be other circumstances that may require a different visa so do inquire first. If you are being transferred by your company to England, the right visa is a Tier 2 intra company transfer visa.
If you have a family member of a resident who is living or working in the United Kingdom and desire to live with them, you should apply for a settlement visa so you can gain entry into the country. This is applicable if you are a spouse, civil partner, fiancée or civil partner to be, unmarried partner, minor dependent (child or adopted child), parent or grandparent of the UK resident.
If you are passing through the United Kingdom to another destination and does not have a US passport, the transit visa may be required. Whether air, car, or sea travel, the transit visa may have two subcategories:
- Direct Airside Transit: If you are transferring to another plane in the same airport for less than 24 hours.
- Visitor in Transit: For all others.
Take note that if you have a US passport, you are exempted from the Transit Visa.