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Tourist visa to travel to England

A UK tourist visa is an administrative authorization that entitles a foreign citizen to enter and stay in the UK for a fixed period. A visitor’s visa to the UK takes the form of a stamp in the traveler’s passport. A tourist visa is issued if the foreign national meets the specific visa requirements.

For a tourist stay of less than 6 months: It is not necessary to obtain a British tourist visa. Simply apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) by clicking on the online ETA form.

Who needs a UK visa?

People wishing to visit, study, work or join family in the UK may need a visa to stay in the UK. Requirements for obtaining a travel visa vary according to nationality, reason for visit, length of stay and the applicant’s personal circumstances and skills. Irish citizens do not need a visa to enter the UK.

How do I apply for a British visa?

You can apply for a visa online via the UK Border Agency website. Here are the steps involved in applying for a British visa online:

  1. Complete the online visa application form
  2. Justify the reason for the trip

Complete the online visa application form

The visa application process must be initiated online at The online process is guided step by step. Completing the online application form is the first step in applying for a UK visa. The online visa application form for the United Kingdom contains questions about personal information such as:

Justify the reason for the trip

Applicants for a UK tourist visitor visa must justify the reason for their trip. The British consular authorities ensure that the reason for the trip is legitimate and complies with the conditions for granting a visitor visa.

Applicants must provide details of the reason for their stay and present :

When should I apply for a UK visa?

It takes at least a few weeks to process a UK visa application. The time taken depends on the number of applications being processed by the British embassy in the applicant’s country of origin. Applicants must start their visa application 2 months before the start of their stay in the UK.

What does a tourist visa for the United Kingdom look like?

The tourist visa for the United Kingdom takes the form of a passport page with a photo of the holder that respects specific dimensions. The passport photo must be less than 6 months old when provided for visa purposes.

Photo visa United Kingdom
Photo of a UK type C visa

How much does a tourist visa for the UK cost?

The administrative fees to be paid to obtain a British visa are as follows for the main types of tourist visas:

Type of British visaFees payable in 2024
Short-stay visitor visa (up to 6 months)£115
Long-stay visitor visa for up to 2 years£400
Long-stay visitor visa up to 5 years£771
Long-stay visitor visa up to 10 years£963
Air transit visa£35
Land transit visa£64
Fees for the main British tourist visas

How long does it take to obtain a tourist visa?

The processing time for a UK visa can take from a few weeks to a few months. Visa processing times vary from country to country. Timescales depend very much on the workload of your British embassy. If you don’t hear from the embassy, be patient and wait for them to contact you to let you know whether or not your visa for England has been granted.

What is the PBS points-based visa system?

The PBS (Points Based System) is used for certain types of British visa. Candidates accumulate points based on their skills, job offer, salary and other criteria.

The PBS points score plays a central role in the UK visa process, and is an essential tool for ensuring the integrity and reliability of the UK visa system.

ETA and visa waiver for the United Kingdom

Since the end of 2023, the UK has launched its electronic travel authorization system for eligible foreign nationals. This online system is called ETA for Electronic Travel Authorisation. It only takes a few minutes to complete the online ETA form.