My girlfriend is coming from Colombia to stay with me for 2 months, and we don't know the exact date she will go back within those 2 months. The question is, do I need to buy her return ticket, or is a one-way ticket from Colombia okay?

  • 2
    A very similar question here: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/184375/… but Colombians can't use e-gates. The info in the answer from Traveller should help you. Currently (Nov'23) Colombians don't need a Visa to visit UK as tourists.
    – canonacer
    Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 16:42
  • 1
    Not being able to use eGates makes a major difference to the practicalities of the linked answer. It goes from "In the unlikely event that you have to face a landing interview..." to "When you have your landing interview..." Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 16:33
  • Is the uncertainty about your gf’s return date because she might stay longer than the planned 2 months? A return ticket is usually cheaper than one way, and the return leg can generally be changed for an admin fee.
    – Traveller
    Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 21:42

1 Answer 1


The UK introduced visa-free entry for Colombian visitors in November 2022. Nevertheless, arriving with a one-way ticket and no clear plan to leave could be (very) risky, depending on the circumstances surrounding your girlfriend’s visit.

Colombian citizens are not eligible to use the automatic ePassport gates, so your girlfriend will have a face to face interview at Border Control, during which she may be asked about the reason for her visit, what she plans to do while in the UK, and how long she intends to stay. It’s a good idea to carry proof showing that she meets the genuine visitor requirements set out in the relevant Immigration Rules. Having a compelling reason to go home (for example a job, university studies etc) plus a return ticket is the easiest way to prove intention to leave. At the very least, your girlfriend must be able to prove she has sufficient funds to be able to buy her return flight.

From gov.uk

What you can and cannot do

You can visit the UK on holiday or to spend time with family and friends.

You can also do other permitted activities as a Standard Visitor.

While in the UK as a tourist, you cannot:

  • do paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
  • claim public funds (benefits)
  • live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent or successive visits
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership. You’ll need a Marriage Visitor visa instead

What you need at the UK border

You must provide a valid passport or travel document. Your passport should be valid for the whole of your stay in the UK.

You may also be asked to prove that:

  • you’re visiting for tourism

  • you’re able to support yourself and your dependents during your trip (or have funding from someone else to support you)

  • you’ve arranged accommodation for your stay

  • you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey (or have funding from someone else)

  • you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit

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