Heading to the UK? We share the UK restrictions for visitors, helping you plan your visa for the UK and have a smoother trip.
There are very few restrictions when it comes to visiting the United Kingdom. However, it’s still possible to get detained at the airport. To avoid this, travellers should make sure they follow through on all of the actions below.
While there’s no way to be completely sure that any traveler will be allowed to enter the UK, doing the items below gives everyone the best possible chance of making it through Customs and Immigration without any issues.
Get the Right Visa
Visitors must enter the country on the right visa. For instance, students will need a student visa, not a tourist visa. If the government finds out that travelers plan to do an activity that is not covered by their current visa, they will not be allowed to enter the country.
Be Honest On All Official Paperwork
Travellers need to tell the truth about who they are on any official paperwork, such as visa applications or their Passenger Locator Form. If there are discrepancies between information sources, such as between what is on the visitor’s passport and what is on their visa application, they may not be permitted to enter the country. ‘
Visitors who have criminal records or who have overstayed visas before will need to be straightforward about these offences when applying to enter the UK. They may still be permitted entry if they tell the truth.
Customs & Immigration
Visitors who give Customs or Immigration officers reasons to be concerned will not be allowed to enter the country. Travellers who seem unstable, those who make unusual statements, or those who are openly threatening may all be detained.
Travellers to the UK should be ready to answer questions before they enter the country. This is completely normal and is not a sign that something is wrong with any of their paperwork. Immigrations officers may simply need more data before they can allow an individual to enter the country.
Declare All Banned and/or Restricted Items
Visitors are not allowed to bring certain items into the UK. Customs can confiscate these items and still allow the person to enter, as long as the items are declared before entry is attempted. Otherwise, it looks like the traveler has something to hide and they may not be allowed to enter.
Items that are not allowed in the UK include:
- Sprays designed for self-defense, like pepper spray
- Rough diamonds
- Meat and dairy products that come from non-EU countries and that are intended for personal use
- Controlled and/or banned drugs
- Endangered plants and/or animals
- Materials that are considered obscene or indecent, including DVDs, movies, magazines, books, etc.
- Certain weapons, such as guns and flick knives
Some items, like ammunition, firearms, or explosives, require special paperwork to bring into the UK. Travelers who try to bring them in without the proper paperwork may be detained.
Have Proof of Return or Onward Travel
One of the most common reasons that travellers are not permitted entry into the UK is that Immigration officials believe the person will abscond. This means that they fear a person will not leave the United Kingdom under the terms of their visa.
In order to avoid this, travellers need to have proof that they plan to return home or continue traveling onward. They can show an airplane ticket, a train ticket, or any other ticket that demonstrates their intention to leave the country.
Travellers may also need to explain any previous visa overstays. While the government doesn’t keep track of people who overstay a visa by less than 28 days, any overstays longer than this will need to be explained. Travellers with documents supporting their reasons for overstaying are more likely to be allowed entry.
Submit to All Baggage Search Requests
Sometimes, Customs may make a request to search a traveller’s bags. They may do this because they have some reason to believe that a particular traveler is carrying items that are not allowed, or it may be a random search.
Travellers are required to submit to these searches. If they do not, they may not be permitted entry into the United Kingdom. Most of the time, these searches are not a big deal and are completed quickly and efficiently. As long as officials don’t find anything illegal, there won’t be any problems.
Submit a Passenger Locator Form
All visitors to the United Kingdom are now required to submit a Passenger Locator Form before they visit. They can fill this out anytime in the 48 hours before they plan to arrive in the country. Upon submission, they will receive a QR code, which they will need to show to enter the UK.
Visitors without this form will not even be allowed to board transport to the United Kingdom. If, by some chance, they do manage to get to the country, they will not be permitted to enter until they have completed the form and received their QR code.
Plan Ahead for COVID-19 Testing and Quarantines
The Passenger Locator Form requires information about planned and scheduled COVID-19 testing as well as bookings at approved quarantine hotels, if required for the particular visitor.
Travellers will need to submit proof that they have scheduled the COVID-19 tests required for them, based on their age, country of origin, and other factors. If they need to quarantine, they will need to show that they have scheduled this.
If they have not done these things, they will not be permitted to enter the UK. These requirements are in place to keep both citizens and travellers healthy, and those who do not submit to them cannot come into the country.
Travel to the UK With Ease Today
Most people who want to visit the UK do not have problems with restrictions. As long as they follow the rules and know what is required of them, they can enter the country and pursue whatever business they have there. Making sure they know the above rules will help them enter the country with ease!