I am from a non-EU country (Georgia). I have been studying in Spain for the past five years and hold a residence permit.

Next month I will need to travel to London for a job interview and I was wondering if I need to apply for a visa.

Does holding the residence permit in Spain exempt me from the visa or not?

Couldn't find the information anywhere and thought some of you guys might know this.


The UK government has a wizard to check whether you need a visa. It does not ask about your country of residence: just your nationality, purpose and duration of visit.

As a Georgian national visiting for less than six months for business-related purposes, you would need to apply for a standard visitor visa.

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  • To clarify for the OP... Does a Georgian national need a visa to visit the UK? I understand you pointed the OP to the UKVI wizard, but your answer does not nail the OP's question. Please edit, thanks. – Gayot Fow Oct 14 '15 at 18:32
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    @GayotFow, I understand the OP to be aware that in general he would need a visa, and to be asking whether residence in Spain gives an exemption, to which I feel that my answer is already sufficiently explicit that residence is irrelevant; but in the interests of spelling everything out... – Peter Taylor Oct 14 '15 at 19:00
  • +1, good edit, you are getting some votes now. The more info the better! – Gayot Fow Oct 14 '15 at 22:30
  • In general if you hold a residence permit for one of the schengen countries you can travel freely to other schengen countries. The UK is part of the EU but not a Schengen country so normal rules apply, regardless of country of residence. But confusion is understandable. To many people EU and Schengen are the same thing, but they're definitely not. – reinder Oct 15 '15 at 19:22

Schengen residents do need a visa to enter the UK, except if only in transit, connecting to a flight elsewhere departing no later than 23:59 the next day. In that case, they can be let in simply by presenting their passport, residence permit, filled-out landing card and e-ticket for the connecting flight.

Source: the GOV.UK website

However, if flying from Spain directly to the UK and then back, this doesn't count as transit, so you would need a visa.

If you need to stay no longer than until 23:59 the next day, one solution could be to book the return flight with a stopover. However, since flights within Europe are frequent, it'll be hard to prove that you need to stay in the UK for as long as you need simply for the purpose of transit. Plus, you would have to lie about the purpose of your trip, which will land you in hot water if you're caught.

So, all-in-all, get a standard visitor visa.

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