Traveling to the United Kingdom
Updated last year

The United Kingdom is one of the countries that have attracted the largest number of tourists and expats over the years. The diverse culture, beautiful landscape and the unmatched attractions are some of its strengths. Beyond this, there is a strong and prosperous economy that provides a wide range of opportunities for different types of profiles. But how do you qualify to move to the United Kingdom?

As of 2018, the United Kingdom is the 6th most popular tourist destination worldwide, with more than 40 million tourists visiting the country. In 2018 alone, it welcomed nearly 19.83 million visitors. The UK now stands behind Bangkok with a difference of 500,000 visitors. Moreover, foreign professionals make up 40% of the population in the UK.


Citizens of the EEA and EU can travel freely to the UK with their valid national ID card or passport issued in their home country. They are also allowed to work.

Visitors coming from outside the EEA or EU are required to apply for a visitor's visa either online or at the British embassy or consulate in their home country.

If you're planning to travel to the UK, the earliest time to apply for your visitor visa is three months before the intended date. The visa should be issued within three weeks following application if you satisfy all existing conditions. Keep in mind that the visa approval and duration of stay can depend on various factors including your country of origin. In general, the visitor visa allows you to stay in England for at least six months.

Working in the UK

During your stay on a visitor visa, you are not allowed to undertake any paid or unpaid job in the UK. However, you can study for at least 30 days. Find more information regarding work and professional visas in the UK in our Expat Guide.

Good to know:

The UK is not part of the Schengen area. You may travel to other European countries with a Schengen visa, but you won't be able to use it when entering the United Kingdom. You will, therefore, need a valid visa which is delivered by the British Embassy or British Consulate.


As an EU or EEA citizen travelling from any European country to the UK, you will have to produce your ID card or your passport. If you're coming from outside the UK, you will be required to produce the appropriate visa. Once you have successfully moved to the country with your valid documents, you will be able to travel freely within England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.