United States visa for UK citizens

Generally speaking, UK citizens no longer require a visa to enter the United States of America. This is because the US has started the Visa Waiver Program, allowing different countries to enjoy visa exemption. Luckily, the United Kingdom is also on the list.

That being said, this visa exemption is limited. Moreover, UK nationals still require travel documents to visit the US. In this article, we have mentioned everything you need to know about visiting the United States visa-free from the United Kingdom.

Travel to the US - Entry Requirements

Besides fun and glamour, the US is known for its strict policies. The country has created different policies for different countries. Recently, the US government officials started the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), providing visa exemption facilities to different nationality holders.

For different citizens, the US has different entry requirements. Although the United Kingdom is a part of the Visa Waiver Program, the citizens of this country still need a travel document to enter the United States. Here are some of the most popular travel documents that the US offers to UK passport holders:


As the UK is participating in the VWP, British citizens can enter the US using an ESTA - an Electronic System for Travel Authorization. If a traveler has an ESTA, he/she does not need to apply for a visa. The best thing about an ESTA is that you don’t even have to visit the US embassy. You can apply for this document from the comfort of your home.

An ESTA is a multiple-entry document that allows British passport holders to stay in the US for 90 days. This document is valid for 2 years and can be renewed afterward. There is a handful of documents required to apply for an ESTA, including:

  • An original passport

  • An email address

  • A credit or debit card

Tourist and Business Visa

In case a British citizen is unable to get an ESTA, he/she can apply for a tourist or business visa. For business visitors, the US offers a B-1 visa. Alternatively, tourists are required to apply for a B-2 visa.

Both of these visa categories come with a validity of 10 years. They allow a holder to stay in the country for 180 days and can be used multiple times. Here are some important documents UK citizens need to apply for a visa:

  • A valid passport

  • Passport-typed photograph

  • Proof of status

  • Appointment confirmation

  • Bank statement

Crew Visa

The US also offers Crew Members (D) visas to British citizens. These non-immigrant visas are for individuals working on international airlines or board commercial sea vessels.

Required documents for crew member visas are:

  • An original passport

  • Photograph

  • Bank statement

  • Proof of status

  • Employment letter

  • Police certificate

  • Appointment confirmation

Transit Visa

If UK citizens are transiting through the US, they can apply for a transit visa. It is a multiple-entry visa that stays valid for up to one year.

Internship Visa

To complete the internship in the United States of America, a T-5 non-immigrant visa is required. To apply for a T-5 visa, you'll need the following documents:

  • A valid passport

  • Photograph

  • Proof of status

  • Bank statement

  • Police certification

  • Certificate of Eligibility

Getting an ESTA from the United Kingdom

If you want to visit the USA, getting an ESTA is undoubtedly the most convenient approach. It allows you to stay in the country for 90 days. You can visit family members or relatives, attend business meetings, or spend your vacations. Applying for an ESTA is quite a straightforward process. All you need to do is:

  1. Fill out the ESTA application form

  2. Pay the visa fee

  3. Submit your application

You'll have to provide personal information, contact details, and travel information to get an ESTA. You will also need to answer some health and security questions. Your answers will be pre-screened by the Department of Homeland Security. On average, a UK citizen can get an ESTA within 3-4 working days.

Keep in mind that British nationals must get the COVID-19 vaccination status no more than 3 days before departing. It's advised to get your vaccination certificate beforehand to avoid self-isolation.

US Embassy in the UK

If UK citizens are applying for an ESTA, applicants don’t need to visit the US embassy. This entire process is streamlined, meaning you can get an ESTA from the comfort of your home.

If you are required to get a USA visa, you can partner up with VisaHQ. VisaHQ can help you submit your visa application form and schedule a visa appointment for you. Afterward, all you'll need to do is go to the embassy and attend your interview!

The US Embassy Address

33 Nine Elms Ln, Nine Elms

London SW11 7US

United Kingdom

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    This article was published by VisaHQ, a world leader in visa processing. Since 2003, VisaHQ has 20 offices in 6 countries and has helped countless tourist, business travellers, diplomats, workers, and students obtain their visa. With a 4.41 star rating on Reviews.io, VisaHQ is committed to innovation, service, security, and simplicity in the visa application process.