Why Do I Need a Visa to Travel? [Discover the Countries Which Require a Travel Visa as a UK Passport Holder]

Luke Iles – Uploaded 27.06.2023

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What countries require a visa to travel as a UK passport holder

As a UK passport holder, there are some countries in the world that require more than just your typical passport requirements for travel in order to enter the country. Instead, you may require additional legal travel documents such as a travel visa that gives you permission to enter the country for a specific period of time.

A visa is a travel document that allows you to enter another country for a specific period of time as declared by the travel visa. Typically, you have to apply for a visa before travelling to that specific country either through an embassy, online government website or via a consulate.

A visa allows a non-immigrant to travel to a different country which may not have a visa policy in place with their home country. Many countries across the world have visa policies and agreements with each other which means that they allow those countries’ citizens to travel freely between these countries without having to apply for a visa.

However, some countries may not have this agreement in place with your home country resulting in you having to sign up and be accepted for a travel visa. The time it takes to be accepted for a travel visa depends from country to country ranging from a few days to a few months. In order to avoid disappointment it is always best to do your travel research on the specific destination you are planning to visit so you will not be left in disappointment if you do require a visa last minute. Instead by doing research you can plan ahead and get your visa confirmed for everyone who is planning to travel to a certain destination.

Lots of people ask, “Why do I need a travel visa?” throughout this article, we will explore the importance of a tourist visa as well as which countries require a travel visa if you hold a UK biometric passport.

visa application paper approved on the table with a cup of tea

What is the purpose of a tourist visa for international travel?

The purpose of a tourist visa when travelling to a destination country is to allow individuals to visit a foreign country for tourism or leisure purposes. A tourist visa is a document issued by the destination country and its government. It grants temporary entry and stays to foreign visitors who intend to engage in tourism activities.

It is important that travellers research and comply with the visa requirements for entry to a country before making travel plans. Consulting the official government website or contacting the nearest embassy or consulate regarding your tourist visa can help provide you with up-to-date and accurate visa information.

A tourist visa allows temporary entry and stays for a few weeks to a few months for travel. This type of visa prohibits any type of work or business-related activities and in order to obtain a tourist visa, someone must meet the country’s entry requirements. These requirements may involve completing an application, providing necessary travel and legal documents and paying visa fees. The visa policies and requirements vary between countries and some nationalities may be exempt from getting visas altogether.

We recommend doing your research before visiting any country you are planning to enter when going on holiday.

The different types of tourist visa?

The four most common types of visas include a tourist visa, business visa, work visa, transit visa and student visa. It is important that when you look to apply for your visa, you choose the right one. This could be for tourist purposes, education, business or transit. It is important you choose the correct one otherwise your visa may be rejected and not be allowed to visit that specific country for your required purpose.

A tourist visa is a type of visa that provides conditional authority to a foreigner that allows them to enter, remain or leave a territory or country within a certain number of days.

A business visa is a travel authorization that allows an entrepreneur or company employee to visit and enter a foreign country for business purposes.

A work visa allows you to enter and stay in a country whilst doing an eligible job from an approved employer.

A transit visa are non-immigrant visas that are used for people travelling in immediate and continuous transit through a specific country with few exceptions.

A student visa allows non-immigrant students the ability to pursue an education in a specific country.

By having a good understanding of what the different types of visas consist of and which one you should choose, you will be able to pick the correct one so you can have more chance of being accepted and doing the things you want to do within the specific country which requires you to have a visa.

Which countries need a travel visa when travelling from the UK?

visa papers on table

As a UK passport holder, we are fortunate in that we have visa-free travel to over 190 countries and territories across the world. A UK passport can also obtain an E-visa which is an electronic, online visa for over 20 countries across the world.

The following countries allow United Kingdom passport holders to provide visa on arrival in the following 35 countries:

  1. Bahrain
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Burkina Faso
  4. Burundi
  5. Cambodia
  6. Comoros
  7. Egypt
  8. Guinea-Bissau
  9. Jordan
  10. Kuwait
  11. Laos
  12. Lebanon
  13. Madagascar
  14. Malawi
  15. Maldives
  16. Mauritania
  17. Nepal
  18. Palau
  19. Papua New Guinea
  20. Rwanda
  21. Samoa
  22. Saudi Arabia
  23. Seychelles
  24. Sierra Leone
  25. Solomon Islands
  26. Somalia
  27. Saint Helena
  28. Tajikistan
  29. Tanzania
  30. Timor-Leste
  31. Togo
  32. Tonga
  33. Tuvalu
  34. United Arab Emirates
  35. Zimbabwe

Upon arrival at the immigration checkpoint in the countries listed above you will need to complete the required visa paperwork and documentation alongside paying the relevant visa fee. The immigration officer in that country will then issue the visa granting you access into the country on a tourist visa for a specific time frame and reason.

The following 10 countries require UK passport holders to apply for an E-visa:

  1. Angola
  2. Azerbaijan
  3. Benin
  4. Djibouti
  5. Ethiopia
  6. Guinea
  7. India
  8. Kenya
  9. Myanmar
  10. Uganda

An electronic visa, also known as an E-visa, is a digital visa that can be applied for online and sent to the applicant’s email. Processing times and visa exception rates depend on the country you are planning to visit as well as the types of documents required to apply.

The following 28 countries require UK passport holders to apply for a regular visa before visiting the country:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Algeria
  3. Bhutan
  4. Cameroon
  5. Central African Republic
  6. Chad
  7. China
  8. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  9. Republic of the Congo
  10. Ivory Coast
  11. Cuba
  12. Equatorial Guinea
  13. Eritrea
  14. Ghana
  15. Iran
  16. Liberia
  17. Libya
  18. Mali
  19. Nauru
  20. Niger
  21. Nigeria
  22. North Korea
  23. Russia
  24. South Sudan
  25. Sudan
  26. Syria
  27. Turkmenistan
  28. Yemen

Visa processing times, gees and required documents vary depending on the destination country. To obtain this type of visa you will need to apply at the destination country’s embassy or consulate providing the required travel documents such as a passport, photograph, itinerary, proof of finances and other requirements to apply for a visa.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you should now have a fully comprehensive idea of the reasons why you need a tourist visa as a UK passport holder as well as all the visa restrictions and countries that require UK passport holders to also apply and be accepted for travel visas to enter their country.

The UK is fortunate to have plenty of destinations which allow visa-free travel for people who hold a valid passport. However, that being said it is still important to make sure that you plan your holiday and do your research so that you can identify whether you will require a travel visa or not.

It is also important to remember not to leave your visa planning to the last minute as most tourist visas can take months to be accepted depending on the country you are hoping to visit, even if it is a short visa. On top of that many visas can be very stringent with various requirements you will need to pass in order for the visa to be granted.

It is important to remember that you will need a valid passport as well as a tourist visa if the country requires a UK passport to have one. We recommend that to avoid disappointment do your research and ensure you only use reputable government or official embassy websites and platforms to pay for your visa to ensure you do not get ripped off and scammed. As always research is pivotal when travelling and in order to have a good time, be prepared and sign up for your visas early to avoid disappointment and panic.

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Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to HandL Blogs at no cost to you if you decide to purchase through these links. These are products we have personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

Luke Iles

Luke Iles

Luke is a leading travel writer within the travel niche and is also a co-founder of HandL Blogs one of the UK’s leading travel blogging websites. Luke has a love of all things travel.

Initially becoming friends with his other co-founder, Harry, at the age of four years old, they let their love for travel evolve, making it their mission to visit every country in the world!

Today they want to share their passion and experiences of travelling across the globe with written blogs on topics that are most important to them. From travel, cooking, fitness and tech blogs!

Whether that be trying new food in a new country and sharing it in a cooking blog; visiting a new gym in a certain city and reviewing it in a fitness blog or learning about the newest tech within the travel industry.

Read Luke's Story

 Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to HandL Blogs at no cost to you if you decide to purchase through these links. These are products we have personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

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