I am a US citizen travelling to the UK for tourism. What kinds of documentation do I need to make sure that I have have with me when I get to passport control to make sure I get a visa on arrival?


You won't get a visa on arrival in the UK but as US citizen you generally don't need a visa. In all likelihood, you won't be asked to show anything but in theory you are supposed to bring the same things that you would need to apply for visa (bank statement, itinerary, etc.).

Details are available on gov.uk

  • Don't you technically get a visa no matter where you travel, it is just "transparent" when you arrive in a country that has visa-on-arriva? In other words you still have a limit on the amount of time you can spend in the country (which is the visa) but you do not need to apply for it in advance? – Jason Jul 4 '14 at 19:23
  • 2
    @Jason A visa is a little more than that and the difference does typically matter legally speaking. The exact terminology and consequences will depend on the country but for example the Schengen area makes a clear distinction between a visa-on-arrival (only issued in exceptional cases) and visa-free visits. However, it's true that there is a limit on the allowed duration of stay in both cases. – Relaxed Jul 4 '14 at 19:38
  • @Jason Forgot to mention: Technically, I think that what you would get when entering the UK is called a “leave to enter”. – Relaxed Jul 5 '14 at 5:32

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