The British passport stands strong at 26th place on the Enhanced Mobility Index, securing its position as one of the top passports globally for its visa free and visa on arrival access. A British passport is a valid option if you’re a frequent traveler seeking a second passport providing travel freedom to various countries.
Visa Free Countries for UK Passport Holders
The table below lists the countries that allow visa free entry to British passport holders:
Albania Germany Peru
Andorra Greece Philippines
Antigua and Barbuda Grenada Poland
Argentina Guatemala Portugal
Armenia Haiti Romania
Austria Honduras Saint Kitts and Nevis
Bahamas Hong Kong Saint Lucia
Barbados Hungary Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Belarus Iceland San Marino
Belgium Israel Sao Tome and Principe
Belize Italy Seychelles
Bolivia Jamaica Singapore
Bosnia and Herzegovina Japan Slovakia
Botswana Kazakhstan Slovenia
Brazil Kosovo Solomon Islands
Brunei Kyrgyzstan South Africa
Bulgaria Latvia Spain
Cabo Verde Liechtenstein Sweden
Chile Lithuania Switzerland
Colombia Luxembourg Taiwan
Costa Rica Malaysia Tanzania
Croatia Marshall Islands Timor-Leste
Cyprus Mauritius Tonga
Czech Republic Mexico Trinidad and Tobago
Denmark Micronesia Tunisia
Dominica Monaco Turkey
Dominican Republic Mongolia Tuvalu
Ecuador Montenegro Uganda
El Salvador Morocco Ukraine
Estonia Mozambique United Arab Emirates
Eswatini Netherlands Uruguay
Finland Nicaragua Uzbekistan
France North Macedonia Vanuatu
Fiji Palau Vatican
Gabon Palestine Venezuela
Gambia Panama Zambia
Passport Free Countries for UK Passport Holders
The table below lists European Union countries that allow British citizens to enter with only an ID card:
Visa on Arrival Countries for UK Passport Holders
The table below lists the countries that allow visa on arrival access to British passport holders:
eTA Countries for UK Passport Holders
The below table lists the countries that allow British passport holders entry with an eTA (Electronic Travel Authority/Authorization):
Countries that Require an eVisa for UK Passport Holders
The table below lists the countries that allow British passport holders entry with an eVisa:
Angola Guinea South Sudan
Azerbaijan India Sri Lanka
Benin Kenya Suriname
Bhutan Myanmar Vietnam
Ethiopia Papua New Guinea
Countries with Visa Requirements for UK Passport Holders
The table below lists the countries that require British passport holders to obtain a visa:
|Central African Republic
Other requirements for British passport holders
- Destination countries and territories have unique requirements. British citizens may be required to submit additional documentation to a destination country’s embassy, such as a letter of invitation, proof of employment, proof of a clean criminal record, or travel insurance.
- Entry to specific countries may require a British passport holder to prove they have sufficient financial means to support themselves for their duration of stay.
It’s worth noting that the visa requirements for visa required and visa free countries in the above list are subject to change, and it’s crucial to check the latest travel advisories before planning your trip.
Overview of the UK Passport
A United Kingdom passport identifies holders as British citizens. A British passport serves as a form of identification for British citizens, providing essential information such as their name, photograph, and date of birth.
His Majesty’s (HM) Passport Office is the government entity that issues British passports to British nationals. A United Kingdom passport is issued to British citizens living in Great Britain and Northern Ireland and UK citizens of British Overseas Territories.
The UK’s official language is English, and its official currency is the pound sterling.
The United Kingdom was a member of the European Union for nearly five decades, but with Brexit, its membership ended in January 2020. This resulted in the end of unrestricted travel freedom in European Union countries and territories for British passport holders.
However, the British passport maintains an extensive visa free countries list, and a British passport holder can travel visa free or with a visa on arrival to most countries worldwide. Visa free destinations include Australia, United States, Canada, and New Zealand.
The leadership of the UK monarchy presides over 15 other states forming the Commonwealth, allowing British passport holders to seek consular assistance from any Commonwealth government in a country where the British government has no consular presence.
A Closer Look – Popular British Passport Visa Free Countries
British passport holders enjoy visa free, eVisa, and visa on arrival access to 172 travel destinations, making it one of the world’s most powerful passports. These visa free travel privileges mean British passport holders can visit European countries and destinations worldwide without going through a visa application process.
The UK’s passport ranks in the world’s top ten at number 7 out of 197 countries on our Global Passport Index. This ranking is based on:
- Quality of life
- Investment opportunities
- Enhanced mobility
The United Kingdom passport ranks well on all three indexes, with a notably high ranking for quality of life.
European: While the United Kingdom isn’t part of the European Union or Schengen Area, British passport holders can travel visa free to the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany. Furthermore, the United Kingdom’s historical relationship with Ireland allows British citizens to travel to Ireland with just their national ID card.
Americas: British passport holders can travel to most destinations across the Americas with a required visa. Visa free, e-visa, and visa on arrival countries include Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay. Electronic travel authorization (eTA) by paying a nominal visa fee is also available to travel to Canada and the United States.
Asia: Several Asian countries offer visa free, e-visa, visa on arrival, and eTA access to British passport holders, including Israel, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.
Oceania: Australia and New Zealand have some of the most stringent entry requirements worldwide, and British passport holders can enter both countries with an eTA. UK visa free countries in the Pacific include Fiji, the Marshall Islands, and the US territories of American Samoa and Hawaii.
United Kingdom Passport by Investment
The UK Innovator Founder Visa program is a legitimate path to UK residency and eventual citizenship for foreign entrepreneurs. An appealing aspect of the visa is there is no investment required.
The Innovator Founder Visa grants foreign nationals the opportunity to get a British passport within four to five years of residency. The visa revolved around an innovative business endorsed by a qualifying entity in the UK. The following requirements apply:
- Present a new innovative business idea that is scalable and has potential for growth on a global scale.
- Receive a letter of support for the business idea from an approved endorsing body.
After approval, not only will you have the right to live and work in the United Kingdom, but your family members will also be able to reap the benefits alongside you. The UK government allows family members of valid Innovator Founder Visa holders to apply for family visas, which last the duration of their sponsor’s residence permit.
This family reunification includes spouses and dependent children. Each member will have separate documents confirming their residency in the country, allowing them to move freely inside or outside the United Kingdom.
With an Innovator Founder Visa, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after three years of residency. After an additional 12 months of residency, you are eligible to apply for UK citizenship and a British passport.
The United Kingdom allows dual citizenship, so you can maintain your original citizenship after you obtain British citizenship. Dive deeper into the offline and online application process, documents required, and processing times for UK visas.
How can United Kingdom passport holders travel visa free?
British passport holders can enter visa free or with a visa on arrival to numerous countries worldwide. The specific requirements and restrictions to visa exempt destinations vary depending on the respective nation’s visa regulations.
Here are the standard ways British passport holders can travel to other countries and territories without a visa:
Visa free countries: Visa free countries allow a UK citizen to enter without obtaining a regular travel visa, e-visa, or visa on arrival.
Passport countries: Ireland and specific British Overseas Territories allow British citizens to enter with a UK driver’s license or other legal forms of national ID.
Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA): Some countries with a visa waiver policy with the United Kingdom offer ETA to British passport holders.
Visa on arrival: Visa free travel is possible to visa on arrival (VOA) countries, allowing British passport holders to travel visa free by obtaining a visa after arriving at border control.
British passport holders should remember that visa free countries can change their policies anytime. While certain countries and territories may offer visa free access, an e-visa, or a visa on arrival, they can change their entry requirements and impose temporary travel restrictions to respond to global events. UK citizens should refer to the government website or the destination country for detailed information.
Benefits of a British Passport
Full residency rights
UK citizens have unrestricted residency rights in the UK. Although Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status (permanent residency) grants individuals the right to reside permanently in the UK, they must return to the UK within two years of leaving or risk losing ILR status. Longer stays outside the United Kingdom require applying for a Returning Resident Visa, which is subject to approval or rejection. UK citizens are not bound by any restrictions on how long they can spend outside the country and maintain citizenship status.
Extensive visa free travel
British passport holders enjoy ultimate visa free travel privileges due to the country’s strategic diplomatic relationships with the European Union and countries and territories worldwide. The British passport consistently ranks among the world’s strongest passports, securing a top position on the Enhanced Mobility Index.
UK citizens benefit from the UK’s extensive network of visa waiver agreements and diplomatic ties, granting them unrestricted access in most cases. This extensive visa-free access is particularly advantageous for business professionals, tourists, and individuals seeking global mobility.
Unrivalled consular assistance
The United Kingdom forms the foundation of Commonwealth nations. The UK monarchy presides over 15 other states forming the Commonwealth, a network of nations that allows UK citizens to seek consular assistance from any Commonwealth government in a country where the British government lacks a consular presence.
Frequently Asked Questions about UK Visa Free Countries
How many countries can British passport holders visit visa free?
A British passport provides visa-free, electronic visa, and visa on arrival access to 172 countries, showing that UK citizenship has many significant mobility benefits. The UK’s performance regarding visa free and visa on arrival travel is highlighted in our Global Passport Index. Once you obtain a British passport, you can travel visa free to European Union member states and other European countries, Israel, Australia, the United States, and many other countries with a required visa.
Do UK citizens need visas for the USA?
The United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) is part of the United States Visa Waiver Program (VWP), meaning UK citizens holders are generally eligible for visa free access to the USA for up to 90 days a year for tourism, business, or transit.
The program necessitates applying for electronic travel authorization, which is valid for two years. The decision to approve visa free access into the United States ultimately lies with the US immigration officer encountered upon arrival.
Is the United Kingdom passport strong?
According to the Global Passport Index, the United Kingdom passport ranks 7th globally regarding passport strength. The index measures the travel freedom a country’s passport provides its citizens, including a comprehensive guide to all visa free, visa on arrival, and electronic visa countries.
The index also assesses each country’s quality of life and investment opportunities. At 7th place, the British passport is strong. Its strength is reflected in the enhanced mobility it provides UK citizens, including visa waiver entry to strict countries like South Korea, the United States, and New Zealand.
How many countries can a British passport holder enter without a visa?
British citizens with a British passport can travel to 172 countries without a visa, including EU countries, Canada, and Australia. Most immigration authorities with a visa required for British nationals will allow entry for holders of official passports such as diplomatic passports or service passports.
Do British passport holders need a visa for the US?
If you possess a British passport, you don’t require a dedicated US visa for UK citizens to enter the United States; an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) suffices.
Do UK citizens need a visa for Europe?
British citizens can travel to most European nations visa free, including France, Ireland, Germany, and other European Union member states.
Is British passport better than American?
The comparison between a British and an American passport ultimately depends on the specific criteria and priorities of the passport holder. Both passports are highly regarded globally, offering considerable travel privileges.
The British passport provides a British citizen ease of access without a required visa to a broad range of countries, including British Overseas Territories such as Anguilla and Turks and Caicos Islands, reflecting historical ties and diplomatic relationships. On the other hand, the American passport grants access to a significant number of countries, and its visa-free status may vary based on diplomatic relations and international agreements.
Do British citizens need a visa for Canada?
Canada has two separate visa requirements for UK citizens depending on the method of entry. UK passport holders can travel visa free to Canada if arriving by land or sea. UK citizens traveling to Canada by air won’t need a visa but must request a Canada eTA (electronic travel authority) before departure.
How long can UK citizens stay in USA?
UK passport holders traveling to the US with an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) can stay in the USA for up to 90 days per visit. UK citizens who hold a US B-2 Visa for tourism can stay in the USA for up to six months per visit.
How can UK citizens agree to travel conditions set by visa free countries?
United Kingdom passport holders can agree to a respective nation’s visa regulations by complying with the terms of their visa free requirements and stay limitations, such as traveling with a valid passport from the UK and leaving the country before their visa free days expire.
The requirements for UK passport visa free countries may include holding a passport valid for at least six to nine months, paying a fee for electronic visas, or having a minimum number of blank pages in the passport.