One of the essential steps prior to our departure to London is to verify that we meet all the requirements to travel to London. The necessary documentation varies according to the origin of the tourist, depending on whether it comes from the European Union (EU) or from outside it.
Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.
When in doubt, the best is turn to the British Embassy in your home country, in order to ensure that you do not miss any important documents when entering the United Kingdom.
By clicking on this link, you can find an alphabetically ordered list that shows the contact details of the British Embassy around the world.
It is also advisable to visit the website of the UK Border Directorate (formerly called UK Border Agency, has now been renamed UK Visas and Immigration), which you can access by clicking this link.
Requirements to travel to London
Here we show you what is needed and what is the documentation to travel to London:
- EU citizens, Monaco, Andorra, Switzerland and Liechtenstein: They only need the National Identity Document (DNI) or passport to travel to the United Kingdom.
- Minors: in case those who are going to travel are minors, if they do not have a passport they will need a parental authorization accompanied by the DNI.
- Visitors from outside the EU: They must carry their passport and, in addition, it is very important to ensure that it has a minimum validity of six months from the date of arrival in the United Kingdom.
- United Kingdom: they form a common area; Therefore, if you have already entered any of these territories through emigration control, it will not be necessary to pass more controls on the following occasions.
- Vacation or undefined work: If you come from the European Economic Community (EEC), the EU, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland you do not need a visa to enter the United Kingdom.
It is legal to drive in London with a valid driver's license from outside the United Kingdom during the first twelve months of your arrival in the country. However, you will have to make sure that you carry the following documentation with you:
- National driving license
- Driving license
- Green Card (in English International Motor Insurance Card System)
- «E» at the rear of the vehicle
- You must obtain a copy of the traffic code (highway code in English), which details the rules behind the wheel and traffic signs. You can read it by clicking on this link (in English).
In addition, it is recommended to check that the vehicle is properly insured and that technical conditions They are good.
- European Economic Area (EEA): exemption from the need for a visa whether it concerns tourism, work or studies.
- Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States: They do not need a visa if they only go to London on vacation for stays of less than six months. From then on a visa will be necessary. Yes, it is necessary to work or study in the United Kingdom.
- Other nationalities: A visa will be required in any of the cases mentioned above.
- Tourist visas: They can only be extended when there is a clear emergency, such as an accident or death of a family member.
- Visa extension: You can contact the Visa & Passport Information Line by calling 0870 606 7766 or go to 40 Wellesley Rd, Home Office’s Immigration & Nationality Directorate, Lunar House, Croydon, CR9 2BY in person. You must contact them before the current visa expires. In addition, this process can be extended several days.
EU citizens must remove the European sanitary card (European Health Insurance Card) (formerly called form E111), with which they will have the right to be treated in health centers and hospitals and free medical treatment.
In case there is any cost, this will be lower, through the National Health Service (NHS). Spanish citizens can obtain information on how to apply by clicking this link.
Other countries outside the EU maintain reciprocal health agreements with the United Kingdom, which are detailed below in alphabetical order:
- Channel Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- British Virgin Islands
- New Zealand
- Sta. Helena
Even so, it is always advised to have medical insurance. In the case of USA and Canada, countries that do not maintain any agreement with Great Britain, the visitor must have hired a full travel medical insurance.
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